Interesting article about science and evangelism in China, While sorta preaching to the choir here at Biologos, it does highlight how science can be used to introduce people to God, and how in todays society, we who are outside of China are also in a similar position where science can be an effective way to introduce topics of spiritual significance, rather than as a place of conflict. What do you think?
This is awesome!
Yes, very cool.
I’m surprised the article didn’t mention George Lemaitre:
Lemaitre in middle
I’ve always found it entertaining to hear (some) modern Christians going on and on about the Big Bang Theory being a product of atheists who want to deny God and Creation. In reality, it was a devout Christian who came up with the theory, and atheists of the time were actually suspicious of the theory because of both its source and religious connotations.
There’s a right way and a wrong way to make science an evangelistic tool.
The wrong way is to approach it as if you were on some sort of “ammunition gathering exercise,” looking for sound bites to regurgitate in sermons and evangelistic talks, or rocks to throw at “secular science” from a podium six feet above contradiction. That kind of approach is pretty much guaranteed to leave you misunderstanding things and quote mining people left, right and centre, and if you take that approach when studying the subject at university it can pull your grades down. (I speak from painful experience there – the paper that I did worst in was one particular option that I chose for that very reason.)
The right way is to roll up your sleeves and actually do it. Science is a very hands-on, practical activity, and doing actual laboratory experiments, or hacking on computer code, or going on field trips, or using your scientific expertise to help others, is something that will be far more engaging than just sitting being spoon-fed with sermons, evangelistic talks, or YouTube videos.
Another effective way of making science an evangelistic tool is setting the highest standards that you can in how you approach it. Being diligent in our work, honest in our research, and helping others to do the same is another thing that will get people’s attention and leave a good and lasting impression.
I know a young earth scientist who probably knows his biological field pretty well, but was not accepted for a PhD program. My suspicion is that what kept him out was not his science but his personality and personability.
Within the circle of these debates, Kurt Wise is a somewhat infamous character. He was openly YEC, and he was still able to earn a graduate school position under the quite famous evolutionary biologist and creationism critic Stephen Jay Gould at Harvard University.
David B. Barrett (1927-2011)
David Barrett pioneered the quantitative study of martyrdom. He died last year at age 83. Barrett told me the story of when he was invited to speak to a group of wealthy industrialists. They asked him what the most effective means of evangelism was so that they could invest their money to hurry up the evangelization of the world. He responded, “We have been engaged in in-depth research on this subject, and we think the most effective means might be Christian martyrdom.” There was an awkward silence until one industrialist screwed up the courage and asked, “Dr. Barrett, could you tell us the second most effective means of evangelism?” [from CHRISTIAN MARTYRDOM: A GLOBAL DEMOGRAPHIC ASSESSMENT, Todd M. Johnson (email@example.com), Notre Dame, November 2012]
Reminds me of the youth speaker who said he took a spiritual gifts test and was bummed that his results showed he had the spiritual gift of martyrdom, but he could only use it once.
This is ID from the fallacy of incredulity. Not science. And that’s by a Nobel laureate. The mass of Chinese Christians are YEC. Not surprising as a main 20 year apologetic is anti-evolution.
Science as a valid evangelistic tool has yet to be demonstrated anywhere. Including BioLogos.
My bet? Because Lemaitre was Catholic.
Not only Catholic, but Jesuit. That’s a double whammy in some circles.
Atheist philosopher Anthony Frew changed his mind on the existence of God seemingly because of scientific findings.
Not based on any finding of God, obviously. Probably more accurate to say because of an intuition that the complexities and interconnectedness in the world required deliberate ordering. But rather than positing intelligence ‘behind’ the ordering of the world, why not within it? It’s as if we are projecting our mind/body problem onto God. Why should intelligence have to be ethereal and separate from matter?
In his dotage he fell for the fallacy, not because of any scientific findings.
I suppose it depends on how one defines ‘intelligence’. Is a cell intelligent? Or does the structure and working of a cell indicate intelligence behind its very existence?
Some of his previous atheist supporters claimed that, but they would wouldnt they. He himself dismissed such ageism. God forbid anyone changes their mind on God lol.
I found it interesting that very recently Richard Dawkins of all people said publicly that the so-called fine tuning of the universe, clearly a scientific understanding, is a pretty good argument for the existence of a Creator. Of course because he cant stomach the idea of a God, he opts to believe the non-evidenced multiverse theory, thus doing away with any notion that this might indeed be the only universe in existence. Convenient.
It’s got absolutely nothing to do with stomaching God. A decent, rational God that is. Not the Chthulu of Bible believers. What does young Dickie actually say on Premier with young Frankie? Matter self tunes c, G, h and the other three constants (including the interchangeable mu and epsilon zero, vacuum permittivity and permeability, the magnetic and electric constants) obviously. It always has. From eternity. Invoking the multiverse just to make them probable is as absurd as saying God done it. If He cared about wanting us to believe in Him, He’d have done something a tad more obvious. And why did He make spacetime accelerate?
‘matter self tunes’ - how do you know? That seems an assumption.
‘From eternity’ - so there was no beginning to the universe?
‘If He cared about wanting us to believe in Him, He’d have done something a tad more obvious.’ - you mean apart from appearing in person 2000 years ago?