Two Heavenly Subjects

To hear some people tell it, the world has two mutually exclusive groups of people -- Christians and scientists. Christians are allegedly too closed-minded to embrace science, and scientists are far too smart to become Christians. That false impression deters some scientists from seriously considering the Christian faith, and it discourages many Christians from entering scientific professions. It also discourages Christians who are scientists from being vocal about their faith. If you have this kind of intellectual conflict, you can advance to "higher ground" this summer. Colorado Christian University will host hundreds of scientifically knowledgeable Christians the last weekend of July at the American Scientific Affiliation's annual meeting. Plenary sessions will orbit around astronomy and exalt God as Creator. Leadoff speaker Deborah Haarsma will project visuals from the Hubble Deep Space Telescope. With a Ph.D. from M.I.T., she says even non-Christians see wonder and awe in the astronomical universe, but "Christians know the source." Several speakers understand from first-hand experience where many listeners may stand. As an undergraduate, Dr. William Keel says he was "a practicing agnostic." After substantial study of the subject, however, he realized that numerous intricacies in nature fit together so harmoniously that "it all fairly screams [of] an overarching design." Dr. Alan Stockton remembers the research that convinced him "that one could be a Christian without having to keep agonizing that one was on the verge of intellectual suicide." He found reading C. S. Lewis and N.T. Wright especially helpful. The late Nobel laureate Paul Dirac agreed, stating, "God used beautiful mathematics in creating the world." Contemporary astronomer Allan Sandage, Edwin Hubble's successor at Mt. Wilson and Mt. Palomar observatories, asked why the world was describable in terms of differential equations. And he told the New York Times, "I find it quite improbable that such order came out of chaos. There has to be some organizing principle. God, to me, . . . is the explanation of the miracle of existence, why there is something instead of nothing." On another occasion, Sandage said, "If God did not exist, science would have to invent Him to explain what it is discovering at its core." Astronomy isn't all you'll find at the conference next month. Sessions include discussions of biblical perspectives on genetic engineering and other bioethics issues, the relationship between Scripture and discovery, and whether or not Earth is the only inhabited planet. One man who has attended most of these meetings for over half a century noted that for him the great thrill is "to worship and argue with peers for whom I have the utmost respect; to subject my ideas to criticism in an atmosphere of trust; and just to have fun with a crowd of joyfully serious followers of Jesus. There's nothing quite like it." If you and a friend want to be encouraged by biblical truth and science reinforced in an atmosphere that respects mind and spirit, call us here at BreakPoint (1-877-3-CALLBP) for more information about the conference or how you can obtain materials that will be available afterwards. This summer you can meet hundreds of scientists who are solid Christians -- men and women who are integrating modern scientific discovery with a biblical worldview. For further reading and information: Learn more about the American Scientific Affiliation. "Astronomical Stars Converge on Colorado," Newsletter of the American Scientific Affiliation 45, no. 3 (May/June 2003). (Adobe Acrobat Reader required.) See the 2003 ASA annual meeting brochure and meeting schedule. (Adobe Acrobat Readerrequired.) Read highlights of last year's Annual Meeting from the Newsletter of the American Scientific Affiliation. See samples from last year's Annual Meeting, "Christians Pioneers in Science": Photos and audio from selected sessions and abstracts from the 2002 Annual Meeting (Adobe Acrobat Reader required). Deborah Haarsma, "The Heavens Declare the Immensity of God," Calvin College, 16 November 2000. William R. Shea, "Reading God's Two Books," Books & Culture, March/April 2003. See this review of Walter R. Hearn's book Being a Christian in Science. Al Dobras, "It's All about Luck," BreakPoint Online, 7 April 2003. William A. Dembski, "Skepticism's Prospects for Unseating Intelligent Design," BreakPoint Online, 24 June 2002. Robert Newman, "From One Heavenly Subject to Another," chapter in Eric C. Barrett and David Fisher, Scientists Who Believe (Chicago: Moody Press, 1984). Fred Heeren, Show Me God: What the Message from Space Is Telling Us about God (Daystar Productions, 1997). BreakPoint Commentary No. 020626, "The Malibu Antidote: Christianity and Science at the Beach." BreakPoint Commentary No. 020830, "Wagging the Dog: The Invented War between Science and Christianity." John Noble Wilford, "Sizing Up the Cosmos: An Astronomer's Quest," (interview with Allan R. Sandage), New York Times, 12 March 1991, B5-9.


Chuck Colson


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