Articles by Science for the Church
Thursday January 25, 2024
Our ability to connect with God and with others affects us in physical and emotional ways. Have you ever noticed how you feel when you enter a circle of like-minded people and connect with them? Our willingness to embrace kingdom values by engaging with our neighbors helps us see the world in new and unexpected ways. It reinvigorates us, gives meaning and purpose to our lives, and strengthens our resolve to relational fitness. Thus, our best interest is to develop new ways to engage those around us...
Tuesday January 16, 2024
Awe has been described as the experience of self-transcendence. According to the Greater Good Science Center, it shifts “our attention away from ourselves, make us feel like we are part of something greater than ourselves, and make us more generous toward others.” But the focus of Christian worship is not us or our experience of awe. Nor is it science. Worship is about recognizing God’s glory, proclaiming the truths of a triune God who is our creator, redeemer, and sustainer, and then...
Tuesday December 05, 2023
In the past, I have asked: what kind of God would create a world with this or that characteristic? It is a fun way to recognize God’s creative work and also to wonder about what the natural world is telling us about God. Let’s give it a try. What kind of God would create a universe that is nearly 14 billion years old, stretches across 90+ billion light years, and contains something like a septillion stars? Now, before we can answer the question, we must understand the scale of these numbers. They are not just big, or even really, really big; rather, they are beyond comprehension...
Thursday November 02, 2023
As most of you know, I am the oddball Wesleyan among my Calvinist peers. So, today, I am writing a piece illustrating how science was a central element of John Wesley’s ministry. While most researchers focus on his work on holiness, there is enough evidence to support my statement. Wesley’s understanding of science, healthcare, ecology, and the human body is outdated by 21st-century standards. However, there is a body of literature that suggests he read both the Book of Scripture and the book of nature to help those around him.
Thursday October 12, 2023
Happiness research, a central theme of the growing positive psychology field, seeks to understand what it looks like when our mental and emotional life is good. What makes us happy and contributes to human flourishing? That might seem cheesy and even shallow for those of us who find our satisfaction in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but this research can be an asset to our ministries.
Wednesday September 27, 2023
This turn of events reminded me of the Apostle Paul’s words to the church in Rome. It is as if our planet groans for its redemption. The problem is these words immediately conjure up images of our eschatological hope for redemption at the Parousia (i.e., Jesus’ second coming). It is hard to see anything else once we enter an end-times mode.
Tuesday August 08, 2023
How do we tell better stories of our past? This question motivated my wife’s sabbatical trip. She was particularly interested in how we tell better stories of the more difficult parts of our past. So, our journey took us to post-Apartheid South Africa, post-Holocaust Germany (and Netherlands), and post-The Troubles Northern Ireland.
Tuesday August 01, 2023
I’ve become fatigued by the ruts in which science and religion often become bogged down. Are the two in conflict or not? Is it Genesis 1 or evolution? Are Christians for or against technology? To gain traction and be able to shift gears, I’ve been reading some books recently that lead to fresh, new views on science and religion, especially for those of us in the church.
Tuesday June 27, 2023
Because creation is not our property, we show love, devotion, respect, and obedience to the Creator by becoming good stewards of his creation.
Tuesday June 13, 2023
This comes with our hope that you’ll have just a bit more time to read, to watch, or to listen to insights that will renew the way you approach faith and science. Thus, we offer our 2023 recommendations for books, podcasts, and films.
Tuesday May 30, 2023
It’s easy to fall into just a few ways of relating science and faith. Classically, physicist and theologian Ian Barbour set out four categories: conflict, independence, dialogue, and integration.
Tuesday May 23, 2023
Mental health impacts daily life and relationships and can affect a person’s professional, social, and family life. And while some suggest that there are no scientific dimensions to pastoral care, mental health is a place where scientific advancements and pastoral care converge.
Tuesday May 09, 2023
Beginning with the church, Marquez Johnson wants to change the mental health stigma in Black communities.
