The Rev. Dr. Greg Cootsona

Denomination: Presbyterian Church (USA) (PCUSA)
Organization: Science for the Church

The Rev. Dr. Gregory Cootsona is Project Co-director of Science for the Church and Lecturer in Religious Studies and Humanities at California State University at Chico. He formerly served nearly 18 years as associate pastor for young adult ministries and adult discipleship in New York and Chico, California.

Greg studied comparative literature at U.C. Berkeley and theology at Princeton Theological Seminary (M.Div.), the Universities of Tübingen and Heidelberg, as well as Berkeley’s Graduate Theological Union (the latter where he received his Ph.D.).

He is the author of seven books, including Mere Science and Christian Faith, C.S. Lewis and the Crisis of a Christian, and most recently, Negotiating Science and Religion in America. Greg is passionate about the power of connecting mainstream science with “mere Christianity” to develop a flourishing, full alive, faith.

He and his wife, Laura, live in Chico, California and have two young adult daughters. Besides hanging out with his family, he loves to drum, read great books, hike and bike through the beautiful Chico hills, and drink good coffee.

Day1 Weekly Programs by The Rev. Dr. Greg Cootsona

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Greg Cootsona: The Banana Slug, the Leaves, and the Triune God

Tuesday May 25, 2021
In his Trinity Sunday sermon, Dr. Greg Cootsona says that realizing that our Triune God is with us might be as simple as pausing and taking in the beauty that’s around us. So let's pay attention.

Articles by The Rev. Dr. Greg Cootsona

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Greg Cootsona/Science for the Church: C. S. Lewis on Prayer in a Scientific Age

Tuesday September 07, 2021
Last week Drew launched this series on the “scientific study of prayer.” Here’s another challenge. The picture of the world that emerged from modern science was hostile to prayer, particularly the kind that makes “petitions” (i.e., requests) of God....

Greg Cootsona/Science for the Church: Unforced Rhythms of Grace: Finding rest as summer comes to a close

Wednesday August 04, 2021
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” --The Message, Matthew 11:28-30

Greg Cootsona/Science for the Church: Following the Sunbeam Back to the Sun

Wednesday July 07, 2021
Why is our relationship with nature so broken, and can it be fixed?

Greg Cootsona: Talking with Mako Fujimura about Art, Science, Beauty, and Justice - Science for the Church

Friday June 11, 2021
I met world renowned painter Mako Fujimura sometime in the late 1990s when I was a pastor at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City. That’s when I began to realize he is a gifted and unique artist and a profoundly thoughtful Christian theologian. Here are highlights from our hour-long conversation.

Greg Cootsona: The Benefits of a Messy Christianity - Science for the Church

Wednesday May 19, 2021
We can bring the questions and insights of science to church and admit that sometimes, yes, the interaction is messy. But the payoff is great.

Greg Cootsona: Why I Bring Science to Church - Science for the Church

Wednesday May 05, 2021
Having served as ordained clergy for 25 years, I’ve learned that science can present either roadblocks to belief or roadways to a deeper engagement with God. Ultimately, I took that second option.

Greg Cootsona: In Praise of John Polkinghorne - Science for the Church

Wednesday April 07, 2021
The Rev. Dr. John Polkinghorne, an internationally recognized mathematical physicist who stepped down in his late forties from a Cambridge University professorship to become an Anglican priest, will undoubtedly remain a preeminent voice in faith and science. He died March 9th at age 90.

Greg Cootsona: When the Body Can Gather Again

Tuesday March 16, 2021
When the effects of the pandemic subside—and when we can safely do so—should we go back to church? What do science and Scripture say?

Greg Cootsona: Scientists, Your Work Matters to God

Wednesday February 10, 2021
In preparation for this newsletter, I emailed a good friend who’s a scientist. I posed a fairly simple question, but he poured out his heart in a long email: “How was I treated in the church as a scientist? Man, that’s a trigger question for me. The simple answer is, not very well. Sadly, our long history of often experiencing rejection or simply being ignored is disillusioning for me.”

Greg Cootsona: A Recipe for Enduring Success - Science for the Church

Thursday January 28, 2021
What’s the recipe for lasting change in discussing thorny topics in general, but especially those in faith and science—whether human origins, climate change, or racism? The recipe, we’ve found at Science for the Church, includes endorsers, translators, and storytellers.

Greg Cootsona: Keeping the Change - Science for the Church

Wednesday January 20, 2021
This is the problem of persistence and change: We tend to go back to old patterns unless we keep working at change.

