BioLogos Editorial Team
 on March 27, 2019

2019 BioLogos Conference: Live Blog

We’re live at the 2019 BioLogos Conference! We’ll be updating this blog periodically throughout the event with photos and commentary.

Francis Collins at the BioLogos Conference

We’re live at the 2019 BioLogos Conference! We’ll be updating this blog periodically throughout the event with photos and commentary. And don’t forget that you can also live stream the conference!

Friday, March 29, 9:05 PM - EDT

Jonathan Merritt presented at the 2019 BioLogos Conference, drawing on his most recent book for his presentation, Speaking God in a Scientific World: Reviving our Sacred Vocabulary.

“Most of our sacred words have been in decline for the past century,” said Merritt. “Words like Honesty. Faith. Prudence. Sacrifice. Wisdom. Evil. Righteousness. Race. Even basic moral and virtue words like ‘love’, ‘gentleness’, ‘patience’ have become more rare. Despite the fact that we have widespread religiosity in America, we are not speaking “God” often.”

We need to not only remember what God has done; we need to remember *forward*. The Queen says to Alice, ‘It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards.’ Remember forward, what God has promised to do.

Justo González

Friday, March 29, 2:55 PM - EDT
Darrel Falk at a breakout session at the BioLogos Conference

During a breakout session drawing on their recent book, The Fool & the Heretic: Towards a Better Day in the Science/Faith Discussions, Darrel Falk, Todd Wood, led by moderator Michael Gulker, discussed disagreements Christians have over science and faith. 

“It hasn’t been easy, but what has transpired through our time together—of seeking not to change each other’s mind, but to be sure we understand each other–and to do so within the context of Christian community and in light of what Jesus prays in John 17—is love and unity in Jesus,” said Falk.

Friday, March 29, 12:00 PM - EDT

Jeff Hardin at the 2019 BioLogos Conference

Jeff Hardin, BioLogos board chair and developmental biologist, is teaching us why embryos are cool. We’re being treated to breathtaking movies of embryos forming and comments such as, “After gastrulation, we all look like a burrito.”

Friday, March 29, 11:04 AM - EDT

Bethany Sollereder and Jeff Schloss at the BioLogos Conference

Where did love come from? Love is like bread, made of natural ingredients like flour and water, but it needs human culture too; we don’t have bread trees. In the same way, love is transfigured from natural desires in the human soul. – Bethany Sollereder

Thursday, March 28, 5:02 PM - EDT
Stephen Freeland speaks at the BioLogos Conference

The more we have come to understand the basis of life, we see that the problem is not one of explaining how complexity comes from simplicity, but of understanding how order comes from chaos. That fits very well with my reading of Genesis. – Stephen Freeland, Astrobiologist

The world needs to hear the synthesis of science and faith is possible. And it’s not just about forcing it, and saying ‘that’ll have to do.’ It’s joyful. It’s an opportunity for worship.

Francis Collins speaks at the BioLogos Conference
Francis Collins

Thursday, March 28, 12:57 PM - EDT
Justo Gonzalez at the BioLogos Conference

God rests vis-à-vis us in order to give us space to be ourselves – Justo Gonzalez

Thursday, March 28, 12:20 PM - EDT

We loved this quote from Lynette Strickland, PhD candidate at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, during her Language of God podcast interview!

My job was literally to go to as many different parts of Panama as I could and just survey as many beetles as I could find. So I’m sitting here with grass almost up to my neck. The sun is shining, it’s my kind of weather, tropical weather, and I’m just out looking for beetles. And so there’s no way that in that process I could not find God. Like he was there with me the entire time we were looking for beetles together. So it’s easy to find God.

One of the fascinating and unique things about Christianity is that we know the day it started, and that isn’t true for any of the other religions. On Saturday it did not exist, by the end of Sunday you could not stop it.

John Ortberg

Thursday, March 28, 8:55 AM - EDT

Among the many highlights of the conference’s first night was Dr. David Anderson opening with an African proverb. Anderson suggested that to overcome polarization and division, we need to not reject a monster at a distance, but get in close for a face-to-face conversation to see that we are brothers and sisters.

Anderson recited the proverb below:

  • When I saw him from afar, I thought he was a monster.
  • When he got closer, I thought he was just an animal.
  • When he got closer, I recognized that he was a human.
  • When we were face to face, I realized that he was my brother.

Wednesday, March 27, 4:38 PM - EDT
David Lahti

“I don’t take fellowship for granted anymore. It’s very special to me, and very important. Increasingly it seems that when you look at groups on atheism and Christianity, science is more and more a part of the discussion. I don’t think that’s just me looking at it as a scientist. Science is becoming a dominant part of the conversation about faith. From the existence of God to meaning of the universe and our place in it, to the rationality of believing something without certainty or evidence, etc., interactions (among believing scientists) not only produce fellowships and strengthen connections through our sacred stories, but because of the increasing importance of science in discussions of faith, these interactions provide us with intellectual tools that we might not have developed ourselves independently.

“(This helps with) relating our science to our faith, and helping people like colleagues, our students, our family and friends to be able to grapple with these issues as well, so we don’t have to invent as many wheels for ourselves if we would if we were alone.” – David Lahti, associate professor of Biology at Queens College, helped lead the “Pre-Conference Workshop for Scientists” at the 2019 BioLogos Conference.

Wednesday, March 27, 4:02 PM - EDT

K-12 Educators workshop at the 2019 BioLogos Conference

Kendra Terpstra presents at the K-12 Educators pre-conference workshop at the 2019 BioLogos Conference. One of the highlights of the pre-conference workshop is BioLogos INTEGRATE, a curricula that explores biology from a Christian worldview. You can learn more at

Wednesday, March 27, 3:23 PM - EDT

How do you manage hundreds of attendees, dozens of speakers, and all of the logistics behind a national conference? We asked program manager David Buller, who is working with the BioLogos staff to help orchestrate the event: “Two years of planning with a great staff and a superb lineup of speakers in the BioLogos network,” said Buller. “We’re excited to have so many attendees joining us for this exciting conference!”

Wednesday, March 27, 3:05 PM - EDT

Wheaton Old Testament professor John Walton sat down just moments ago for an interview with Language of God podcast hosts Jim Stump and Rebecca McLaughlin. If you haven’t already, make sure you subscribe at the podcast home page.

Wednesday, March 27, 2:13 PM - EDT

Looking good! We’re preparing the main plenary stage ready for this evening’s opening keynotes, featuring Francis Collins and John Ortberg!

Wednesday, March 27, 10:30 AM - EDT

Meet Lynnette Strickland, one of the world’s experts on tortoise beetles. Here she is recording an interview with us for a future podcast episode.

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