Saturday, February 22, 2014

Integration Working in Our Church

Another guest blog from one of our Scientists in Congregations grantees...

The apparent tension between science and faith evident in so many discussions of religion in the United States may be just one facet of a larger problem: The church too often sets itself apart from the intellectual life of our culture even – perhaps especially – where that life can inform our faith. Our approach, therefore, was to deal with the larger issue of which the science/religion conflict may be only a symptom. We proposed to engage our congregation in discussion of modern biblical scholarship, theology and the questions modern science poses to faith in a variety of formats… and to allow them, in all of these settings, to share how they relate their own experiences in and knowledge gained from the modern world to their faith.” At the heart of our program were three weekends open to the whole community with visiting scholars from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. One addressed the topic, “Science or Religion… Must we choose?” (We need not.) A second introduced us to modern biblical scholarship under the heading, “Beginnings: What Genesis Says (And Doesn’t Say).” Many were particularly excited to be given a viable alternative to a literal interpretation of these creation stories. Finally we were given a glimpse of modern theology in a program titled, “Science and Religion: Who Is God?” Our approach appears to have worked for our congregation and has had the added benefit of more clearly identifying Calvary as a place where these sorts of questions can be raised and discussed without fear.

Guest Post: By Calvary Presbyterian Church, Indiana, PA

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