Twice a year we meet at the Pew Forum with eight of your colleagues to talk about what subjects you want to discuss in Key West. So we try to make these topics relevant to the discussions that are going on in our culture and society and public life. Francis Collins could be with us.
The God Who Acts: From Alpha to Omega. It does so by implying that God is absent in ordinary natural processes, and that divine action is restricted to "interventions" that violate trustworthy laws.
If this were true, then theology would be left with two possible scenarios: God really acts in nature, but in order to do so, God must suspend natural laws and intervene in a supernatural way.
Today, nearly three hundred years later, most people still unquestioningly accept this intellectual framework and assume there is no alternative to these two scenarios. Interventionism relies on old, outdated science Beginning in the 20th century, the account of the world provided by the natural sciences progressed beyond being a set of rigidly deterministic natural laws that could infallibly predict all future events.
Speaking of this in-built indeterminacy, Russell maintains, If this surmise is correct, it would mean that the presence of statistics in the mathematics of these fields does not arise from our ignorance of the underlying deterministic forces but from the fact that there are, in reality, no sufficient underlying forces or causes to fully determine particular physical processes, events, or outcomes.
Simply put, the illusion of absolute scientific certainty collapsed with the discovery of quantum mechanics.
Quantum mechanics opens up space for a philosophical and theological interpretation of nature that moves beyond the rigid causal determinism of Enlightenment physics. This is because, in light of our best current science, such a deterministic causally-closed system of natural laws is not an accurate description of physical reality.
But besides being dependent on outdated science, the continued use of the Enlightenment approach to divine action is also theologically flawed: In scripture, God is everywhere and always present, always knowing and always acting.
The regular courses of the sun, moon and stars, the regularity of the seasons, and even meteorological phenomena like wind, rain, and lightning are seen as exemplifying the continuous action of God in and through the natural world Job 38; Prov.
Divine action is an objective reality Turning our attention from the conservative interpretation of divine action to the liberal one scenario 2Russell rejects this interpretation as well. Divine action is not just a subjective phenomenon experienced by humans i.
An objective act of God might involve a medical healing, being saved from a near disaster, or a sudden inspiration that leads one to decisive an unanticipated action. Such events would not have occurred without God acting in some distinctive way in relation to them.
Our attribution of meaning and intentionality to God in relation to them is, or at least might be, based on our response to what God is actually doing in and through these events.
We might be wrong in some cases in calling them an objective act of God but we are not wrong in employing the category of objective divine action to claim theologically that that God can act in extraordinary ways in the world. In this way the objective divine acts of God may still be hidden from the eyes unaided by faith c.
But despite our limited abilities to perceive the subtle details of divine action, we can still confidently conclude that God is free to act in decisive ways to bring about his purposes and goals, both in the lives of individual humans and for the world as a whole.
God truly acts in powerful ways, both in the natural world and in the lives of humans. This leads Russell to proclaim, We can credibly believe that God really did do what the Bible testifies to, and we may in the process begin to overcome one of the basic reasons for the split between theological liberals and conservatives.
But this has not always been the case, and Russell points out that until recently, Christians have thought quite differently: Rather than seeing divine acts as occasional events in what are otherwise entirely natural and historical processes, both the Hebrews and the early Christians conceived of God as the creator of the world and of divine action as the continuing basis of all that happens in nature and in history.
The effects of ongoing, consistent divine action in nature i. Reproduced by permission of Augsburg Fortress Publishers.Biology Through the Eyes of Faith by Richard Wright HarperCollins ; US$ Newly Revised The Council of Christian Colleges and Universities Series Stressing the biblical message of stewardship, biologist Richard T.
Newly Revised The Council of Christian Colleges and Universities Series. Stressing the biblical message of stewardship, biologist Richard T. Wright celebrates the study of God's creation and examines the interaction of the life sciences with society in medicine, genetics, and the environment.
Kenneth R. Samples is the resident philosopher and theologian at Reasons To Believe, a Christian think-tank primarily devoted to science apologetics. Samples' latest book, 7 Truths that Changed the World, is an apologetic for the Christian faith's central beliefs and values.
Aug 06, · Religion and Science: Conflict or Harmony? Some of the nation’s leading journalists gathered in Key West, Fla., in May for the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life’s Faith Angle Conference on religion, politics and public life.
Richard Wright, author of the much used Christian college text, Biology through the Eyes of Faith (), and Darrel Falk author of the very accessible book, Coming to Peace with Science (), would also have been great additions.
interaction of science and Christianity Steve Bishop Richard T. Wright, Biology Through the Eyes of Faith (Apollos, ) R.J. Berry (ed.), Real Science, Real Faith (IVP, ) A number of scientists who are Christians explain how science and their faith cohere.