Friday, June 8, 2018

Evolution and God Discussion Questions: Faith and Science Resources



As we move farther into the 21st century, more and more people in the United States are moving away from their faith, especially in the God of the Bible. It is up to the leaders in the church to help stem this tide. Those in youth ministry have the greatest opportunity because younger generations are leaving churches the fastest. But for many church leaders, discussing topics of science can seem overwhelming.

Feeling overwhelmed is understandable. After all, the fields of science are vast, complex (with many large words), and ever changing. But a scientific degree is not necessary to talk about the relationship of God and modern science. In my own experience, it is mostly those trained in science participating in this discussion, which makes it decidedly one-sided. More church leaders need to be engaged in this discussion because scientists often only have a cursory knowledge of the Bible and principles of its interpretation. Youth and young people often hear one side of the debate taught at school. At church they have the opportunity to hear another side, but too often church leaders are silent, choosing to not engage rather than risk appearing foolish.

The discussion between faith in God and science does not have to be limited to debating the latest scientific studies. It should rather begin at a broader level of worldviews, definitions, and philosophy. These are topics many church leaders are trained in. Resources are also key. Good resources will enable all church leaders, including lay leaders, to have a reasoned and thought provoking discussion about the relationship between faith and science.

It is key to remember that you do not have to "prove" the issue in one discussion. To expect that would be overly presumptuous. The topics of evolution vs. creation or faith vs. science are too big and complex to "prove" or "disprove" that quickly. The goal is to have an open discussion that gets people thinking. A discussion can help participants see that science has not, in fact, utterly rendered all faith obsolete.

In a recent Scientific American blog article, Christian mathematician of Oxford University John Lennox wrote, "All scientists presuppose and therefore have faith in the rational intelligibility of the universe. Einstein could not have been a scientist without this faith."1 There are still many superb scientists who take their faith in God seriously. And they frequently point out that some measure of faith is necessary for whatever you believe.

It is important to discuss the topic of faith and science and how they relate in church. Church leaders are in a great position to do so. All they need is a little faith and some quality resources. Here is a great and FREE resource to use in starting a discussion about the relation of faith and science titled, "God and Darwin: Are They Compatible?" which can be found here. It offers several discussion questions and and helps guide the discussion.  Find more resources we recommend at this link!

Sources:
1. John Horgan. "Can Faith and Science Coexist? Mathematician and Christian John Lennox Responds." (March 1, 2015). Scientific American. Retrieved on Feb. 1, 2018 from https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cross-check/can-faith-and-science-coexist-mathematician-and-christian-john-lennox-responds/#.

Written by David F. Garner

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