Engaging schools and congregations with big questions around science and faith
Psalm 111:2 ESV: Great are the works of the LORD, studied by all who delight in them.
This year our church is focusing on Science, Faith and Creation Care. We also go into the local CofE primary school, to run workshops and book clubs. Research has shown that nearly 50% of all children in KS2 and above believe that you can’t be a Christian and take science seriously. They feel they have to choose, and most of them say they trust science more than the Bible. This is sad and unnecessary! I love sharing about an alternative viewpoint, that science and the Bible complement each other. To help them explore the idea that the Bible is about the ‘what and why’ God is doing (purpose), while science explores and explains how things work. We all agree that science observes and measures the ‘laws of nature’. But what if God has put these in place to help our universe evolve and keep everything in order? What if God is the great composer and conductor of the universe – with planets and plants, platypuses and peregrines playing the part He has given them?
All generations are fascinated by faith and science. We have recently noticed this again during our Sunday services. Most people love exploring science as well as the big ‘God questions’. Our main experience is with young people, however. We look at Genesis 1: Why was it written that way? What does it mean? What about the rest of the Bible? And we discuss the Big Bang, dinosaurs and evolution. It’s amazing how, in half an hour of discussion, many myths are debunked.
We have discovered that many children rather learn through story than a string of facts. I use two children’s adventure novels: ‘Science Geek Sam’ (about astronomy, geology and biology and the Bible) and ‘Science Geek Christy’ (about climate change, wildlife science and what the Bible says about creation care). Through workshops, book clubs and outdoor explores each child has the opportunity to gather information, ask questions and, ultimately, make up their mind.
Hopefully, at the end of an activity, they feel better informed. Ultimately, I hope and pray that God’s love for each of them, as ‘crowns on God’s majestic creation’ will filter through. That they may use their minds and hearts to discover and love God and his amazing world. Isn’t it wonderful that God has made us curious creatures? And that He invites us to be scientists? The first man in the Bible, Adam was, in fact, the first biologist.
I believe there is a whole ministry area of science, faith and creation care out there, which we are only beginning to explore. If you are interested in this work, or if you would like to replicate some of the workshops, talks or clubs at your church or local school, please get in touch. The following links may help too:
Petra Crofton (author and biologist, A Rocha volunteer and member of St Lawrence church Barnwood, Gloucester – moc.l1709270893iamg@1709270893nessj1709270893irnav1709270893artep1709270893)