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A Reflection on the Faith & Culture Seminar

Last night, we had a blessed time with Dr. Mark Phillips, both for the Faculty Training and the Parent Seminar. These two talks could not have been more timely and significant.

It was timely not just because Dr. Mark Phillips happen to have just written a book about the connection between science and faith, which is the theme of Veritas this year: “Heavens Declare the Glory of God: Recovering the Role of STEAM in revealing the glory of God.” It was timely because we are living in a time when the myth of the separation of science and faith is taking a great toll on our society.

Here are two examples of the massive chaos that our society is going through partly due to the myth of separation of science and faith. 1) Pro-abortion movement is back in full swing, in spite of the overturning of the Roe v. Wade. The underlying myth behind this movement is that an unborn baby is either not fully alive, or that the fate of the baby’s life lies with the mother. Many people (including many Christians) who believe this thinks of this matter of abortion as a matter of “reproductive health” or “reproductive science”, and not an ethical-spiritual matter. 2) Transgenderism is in full swing. Transgenderism maintains that there are more than two biological sexes and even more genders. Transgenderism is a result of separation of the science of human sexuality from biblical truth that God made man in his image, as male and female.

During the faculty training, Dr. Phillips challenged us by encouraging our school to consider naming our science department “Department of Science and Theology” or “Department of Natural Philosophy,” indicating the inseparability between science and faith. He also shared about the importance of creating a specific vision and mission statement for the science department, statements which include the integration of science and the Christian worldview. He also took some time to do a SWOT analysis of our science and math department and how we might grow. Finally, in answer to the question, “Why is teaching history of science important in teaching science?” Dr. Phillips explained how modern science originated in Christian Europe through specific doctrines like God’s sovereignty, intelligibility of nature, human exceptionalism, and human fallibility.

Inseparability of Christian worldview and science became more vivid at the Parent Seminar. Dr. Phillips talked about the “Unique Cosmology of the Bible,” which can be summarized in five points:

1. God’s laws are constant and reliable

2. God’s laws are fine-tuned to make life possible on earth

3. The whole universe was created out of nothing

4. The whole universe is in irreversible entropy

5. The whole universe is expanding

He proved each of these five points from Scripture, and from science. The net effect of his dynamic (and humorous!) presentation was how Scripture brings deeper light into our understanding of science and how scientific discoveries confirm the truths in Scripture. By the end of his presentation, it was clear to all of us that Dr. Phillip's deep faith has made him such a great scientist, and his scientific work increased his faith! How faith and science can mutually benefit each other was clearly embodied in Dr. Phillips life, which is also now available to be read both in his biography Secrets & Lies: My journey to Enlightenment and his most recent book, Science Apologetics: Bridging Science and Faith in Classical Christian Dialogue. Copies of both are available in the office for sale.

Also, related to the topic of inseparability of faith and science, I highly recommend a recent conversation between Jordan Peterson and John Lennox. Here is the youtube link.

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