Science & Grace: God's Reign in the Natural Sciences
Science versus Christianity? Reason versus Faith? The relationship between science and Christianity is all too often framed within such modernist polarizations, even though we are now living in a postmodern world! But from a Christian perspective, if such conflict theses are to be discredited, what assumptions about the scientific endeavor, the nature of nature, reason, revelation, and knowledge should undergird the relation between science and Christianity? Science & Grace critically examines contemporary assumptions and then positively re-describes scientific endeavors in ways that encourage faithful and joyful Christian involvement in the science of our day, both as “consumers” of the fruits of scientific work and as producers of new scientific insights into God’s works on display in His universe. In Science & Grace, the authors go beyond the more common focus on creation, evolution, and intelligent design to address more novel questions concerning science and Christianity. The first section reviews a variety of developments both inside and outside of science to indicate that the Enlightenment hope of a simple picture of science, providing its own foundation and sustaining power, doesn’t work. The section goes on to locate a faithful Christian approach to science in the midst of the general cultural shift from modernism to postmodernism as one that thoroughly embraces the need for each worldview to give its own account of how science “works.” For the Christian, this indicates the need for a theology of science. The second section approaches the relation of God to His creation through a robust trinitarian theology that highlights the divine action of the transcendent purposes of the Father, mediated through the Son, and brought to fruition by the immanent presence of the Spirit. The triune God’s covenantal faithfulness to His creation is then the reason for the regularities we perceive as scientific laws. In this context, the dualistic tendency to pit “natural processes” against “supernatural intervention” perceived as miracles is shown to be an unnecessary consequence of the history of the rise of mechanism. We can thus understand science from a Christian perspective as one avenue of many through which we are able to see and respond to God’s faithfulness to His covenant promises. The third section examines how doing science from a Christian perspective naturally flows from the Great Commandment to love God and neighbor, or put it another way, to love God with all our being, knowing, and doing. In terms of being, this section re-orients the meaning of our scientific work and its significance in history by exploring who humans are and what creation is in terms of their relation to God and how those relationships are impacted by the major episodes in redemptive history: Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Consummation. Then knowing is described in terms of faithfully responding to God’s revelation in His Word and world, responses that include both submission to “order as given” and creative stewardship in handling “order as task.” Pleasing God in our knowing should be the Christian’s prime concern, rather than narrowly pursuing the satisfaction of humanly formulated knowing criteria. Finally concerning the doing aspect, being good stewards of our scientific gifts requires that we “do” as confident, attentive and submissive servants who are committed to the gracious authority of His Word, His Church, and His World. In the final section, in seeking out ways to “do” as good neighbors in the scientific culture of our times, Science & Grace describes how Christians are to be good stewards of God’s favor and His judgment in scientific work. We are to rejoice in the fruits of our common labors with our non-Christian colleagues but also we are not to neglect our obligation, in love, to warn them of the wrath of God that will judge persisting unbelief.
- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (August 26, 2013)
- Language: English
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches