The Confessing Scientist

Originally published at:

There are seekers in the scientific world. Many heard first about this man Jesus in The Language of God, and they are curious. Like the Ethiopian eunuch, they are outside the Church’s view. Along the scientific road, I hear their questions and see their curiosity. Passing by are science students with unstable faith, looking to scientific arguments for confidence, forgetting the work of God to reveal Himself in history. For this reason, my attention is turning to partners like the Veritas Forums, and others, with an eye to those in the university.

I still make a dual confession, still serving the Church with a witness of what I have seen in science. I still work towards peace in the Creation Wars. A genealogical Adam in evolution shows that a traditional, concordist, and literal account of Adam and Eve is entirely compatible with mainstream science. The opportunity for rapprochement now is growing. Let us make our bid for peace.

Then let us turn to confessing greater things than these.

My attention still rests on seekers in science, those who are curious about this man from Nazareth called Jesus. My attention rests on the science student, whose faith is unsettled by evolution, needing to find confidence in the Resurrection. Whatever our views on evolution, let us also turn from anti-evolutionism, to give an honest witness of Jesus and the Resurrection. Let the confessing scientists rise as truthful servants. Let us rise in science, with our eyes on Him, the One who rose from the dead.

In the origins debate, the great Creation War, a liturgy of confession can guide us forward. Let us confess Him who is greater than all we find in science. In this way, whether evolution is true or false, we might together reorder this tiresome war.

Let confessing scientists rise.

This is a fairly important post, which stimulated a lot of discussion. I sent out an email to several key people asking a question, and linking to this post.

What if there could be a movement of confessing scientists making Jesus know in the scientific world?

Several questions arose multiple times, and it makes sense to clarify them here.

  1. No new organization is being formed. Instead, we envision collaboration of groups like ASA, Intervarisity, Cru, Veritas Forums, etc.; and perhaps built around shared mission and values.

  2. Stay with the organizations with which you find yourself None of this is meant to encourage others to leave Reasons to Believe, AiG or BioLogos. My departure from one of these organizations was for several complex reasons, but most others should stay.

[EDIT: Unfortunately it has become clear that ASA is not the right meeting ground]

  1. The American Scientific Affiliation (ASA, may be the right “meeting ground” for professors and graduate students. ASA is the oldest organization in the US engaging theology and science. Moreover, they do not take any official position on origins. Everyone should consider going to their summer conference. Bringing them into alignment with larger purposes, they are thinking of adding this clause to their mission statement:

to communicate scientific knowledge, ethical concerns, and the results of this integration and interpretation to the public, the scientific community, and the church, being a bridge that models understanding and dialogue among these groups;

  1. Still, there are concerns bigger than just one organization alone, especially when we think about graduate students in secular contexts. Perhaps partnerships and vision may be important going forward.

  2. Without getting into precise details, there seems to be high interest in finding a new voice for us all in the scientific world. There may be a way forward to peace and to obedient confession.

I hope you can join us. If you have further comments or questions, please add them here.

Let confessing scientists rise…

I really appreciated this post when it came out. Especially this part:

I grew up in a young earth creationist family. I still bear the wounds of rejection that came when I affirmed evolution. I was angry, also, about lies I was told about Scripture and science, all in service of a man-made and anti-evolution worldview. The constant pull is to be defined by my injuries. Encountering Jesus, however, His reordering brings me to things greater than my wounds.

I can identify with this, and I think our whole generation is often encouraged to be defined by our injuries, on many different topics. Thanks for helping to show us a better way.

I can also share the dislike at being considered an “evolutionist” (and not just because I was raised to believe evolution was evil incarnate). That does leave me wondering whether there is a term for those of us who ended up in the arts/humanities rather than the sciences. :wink:

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@Elle great to find you here. Thank you for joining us.

Perhaps you are “a Confessing Christian”, who “affirms evolutionary science”? In the end, the labels themselves are not nearly as important as why we choose them.

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