Greg Cootsona: Hope to Lighten a COVID Christmastime

Thursday December 24, 2020
When we look at 2020, when we look at this world—a year marked by the exposure of racism in America, political division, and the deadly COVID pandemic—can we have either optimism or hope?

Greg Cootsona: Open Eyes, Open Hands

Wednesday November 18, 2020
At the center of Thanksgiving—both the holiday and the practice—is generosity. When we’re thankful for what we have, we become content, and we tend to open our eyes and our hands. We give to others. Scripture and science are both clear about this.

Greg Cootsona: A Conversation with John Lennox

Wednesday November 11, 2020
Last Friday, I interviewed Dr. John Lennox, Oxford University mathematician and Christian apologist. He’s authored several books, such as Can Science Explain Everything? and most recently, 2084: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Humanity. The upcoming film Against the Tide features Doctor Lennox’s thought. What follows is an excerpt of our delightful conversation.

Greg Cootsona: It's Only Natural - More on Natural Theology from Science for the Church

Tuesday October 20, 2020
I actually love what natural theology wants to do. I appreciate the way it leads us to look at “nature and nature’s God” (to quote the Declaration of Independence). The problem is, strictly speaking, natural theology doesn’t work. We cannot move directly from nature to the existence and character of the Creator of nature in order to answer the question, What kind of God?

Greg Cootsona: And Now a Word from the Devil’s Advocate - Science for the Church

Tuesday October 13, 2020
Teamwork often leads to groupthink, and one of the glories of science is its capacity to combat this tendency, by setting up rigorous methods to root it out. Put simply, scientists know we need colleagues from within the fold to question our statements. We can do the same in our congregations as we seek out God’s truth.

Greg Cootsona: Cognitive Science And Calvin’s ”˜Sensus Divinitatis’

Wednesday October 05, 2016
When it comes to God and science, we’d like there to be definitive proof. A knock-down argument for the Deity would be nice.

Greg Cootsona: Adam, Eve 'n' History?

Thursday September 22, 2016
My previous post highlighted mere Christians like C.S. Lewis, who understood Adam and Eve as typological (or paradigmatic), but not historical. I’ll call this Position A. I realize many reject this position. And some vehemently! So I now come to Position, B, those who say Yes to Adam and Eve as both typological and historical while engaging the consensus of modern science. They accomplish all this in some surprising ways.

Greg Cootsona: Adam, Eve, and the Amazing Clarity of C. S. Lewis

Friday September 16, 2016
According to a 2012 Pew Report, many Christians do not believe that human beings evolved. One reason seems to be for those who take the Bible seriously as a divine revelation, human evolution is hard to square with a literal Adam and Eve (By the way, too many discussions leave out the Eve part here, but I think she’s important.) So a lot of people would rather chuck evolution than the first two humans.

Greg Cootsona: Creation ≠ 6 x 24

Tuesday September 13, 2016
Ken Ham and the Answers in Genesis $100 million ark notwithstanding, if we take the great consensus of modern science seriously, it’s impossible to sustain belief that God created the universe in six twenty-four hour days. And, given the way the Almighty views time, it seems a bit presumptuous to believe we could precisely specify God’s timing of creation. It might possibly involve figurative language.

Greg Cootsona: On a Crash Course With Hermeneutics

Saturday September 03, 2016
After three months without posts, I’m now returning and offering snippets of the book I’ve been writing on emerging adults, mainstream science, and mere Christianity.

Greg Cootsona: Fresh Insights from Kierkegaard on Technology

Tuesday May 17, 2016
A considerable number of key thinkers are addressing the positive and negative effects of technology. The number is so considerable that I can only mention a few in this post. And, in order to limit myself further, I’ll start with the those who want us to stop racing after techie toys.

Greg Cootsona: The Endorser

Thursday May 05, 2016
I believed that the truth of an argument ought to be enough to convince us. I wanted human beings to be the thinking machines that evaluate opinions purely on their merits, not on who presents them. You see, I’ve heard the ad hominem fallacy””we can’t disregard an idea based on (of an argument or reaction) directed against a person rather than the position they are maintaining””like their education, their clothing, their political affiliation... or their halitosis.

Greg Cootsona: New Directions in Religion and Science

Thursday April 14, 2016
When we talk about 'religion and science,' it sounds like two things. But that’s changing in at least one way. The contemporary conversation, especially with 18-30 year old, increasingly includes technology. Which emerging adults identify as a component of””or even a more important substitute for””science.