Soapbox: What's your take on the intersection of Science and Religion?
April - May 2008
In the Feb-March issue, United Church News invited readers to respond to our centerstage story on the 'A New Voice Arising,' a UCC pastoral letter on faith engaging science and technology. Here are some of your responses:
I was delighted to read the pastoral letter on faith engaging science and technology. What a welcome and welcoming initiative. As a person of faith on a computer science faculty, I used to feel like a bit of a misfit. Now, as a scientist in a seminary, I still do. I appreciate the affirmation that these things belong together: the scientific quest is an expression of the impulse to hear what the stillspeaking God is saying.
Dr. Adam Webber, in-care seminarian
Open Prairie UCC
I believe science and religion conflict because lesser lights dominate the discussion. Some scientists act as if science has no philosophical presuppositions. Some religionists are selectively literal — for instance, literal on tithing but not on sin, or literal on sin but not on forgiveness.
The Rev. Dan Lozer
Sioux City, Iowa
It was good to learn of the UCC initiative concerning science and religion. Since 1972, a number of theologians, pastors and scientists have been doing research and writing about the relation of religion to science, especially the science of parapsychology through the Academy of Spirituality and Paranormal Studies, Inc. I have served as president and the Rev. Harry Serio, who is UCC, is the current president. For more information, visit aspsi.org.
The Rev. Richard Batzler, Ph.D.
UCC's "New Voice" is a whimper. Scientists aren't concerned with "a new search for meaning" or answers to why we exist. That is religion's work — nurturing belief. Science strives to understand the natural world through empirical study - facts, not faith. Scientists recognize the arrogance of trying to answer "why." Christians can choose to let their faith be informed by scientific understanding, just as scientists can let their lives and work be informed by the teachings of Jesus. To be inclusive of science, the UCC must embrace the belief that God is still speaking through scientists, many of whom do not believe in one.
Susanne Mason, Ph.D.
This is not news. For 70 years I have believed that faith and science are two sides of the same coin. God made everything. Science helps us understand the complex interrelationships of what He has done. God authored scripture. By faith we understand His wisdom and purpose. Creation and scripture both show us His love. The more we discover scientifically, the more we glorify God. The better we understand scripture, the more we glorify God.
As I returned home from work to find my copies of United Church News and Science News in my mailbox, I was thrilled to read the UCC article about science and faith. As a life-long scientist and UCC member, I have always been fascinated by science while I have also maintained my Christian faith.
The more I learn from science, the more I believe in God, the master Creator, Planner, and Director for everything on our planet and in our universe — from the composition of an atom to the diversity and beauty of all forms of life. Following my Coast Guard career, I look forward to embarking on my second career teaching science. Your article has inspired me in this journey.