Vibrant Dance Day 3 Recap
(NB: detailed summaries/assessments of each talk will be given in later posts.)
Day 3 started with Deborah Haarsma’s testimony, followed by a taped talk by Alister McGrath from London. It was an interesting big picture talk about the relationship between science and faith, but it is hard from my notes to nail it down succinctly, so watch for the post on it. Some surprising ideas await!
Then there were two panel discussions. The first, moderated by Andy Crouch, with Deborah Haarsma, Rob Norris, Dinesh D’Souza, Darrel Falk, Hugh Ross, and Stephen Meyer, started with a discussion of how to raise the number of evangelicals in science with the main point that not using the term evangelical will get a better response. Also, discussed how to improve the Christian schools and colleges and help pastors interact better with sci/tech folks.
The second panel was moderated by Pastor Larry Coulter of Shepherd of the Hills Presbyterian Church, with Rob Norris John Walton, Jack Collins, Walter Kaiser, Hugh Ross, and Tremper Longman. As most of these gentlemen are pastors, it focused on theological issues and how they interacted with science.
In the afternoon were two breakout sessions (with about 10 options from which to choose each session). The one I attended during the first was an interesting discussion by Paul Nelson from Biola and the Discovery Institute on how Christian scientists should not follow methodological naturalism (i.e.-assume lack of divine action/cause in the course of following the scientific method). This topic is something I will have to unpack when I cover it in the next week or two. I see his point, but don’t fully agree with him. We discussed it, during and after, and I came away with the idea that he was deliberately overselling his point to make the point, which I understand, but never got a chance to finish fleshing it out with him.
The second breakout session I attended was by William Dembski. As I was his TA for the session, I didn’t take notes, but basically his point was that ‘randomness’ is really the absence of pattern, and so therefore is hard to detect, because you never know when you will see a pattern in it and if there is a pattern that is present but unknown to you, and that you almost have to work harder to find or produce something truly random than you might think, and so randomness may actually have close ties to design. (I know that may sound confusing, but when I get the DVD of the symposium in a few months, I’ll watch it again and take notes to hopefully explain it better.)
Then there was a final worship time and closing, but most folks had left by then, so it was a small gathering. All in all, feedback has been enthusiastic, and the organizers have a vision for there to be more in the future.