How about starting the New Year with a fresh look at the debate over whether "miracles" might (or might not) fit into a modern view of the cosmos? The DC Theology Pub & Emerging Christianity meetups continue their Science & Theology Dialogues for January, based on the book, God and the Cosmos: Divine Activity in Space, Time, and History (click here to order), by authors Harry Lee Poe and chemist Jimmy H. Davis. This book explores two big questions, the first asks What Kind of God Interacts with the world? The second question asks, What Kind of World Allows God to Interact? At our previous discussion we took a look at the book's introduction which examined the many views of God & science held by several of the largest faiths in our contemporary world. This month we will take up the first question.
Our discussion is designed to be an exploration of how the observation of the cosmos through scientific methods (according to the authors) can give us a greater understanding of God & might help strengthen our faith at the same time. This discussion does not desire to promote a particular point of view but rather provide a venue to share insights (and evaluate those insights) that have been articulated throughout history.
Hope you can join us for this interesting conversation!
Best, Glenn & Larry
More information on book (straight from the publisher's blurb):
In Part One, the authors conduct a comparative study of the Christian model with other religious and philosophical depictions to show that the biblical God interacts with the physical universe in an unique way.
Part Two turns to scientific research to identify many ways that the universe, including human history itself, is constituted to allow for divine interaction with it. Rather than confirming that the cosmos is closed to the actions of the divine, advancing scientific knowledge seems to indicate that the nature of the universe is actually open to the unique type of divine activity portrayed in the Bible (as defined in Part One of the book).
Harry Lee Poe serves as Charles Colson Professor of Faith and Culture at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. He has written several books and numerous articles on how the gospel intersects with culture including and Poe also serves as president of the Edgar Allan Poe Museum of Richmond, Virginia.
Jimmy H. Davis (Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) is the vice president for the regional campuses and university professor of chemistry at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. The author of two books and more than sixty articles, chapters and presentations, he lectures and presents at conferences in the United States and internationally. He received a grant from the John Templeton Foundation to develop a science and faith course as well as a grant from the Metanexus Institute to establish a local society for promoting the science-faith dialogue. He lives with his wife and son in Germantown, Tennessee.
Book Summary and Questions coming!: Larry will send out a summary of points and questions a few days before the date we meet. You never have to buy or read the book to attend (but it does help one in following the discussion and asking questions of course!).
More about the Purpose of the "Science & Theology Dialogues:" We are trying to create a safe space for people to pose basic questions about how their faith background and science training interrelate. Many people either have given up on this quest (they never could fit the pieces together), or they try to make hard-and-fast rules where there's a lot of ambiguity and mystery. We, on the other hand, have not given up on the quest to integrate faith and science. But, to be clear, our group never seeks to "prove" God or any claim, but to "explore" and "evaluate" new ideas and theological models over a beer. We don't really have debates as much as conversations about new ideas from a range of disciplines (science, social science, theology, literature) that help us make sense of the world and our place in it.
More about our Facilitator of our "Science & Theology Dialogues": Going forward we are hoping Larry Branch and others interested in faith and science issues can host future "Science & Theology Dialogues" through DC Theology Pub & An Emerging Christianity Conversation in DC. Larry’s interest in science & theology comes from his life experiences in the areas of computer science, social justice, and local church involvement. Larry is a software developer working on a number of projects as a contractor at the US Department of Labor. He lives in Loudoun County where he has chaired the county Board of Social Services. While serving on this influential board, he developed a special passion for providing affordable housing to all county residents. He also has attended a non-denominational church in the county since 1985, and he has served as an elder for several of those years. Larry describes himself as a “sojourner on a spiritual quest like many others in DC; but an unusual person in the District in that I do not have a political affiliation; rather, I enjoy meeting a variety of people. Even though I am committed to the Christian discipline and worldview, I especially love conversations with those of other spiritual disciplines and worldviews.” The diversity of Larry’s experiences makes him an ideal facilitator for this science & theology dialogue.