Contact Ron Myers at 419-877-9316 or call or text at 419-704-9825
Science exerts a strong influence in our culture and it is thought by many that science and Christian faith must be in conflict. This leads to many, particularly the young, to leave our faith. It turns out that the decision to leave is made as early as high school years although the actual leaving may not occur until the teens leave home for work or college. The conflict need not be there and holding to the need for a conflict alienates the seeker or young believers. To be sure, there are other things that also cause the young seeker to not embrace Jesus, some of which are unavoidable. But few barriers are better than more barriers and there should be only be the necessary barriers such as the need to repent of sins, accepting Jesus’ grace and forsaking known sins.
For science -faith we need to present an alternative to young earth creationists while holding to the authority of scripture. It is not enough to say that we can ignore certain scriptures since anyone can then say that we should ignore a few more which will lead to the loss of the whole message
The format that I propose is a Sunday evening talk as a guest speaker, or perhaps a short series of talks. The basic talk that I propose to present is a 40 minute talk entitled Faith and Science Need not Collide. A copy of the slides I use can be found below. The talk can be changed some to fit better with your program. I don’t see it as a sermon substitute although a shorter sermon on Genesis 1 would introduce key concepts and remain a call to faith/action sermon. Genesis 1 was counter cultural then and remains so today.
I can also talk on related matters. All talks will use the principle of accommodation to interpret the Bible. That is that the Lord spoke to people in terms that they understood to bring them into the Kingdom. For science this means that the physical world as understood by the first listener was used in the few places it was an issue, not because the physics was right but because it was understood. You can see this with God answering Job out of the storm (Job 38) .
Job 38:1 Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm. He said:
2 “Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge?
3 Brace yourself like a man;
I will question you, and you shall answer me.
4 “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
Tell me, if you understand.
5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
And so on for chapters 38 and 39. The point was that Job didn’t understand, and the Lord neither needed nor bothered to correct Job’s misunderstanding to get His point across.
From scripture, it is enough to learn about God, see how people do and do not relate to Him and learn that we can be saved.
I know that there is the potential for people to be uncomfortable with this message. I think that I hold to the things that they are trying to defend and say so which should minimize trouble.
You may need some credentials. BS Physics ‘72 College of William and Mary, MS Physics Carnegie Mellon ‘73 Ph.D. Carnegie Mellon ‘82. I worked in industry my whole career doing applied scientific work, mostly proprietary. I retired from OI last year after a 38 year career. I am a 40 year member of the American Scientific Affiliation (WWW.ASA3.ORG) an organization devoted to the faith-science issues and have maintained an interest in these issues since graduate school. I am a UMC lay leader, having been a local lay speaker.
Faith and Science: Need Not Collide
John 21:25 Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.
The Bible speaks almost exclusively about God, the relationship of God to mankind and the response of mankind to God. Authorship, purpose, holiness, repentance and destiny are the major themes. Instruction about science and technology is totally absent. At best, on the basis of the Bible, we can say that creation of nature and mankind could have happened in some way but no definitive statement can be made solely on this basis. Noting John 21:25 we can extend this teaching that much more can be known about Jesus who walked on this earth emptied of his glory to idea that very much more can be known about His creative work in making the world and us than we see in the two chapters of Genesis. Indeed, in these opening chapters, God’s authorship, goodness and relationship with man and creation are the paramount themes.
For these reasons science and faith need not collide, we do not need to rewrite the Bible to fit science or rewrite science to fit the Bible but we also should not connect any theology with science since today’s science may be shown to be wron