Ch. 5-6: How the Categories Shape the Conversation
The words we use to talk about the Bible and science often predispose us towards unnecessary conflicts.
The purpose of Jesus’s art was to give verbal, visual, and dramatic forms to those complicated and confounding relationships, symmetries, and harmonies between himself, the father and spirit, and between the triune God and the world… Such creative expressions did not and do not make everything clear, but rather resist simple clarity, forcing their hearers to come at the whole complicated truth from a position of intellectual and spiritual humility.
When the boxer and the biologist collided that November evening, they both had a substantial following, and they presented a sharp contrast to the audience: a pugilistic, self-educated fundamentalist evangelist against a suave, sophisticated science writer. When it comes right down to it, not all that different from Ken Ham versus Bill Nye, except that Ham has a couple of earned degrees where Rimmer had none.
Last year I introduced readers to one of the leading voices about Christianity and science, John Polkinghorne. I also helped BioLogos bring in another leading voice, Robert Russell. This new series introduces a third prominent Christian thinker, Lutheran theologian Ted Peters, Research Professor Emeritus in Systematic Theology and Ethics at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (http://www.ctns.org/), and the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California.
This week in origins news is a rousing medley of articles about science and faith, from multiple angles. Some classics on science, religion, and the classroom along with some probing into where atheists come from, new resources from John Polkinghorne, and an off-the-beaten-path blog post.
We should celebrate the many times that our churches and colleges encourage scholarship. I saw several delegates at Synod stand up and speak directly about the importance of supporting scholars who engage the science and religion dialogue. The recent Synod decision was a move in the right direction.
It is not a surprise that a scientific theory will address areas that are poorly understood: indeed, it is expected that theories, as they expand, will naturally have a frontier where the science is far from settled.
We are interactive human beings with a capability and a need to connect with others. Those connections can be through electronic or written means but nothing can replace the need for direct personal engagement. Our annual meetings continue to provide that interaction in an environment of open discussion and often vigorous debates.