Tuesday March 14, 2023
To have our minds “consolidated,” to be integrated, is certainly one important way that we are “transformed by the renewing of the mind.”
Wednesday March 08, 2023
I no longer begin a talk or lesson affirming the idea that there is a conflict between science and religion unless I am asked to address it explicitly. The conflict between science and religion is difficult to maintain.
Tuesday February 28, 2023
What do I do if my church does not accept me as a scientist? Wherever two or more evangelicals in the sciences are gathered, this question inevitably comes up.
Tuesday February 14, 2023
Beyond science’s reductive explanation, the Bible advances the idea that love is the tangible expression of the imago Dei (i.e., God’s very essence) imprinted in us and his directive (i.e., God’s desire) for human interaction. So, join me today as we explore the neurological and biblical underpinnings of love.
Wednesday February 08, 2023
Together, scripture and science, tell a remarkably similar story—despite all the difference and variation we see among humans—we share a common humanity. For science, it is known through our DNA. For faith, it comes from our unity in Christ and the image of God granted to each and every one us.
Tuesday January 31, 2023
We’re continuing this week with part two of Greg’s interview with Westmont College sociologist Felicia Wu Song, especially focusing on her ideas about how technology forms and even disciples us.
Tuesday January 24, 2023
Dr. Felicia Wu Song is a cultural sociologist of media and digital technologies and professor of sociology at Westmont College in Santa Barbara. She researches digital technology and how our use of social media and digital devices alters us. I interviewed her about what it means for the use of technology within Christian spirituality and congregational life.
Tuesday January 17, 2023
I commonly hear concerns that emerging artificial intelligence (AI) technologies will compromise our humanity. In his brilliant book, Klara and the Sun, the Nobel Prize-winning author, Kazuo Ishiguro imagines life from inside the head of an AI—or more particularly an AF, or “artificial friend,” named Klara....
Tuesday January 10, 2023
Any plausible Christian response to the question of human uniqueness must account for Genesis 1:26: “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness.” The opening chapter of the Bible is clear: God created us, and there is something like God in us.
Wednesday January 04, 2023
Whether formally or informally, many of us engage in the time-honored practice of making new year’s resolutions. With a healthy dose of self-confidence, we welcome the new year with the resolve to make definite changes in our lives. So, how can we make new year’s resolutions work?
Tuesday December 20, 2022
Whether it is the nativity in your living room (or maybe the one in your front yard) or the Christmas pageant, the three Magi are often the grandest of the figures. Tall and distinguished, robed, and often crowned, they carry those gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh....
Wednesday December 14, 2022
While most of us identify the Christmas season with beautifully stylized, joyful images that rival Norman Rockwell’s best, the truth is that many people experience deep-seated sadness, loneliness, hopelessness, and depression during this time.
Wednesday December 07, 2022
Imagine with me for a moment being Mary and Joseph’s rabbi. How on earth would you counsel this young couple, expecting a child, on the move due to the powers and principalities of their day?
Friday December 02, 2022
For Advent—a time dedicated to waiting for the birth of Jesus—Isaiah 9 is a great read. It’s spoken to a people who were lacking hope, much like we are today. And right in the midst comes this inbreaking of the good news.
Tuesday October 25, 2022
Today we launch bonus material connected to our Standard Model videos. I am pleased to offer you The Standard Model in Action, a sermon by Chris Dolson, the pastor emeritus of Blackhawk Church.
Tuesday October 18, 2022
One of the biggest downfalls in church leadership is the failure to listen. Specifically, as a pastor, I need to hear what people outside the church think of our Christian witness.
Tuesday October 11, 2022
Four US churches in different climates and with varying demographics are taking different climate actions with different motivations.
Tuesday October 04, 2022
While I managed the Science, Faith, and Hope project at Esperanza, a non-profit serving Hispanic communities in Philadelphia, I had several conversations about AI and the real-life consequences for Hispanic and other BIPOC communities.
