Test of FAITH
Resources for Churches from The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion

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Norton Herbst & Gabe Lyons, The Spirituality of science: How science strengthens faith in God (Zondervan, 2010)

Cover imageDVD $29.99 3 x 20 mins; Participant’s Guide $9.99 108 pages; Group kit $50 for DVD & 5 guides

Buy from: http://www.qideas.org/studies/

Author/production details: http://www.qideas.org/information/new.aspx

The Spirituality of Science challenges the myth that science and faith are at odds. It puts forward the idea that science is spiritual; that the pursuit of scientific knowledge strengthens faith and has a positive impact on both the church and the wider world.

This DVD and the accompanying participant’s guide are intended for small groups of adults, meeting together for just over an hour every week for five weeks, with a group project to be completed during the last week. The sessions include time to discuss, watch a video, debate and reflect. The video provides an introduction to the discussion and, for sessions 1, 3 & 4, a presentation by someone who is either a scientist or deeply engaged in the science-faith discussion. 

Dr Francis Collins (currently Director, NIH) kicks off the course in his usual engaging way by describing his experiences as a scientist leading the Human Genome Project, his thoughts on evolution, and how nature points him towards God. In session 2 Prof. Alister McGrath (Professor of Theology, Ministry and Education, King’s College London) presents - in the form of an article - a response to the New Atheists, and a defence of Theistic Evolution. Dr Catherine Crouch (Associate Professor of Physics, Swarthmore College) then gives her perspective as a Christian in the lab. Finally, in session four Louis Giglio (a Christian speaker who often uses astronomy as a visual aid for his talks) speaks about the use of scientific ideas to build faith in a Christian context. The fifth session is a chance to think about what the group has learned and what effect it will have on their lives.

This course is grounded in gracious debate, a hard look at what we think we know, and practical action. The ideas provided for group projects include visiting a scientist, environmental work, or screening a science-faith film.

For me, Catherine Crouch’s presentation was the highlight. She spoke warmly about what she has learned through being a scientist and how that has fed into her spiritual life, focusing on wonder and delight, humility, evidence, collaboration, generosity and risk. Collins and McGrath, as always, do an excellent job of setting up the relationship between science and faith, and talk through their own spiritual discoveries in this area. Louis Giglio was at times inspiring and at times slightly confusing – but it was encouraging to hear from a Christian leader who is so supportive of science. 

This course would be perfect for a group who wanted some initial exposure to science and faith. It provides solid teaching and a chance to think more broadly about how science impacts our faith.

Difficulty: Intermediate