Vibrant Dance Day 2 Recap
(NB: detailed summaries/assessments of each talk will be given in later posts.)
Day 2 started with a talk by Deborah Haarsma from Calvin College on how we can incorporate science in Christian stewardship of the environment, in worship and in teaching the Body through sermon, Sunday school and Bible study. I resonated with a number of her ideas.
Fuz Rana gave his testimony before the first panel discussion moderated by Walter Bradley (Baylor). Panel members were Andy Crouch, Ross Hastings, Dan Heinze, Hugh Ross, Fuz Rana, Darrel Falk, Stephen Meyer, and Deborah Haarsma, with the topic of “Science Supports Christianity-Revealing the Congruence, Illuminating the Tensions.” It was a lively and interesting discussion. Meyer, Ross and Rana tended to dominate and had the most interaction with Falk, with the others, particularly Haarsma not getting much ‘screen time.’ Much to the amusement of the panel and audience both, Bradley wrapped up by saying they had three minutes left and he wanted to get one more question out, and took the full three minutes to ask it, for which he received some good-natured ribbing later.
Jack Collins (Covenant Seminary) rounded out the morning with a discussion of Genesis 1-11, which I unfortunately had to miss.
Bradley opened up the afternoon session with a talk (timed well) on the history of the ‘war’ between science and Christianity, showing that for most of history, there wasn’t a war—it is a myth applied by historians antagonistic to the church and that the first ‘volleys’ tended to come from thinkers of the Enlightenment, and accelerated over the last 100 years or so as one side then the other would step out of line to various degrees.
Next Rob Norris from 4th Presbyterian in Washington D.C. gave an insightful study of the Tower of Babel account in Genesis as an analog of living in a technical society like today. It was delightful hearing his Welsh brogue as he expounded the passage.
Closing out the afternoon session was Dinesh D’Souza dissecting the ‘new atheism’ and how we can respond as technically-oriented Christians. All of us who teach before groups should aspire to be as comfortable and dynamic in extemporaneous speaking as him! Dinesh also opened the evening session with his testimony.
The evening program was the second set of 10 breakout sessions. I attended one entitled “Scientific Challenges to Neo-Darwinism.” The speakers were a panel of four from the Discovery Institute, Steven Meyer, Richard Sternberg, Doug Axe, and Paul Nelson. As I was the ‘TA’ for the session (helping with various needs, advancing the PowerPoint slides, etc.) I was unable to take notes for a later post, but the gist was that Neo-Darwinism suffers from several apparent fatal flaws—population genetics don’t allow enough time for specified changes, embryonic development terminates when significant body shape mutations are introduced, and a couple of others.
It was a long and interesting day.