Wednesday September 28, 2022
An emphasis on atmosphere and culture is part of what helped senior pastor emeritus Chris Dolson grow Blackhawk Church, an Evangelical Free Church of America congregation in Madison, Wisconsin, into a multi-site congregation that attracts upwards of 5,000 multiethnic attendees on a Sunday.
Tuesday September 20, 2022
This week our editor, Rebecca Randall, highlights the creative ways that Hood Theological Seminary and the churches they serve are leveraging George Washington Carver to advance the Gospel and meet the needs of people who have been marginalized.
Tuesday September 13, 2022
With the help of our new editor, Rebecca Randall, we introduce you this week to George Washington Carver as a resource for Christian engagement with science and will show you next week how Hood Theological Seminary and several black churches have leveraged Carver’s inspiration in their programming.
Wednesday September 07, 2022
From ancient times, we have peered into the skies seeking to understand the magnitude of God’s handiwork.
Tuesday August 30, 2022
How do we bring science to our faith? And what difference does it make in our church ministries? I’m certainly fascinated by the first question, but it’s the second one I’d like to focus on here. Why? Because it’s true about actions—they do in fact speak louder than words.
Tuesday August 23, 2022
In 1 Corinthians, Paul is writing to a church that is divided and struggling with elitist attitudes and dissension. Like today, it is a church divided. Paul’s antidote for the church in Corinth is the cross and Christ crucified.
Tuesday August 16, 2022
Last week, I looked at how Islam interacts with modern science. In this installment, I’m talking with Geoffrey Mitelman, a friend and colleague, who’s also the director of Sinai and Synapses, a Jewish science and religion organization.
Tuesday August 09, 2022
Writing a book on science and religions (in the plural) introduced me to one of the key thought leaders on Islam and science, Algerian-born astrophysicist and NASA scientist Nidhal Guessoum. In my interview with him, you may be fascinated to learn that Islamic leaders grapple with some of the same anti-science attitudes that Christian leaders face.
Tuesday August 02, 2022
In last week’s post, we introduced you to Erin Smith. We continue with her this week to learn about her research on children’s ministry. Her research is wide-ranging, but one focus is applying empirical questions to children’s ministry in an effort improve it.
Wednesday July 27, 2022
I’m excited to introduce you to Erin Smith, the Fletcher Jones Foundation Endowed Professor of Research in psychology at California Baptist University. We met as advisors for the Science for Seminaries project—a program she calls “a really beautiful experience”—and I became aware of her work understanding faith and science and using psychology to strengthen the church.
Tuesday July 19, 2022
Ted Peters is Emeritus Professor of Systematic Theology and Ethics at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, which is a part of the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) and affiliated with the world-renowned Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences. He also serves as a Lutheran pastor. In other words, he brings together both pastoral ministry and academic theology.
Tuesday July 12, 2022
At Science for the Church, we take inclusion, diversity, and equity very seriously. This is why we recently convened advisors at Howard University School of Divinity and engaged this group of friends, old and new, with a profound desire not only to be sharpened but also influenced by our discussion.
Ed Rosado: Making Science Relevant in Hispanic Churches: Q & A with Pastor and Community Leader Rev. Marcio Sierra
Wednesday July 06, 2022
Edgar Rosado talks with Hispanic community leader the Rev. Marcio Sierra about science in their churches.
Tuesday June 21, 2022
My first seminary course with Wentzel van Huyssteen introduced me to Paul Davies through his classic 1993 book, The Mind of God. So I was thrilled a few years later when Davies was in town to debate British chemist Peter Atkins....
Wednesday June 15, 2022
Around Earth Day, I discussed some ways that individual churches can make switches to lessen their impact on the Earth. Mount Auburn Presbyterian Church (MAPC) in Cincinnati, Ohio is one of many churches in the Presbyterian denomination that takes part in the denomination’s Earth Care Program.
Tuesday June 07, 2022
We recommend a lot of resources throughout the year, and the summer may be a great opportunity for you to catch up a on a few. As we’ve done in past years, here are our 2022 recommendations for books and other resources that we hope you’ll have extra bandwidth to dive into this summer.
