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Faith and Science: Perfect Together? Week One Greg Cootsona Bidwell Presbyterian Church 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Faith and Science: Perfect Together? Week One Greg Cootsona Bidwell Presbyterian Church 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Faith and Science: Perfect Together? Week One Greg Cootsona Bidwell Presbyterian Church 2012

2 Making Something Out of Nothing Genesis 1:31, “God saw the world he created… it was very good” Nicene Creed: “We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen…” Big Bang: Universe’s first moment (t=0)

3 Promise and Problem of an “Awareness of Divinity” John Calvin (1559 Institutes): “There is within the human mind, and indeed by natural instinct, an awareness of divinity” Cognitive Science of Religion—our brains lead us to believe in Creator God

4 Berkeley Nobel Laureate Charles Townes (Go Bears!) “For successful science of the type we know, we must have faith that the universe is governed by reliable laws and, further, that these laws can be discovered by human inquiry” Copernicus and Galileo: not about inherent conflict between science and religion

5 Ian Barbour’s Four Ways Conflict: attack one other as enemy Independence: separate ways of understanding Dialogue: polite discussion of insights Integration: real give-and- take where transformation takes place

6 Attacks by Scientists on Christian Faith Richard Dawkins asserts that God can be disproved: “Yes, God is improbable. Therefore atheism is correct, and belief in God is a delusion”

7 Stephen Jay Gould on Independence NOMA: Non-Overlapping Magisteria “ Science and religion do not glower at each other...[but] interdigitate in patterns of complex fingering, and at every fractal scale of self- similarity”

8 Albert Einstein on Integration “Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind”

9 Francis Collins on Integration “ I find that studying the natural world is an opportunity to observe the majesty, the elegance, the intricacy of God's creation ”

10 Paul John Paul II on Integration “Science can purify religion from error and superstition; religion can purify science from idolatry and false absolutes. Each can draw the other into a wider world, a world in which both can flourish”

11 John Calvin on Integration “If we regard the Spirit of God as the sole fountain of truth, we shall neither reject the truth itself, nor despise it wherever it shall appear, unless we wish to dishonor the Spirit of God”

12 A Fifth Way?

13 Finding Meaning Nobel Laurete physicist, Stephen Weinberg, “the more universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless” Atheist Richard Dawkins: “blind, pitiless indifference” Augustine: “Lord, You have created for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you” Calvin on faith: “a firm and certain knowledge of God’s benevolence toward us, founded upon the truth of the freely given promise in Christ, both revealed to our minds and sealed in our hearts through the Holy Spirit” (Institutes 3.2.7)

14 Faith and Science: Perfect Together? Week Two Greg Cootsona Bidwell Presbyterian Church 2012

15 The Christian’s Call to Science Psalm 19: “The heavens are telling the glory of God” Jonathan Edwards: “alone in the mountains, or some solitary wilderness, far from all mankind, sweetly conversing with Christ, and wrapped and swallowed up in God”

16 Science and the Doctrine of Creation A good, rational (understandable) God makes a cosmos (not a chaos) Copernicus: “The universe has been wrought for us by a supremely good and orderly Creator”

17 Image is Everything Goodness of humankind created in God’s image – Genesis 1:26: “Let us create adam in our image” – Four relationships: With God, one another, the earth, ourselves John Polkinghorne on 20 th c. physics: “Reality is relational” Intricacy of the human body seen through medical science: “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Ps 139: 14)

18 Image is Everything Relating creation to evolutionary theory – Divine image part of God’s ongoing creation The surprise of the Anthropic Principle Love: created for community, created to care for the earth One in 10 123 is 1 in 10000000000000000 00000000000000000 00000000000000000 00000000000000000 00000000000000000 00000000000000000 00000000000000000 00000

19 Everything’s Not Right With the World The Reality and Nature of Evil – Abuse of freedom – Gen 2:16-17, “You may eat from any tree… except the tree of knowledge of good and evil” Evolution and the Fall – Historical or typological Adam? – Adam used as generic “human being” (Gen 1:26; 4:25) and as specific man (2:7-8, 15-16; 3:8-9) – Key: Jesus Christ as Savior

20 Everything’s Not Right With the World Genetic Determinism: “The genes made me do It”? – Francis Crick’s “Astonishing Hypothesis” Stephen Pinker: no “immaterial soul” We confess that body and soul are one

21 Faith and Science: Perfect Together? Week Three Greg Cootsona Bidwell Presbyterian Church WOW 2012

22 Everything’s Not Right With the World Persistence of care: The Doctrine of Providence – Providence: preservation, cooperation, government – Often antithetical to scientific worldview – Dual causation: God as first cause, nature/us as true secondary causes (Ps 19) – Therefore God works through what may be random processes

23 Jesus Christ in an Age of Science Council of Chalcedon (451): Jesus, fully divine and fully human – John 1:1-14 CSR and Christ Complementarity: wave/particle duality in quantum physics – Note on “evolutionary” Christology

24 God’s Not Finished with Us Yet: New Creation (or Eschatology) Jesus’s Resurrection – Resurrection of body – Science and embodied life Apocalypse Soon? – The Science of the End: Freeze or Fry New creation out of old, not ex nihilo

25 Those “Last Things” (Eschatology): The Importance of Hope Dawkins, “The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference” Or, John Donne’s “Death Be Not Proud”

26 The Final Word on Hope Revelation 7: 15-17 ” For this reason they are before the throne of God, and worship him day and night within his temple, and the one who is seated on the throne will shelter them. They will hunger no more, and thirst no more; the sun will not strike them, nor any scorching heat; for the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of the water of life, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

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