Science and the Ministry
Starting in May, theologians and scientists will hold weekly sessions to explore hot topics.
For many people, the two are like oil and water. They don’t mix.
But is it necessary to make a choice between following religion or science? Does having faith in an all-powerful Creator mean rejecting science?
Each Tuesday evening in May, representatives of Reinhardt University, Heritage Baptist Fellowship and Faith Presbyterian Church are inviting the public to join them in exploring the relationships of modern science and religion.
A grant from the John Templeton Foundation Science and Ministry Initiative has enabled the institutions to plan a series of weekly discussions featuring scholars of science and religion. The programs will include presentations of what both science and the scriptures have to say about the origin of the world, the development of human life, varieties of religious experience, human sexuality and questions of life and death.
Sessions will be alternate between Heritage Baptist and Faith Presbyterian, which are next door to each other at 3615 and 3655 Reinhardt College Pkwy.
Seminar development team leader Mary Jo Osteen said speakers will address whether or not there are real conflicts between Judeo-Christian theology and findings of science, and discuss whether modern science may help in understanding scripture and developing theological understandings that are in keeping with modern science advances.
The project was awarded $17,000 in financial support by the Templeton Foundation in a national competition.
The series will begin at 7 p.m. May 1 at Heritage Baptist Church with a discussion on the “Big Bang” astrophysical theory of the origin of the universe, presented by Dr. Eddie Robertson. A presentation by Dr. Charles Swann on the Genesis creation story and religious reactions to the Big Bang theory will follow.
On May 8, the topic will be evolution and the development of life on earth. Dr. Scott Reese will speak first, followed by Rev. Jake Hall on religious resistance to the theory of evolution.
The discussion will move to Faith Presbyterian on May 15. Dr. Curt Lindquist will address origins of religious belief and the partnership of religion and science. And Hall will moderate the panel discussion, “Revelation and Reason: the Bible and Science.”
The dialogue returns to Heritage on May 22. Osteen will present “Sexuality: It’s All in the Brain,” followed by Swann speaking on “Sex and Religion: Responses of Churches.”
The series will end at Faith Presbyterian on May 29 with perspectives on the end of life by a panel of physicians, ministers and counselors.
Speakers and panelists will be:
For more information, visit www.ScienceAndFaithCherokee.org.
Editor's note: A version of this story previously appeared in the April edition of The Cherokee Vine, a monthly newsletter that highlights news and events from churches, ministries and charitable organizations in Cherokee County.