Tuesday May 31, 2022
“My dad died when I was 12. And so, I asked the family’s priest from our local Episcopal parish, ‘Will I see my father in heaven?’” The priest’s answer shocked and dismayed this thoughtful, sensitive young man. “Bob, because of science, we don’t believe in heaven anymore.” Robert John (“Bob”) Russell recounted this poignant story recently...
Tuesday May 24, 2022
“God sees everything under the heavens.” Does that mean God sees nebulae, supernovae, and galaxies? What about black holes, dark matter, and even empty space? Can God see wonders beyond the scope of human vision and technology?
Tuesday May 17, 2022
For us at Science for the Church, relationship building is the foundation. It is at the point of inclusion and diversity that I want to start reflecting on this challenging yet rewarding journey.
Tuesday May 10, 2022
I’m not a mental health professional, nor am I trained to treat even mild mental illnesses. I do, however, know a little about the connection between spirituality and health and its relevance to the role of faith in a mental health crisis.
Tuesday May 03, 2022
I was recently asked to preach on the final phrase of the Greatest Commandment according to Jesus: “‘You shall love the Lord your God with… with all your mind.’” (Matthew 22:37). Afterward, a neuroscientist in the congregation told me he rarely cries in church, but these words hit home. I hope the message will also resonate with you.
Wednesday April 27, 2022
Reflect back with me to your formative years. Consider the stepping stones that led you to where you are today. Trace the path of discerning your vocation. Hold on to those moments when you see that your work is what God intended it to be....
Wednesday April 20, 2022
I am one of many Christians in the sciences who take our stewardship of creation seriously. As a person of faith, I know that small actions (mustard seeds) can add up to mountains.
Wednesday April 13, 2022
Our resurrection hope is both personal and cosmic: God will “transform the body of our humiliation that it may be conformed to the body of his glory” (Phil. 3:21) and “create new heavens and a new earth” (Isa. 65:17).
Wednesday April 06, 2022
Easter reminds us that there is hope when science has reached its limits.
Wednesday March 30, 2022
Does our biology determine us, for better or for worse? Or is it culture and environment that shape us into who we are?
Wednesday March 16, 2022
Here is a thought experiment: Imagine asking your congregation the first thing that comes to mind from the prompt, “Human evolution.” What kind of responses would you anticipate?
Thursday March 03, 2022
In an article published by The Atlantic, Olga Khazan chronicles a powerful account of Being Black in America. She tells the story of Kiarra, a young African American woman from Baltimore who faces the insurmountable obstacles of a social structure that is hostile to people of color....
Wednesday February 23, 2022
We live in a world defined by science and technology, and sometimes it’s hard to see how and where our faith fits. The amazing discovery we’ve made at Science for the Church is that science and technology can dramatically enhance our faith.
Wednesday February 16, 2022
While The Standard Model—as we see in the good and faithful work of Holy Trinity—may not be sufficient to undo the church’s decreased influence in our culture, we believe it is a necessary part of the solution.
Tuesday February 08, 2022
This is what Science for the Church is about. Bringing science to church will continue to be awkward or worse until the church learns how to do it and do it well.
Wednesday February 02, 2022
I’m currently teaching a Bible study called “On a Crash Course with the Old Testament.” It began at Genesis 1 and thus with faith and science. What was immediately intuitive to my students?
Wednesday January 26, 2022
Pretty much every day, I rack my brain to find examples for how churches can connect with science and technology to enhance their ministries. On one such day, I thought of my friend Matt York, Executive Director of illuminAid...
Wednesday January 19, 2022
As we prepare to reveal the Standard Model of Science for the Church—how the church can benefit from engaging science—let us first consider its namesake from particle physics...
Wednesday January 05, 2022
It was January 5, 1975, the eve of the Feast of the Epiphany. My big brother and I could hardly contain the excitement of the impending visit of the Three Magi (or Three Kings), a central Christmas tradition in the Latinx community....