Starting Your Local Chapter

CSCA members will recall our earlier announcement of our Local Chapters Project, funded by a grant from the Templeton World Charity Foundation, Inc.

By now many of you have heard about our new Local Chapters Project, funded by a grant from Templeton World Charity Foundation, Inc. With this funding, we are able to start at least six additional chapters in locations across Canada!

This will help you to fund local events and join the conversation that is taking place in existing active local chapters like Hamilton and Vancouver.Local chapters will allow the CSCA to develop strong and colourful local identities that have an impact in their own communities.

What do I need to start a local chapter?

  • Three members of the CSCA. (One of the three can be a student member.)
  • One member to be the contact person (see expectations here along with the resources CSCA will provide)
  • Follow this step-by-step guide!

Continue reading

Think Write Publish: Science & Religion

CSCA folks may be interested to take advantage of this unique opportunity to participate in a writing fellowship focusing on non-fictional narratives that emphasize the compatibility of science and religion.
Did you know that we’ve been posting calls for papers/abstracts on this site that relate to science and religion? Find them from the main menu: Participate > Calls for Submissions > Calls for Papers.

Communicating Harmonies Between Science & Religion Using Narrative Nonfiction—Through an Innovative, Collaborative Thinking and Writing Program

This is a call for applicants to our flagship program–12, two-year, non-residential narrative writing Fellowships. Fellows will receive travel to 3 all-expense-paid writing workshops around the nation, dedicated mentors and editorial support, exposure of their work at 5 events at science museums in the US and Canada, publishing opportunities, and a $10,000 honorarium.
Recipients of the Think Write Publish Fellowship will develop and write a true story or a series of true stories exploring the harmonies between science and religion. The Fellowship program will not only give Fellows the time and opportunity to craft a publishable story, but will provide them with essential professional guidance and a community of Fellow writers and influential members of the publishing world.
The deadline for applications is May 15, 2016.
The program is based at Arizona State University–Think Write Publish–focused on exploring the intersections between science and religion.

PSCF, March 2016: Canadian Contributions

The March 2016 issue of Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, the peer-reviewed academic journal of the ASA and CSCA, is now available for members. As is often the case, there are a good number of Canadian contributions to this issue, which we highlight below. If you are not yet a member of CSCA, the journal may be available in an academic library near you.

Canadian Contributions to PSCF 68, no. 1 (March 2016)

CSCA Past President and PSCF Editor James C. Peterson opens the issue with “The Science and Theology of Creation and Sin,” a brief editorial introducing the theme of this issue.

Denis O. Lamoureux is associate professor of science and religion at St. Joseph’s College in the University of Alberta. He contributes “Beyond the Cosmic Fall and Natural Evil” to this issue, in which he questions whether the idea of a “cosmic fall” is truly taught by Scripture. Additionally, Lamoureux will be conducting a workshop to be offered just before the ASA Annual Meeting on Friday, July 22, entitled “Five Online Sunday School Lessons on Science and Religion.”

Gerda Kits, Assistant Professor of Economics at The King’s University in Edmonton, writes a review of Paul F. Seinberg’s book, Who Rules the Earth?: How Social Rules Shape Our Planet and Our Lives.

Charles E. Chaffey, Professor Emeritus, Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, University of Toronto, reviews Creation in Crisis: Science, Ethics, Theology by Joshtrom Isaac Kureethadam.

August H. Konkel, Professor of Old Testament, McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, writes a review of The Lost World of Adam and Eve: Genesis 2–3 and the Human Origins Debate by John H. Walton.

Also, the latest Newsletter of the ASA & CSCA is available here.

Introducing Our New Student and Early Career Member

The CSCA warmly welcomes our recently appointed New Student and Early Career Member, Daniel Rudisill!

Rev. Dan Rudisill hails from Pennsylvania, and came with his wife Hannah to Canada so he could work towards his PhD in Philosophy at the Institute of Christian Studies in Toronto. Dan received his M.A.R. from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in Systematic Theology & Ethics. He has a deep interest in the history of science and the so-called “science-religion debate,” which has guided his work from his undergraduate days at Messiah College through to his current doctoral research, which is focused on the philosophical and theological intersection between ontology and the Reformational concept of Creation Order. Dan is currently the Dean of Word & Spirit Revival Training Centre, housed at Promise of Life Church in Mississauga, Ontario where he and his wife now reside.

Through his position as the Student and Early Career Representative, Dan hopes to make the CSCA a regular part of student life at the college campuses located near CSCA Local Chapters. By fostering discussions with students, he believes that the science-religion discussion will be enlivened on these campuses and that students with questions about how science ought to relate to their religious beliefs will find in the Local Chapters a safe space to ask these questions and discuss them with other students and members of the Chapters.

We are excited to have Dan as part of the team!

Bringing Science to Church

Dr. Arnold Sikkema (CSCA President) was recently interviewed by Pastor Todd Gallahar of Burnett Fellowship Church in Maple Ridge, BC for a sermon on thinking about science.

How should church-goers think about science?

As C. S. Lewis put it, “anyone can be simple if he has no facts to bother about” (Mere Christianity, bk. IV, chap. 2). It’s no secret that there is a widespread perception of antagonism between church and the Bible, on one hand, and scientific progress, on the other. Prominent atheists such as Richard Dawkins argue that science rules out religion, and the church has its own voices that view science with a measure of suspicion, suggesting that the Bible simply trumps science. But neither position sufficiently appreciates that since neither science nor Christianity is very simple, neither can their interaction be so. The challenge for pastors is to communicate about science in Christianity in a way that is both responsible toward these complex realities and accessible to church-goers.

Pastor Todd Gallahar of Burnett Fellowship Church in Maple Ridge, BC recently invited CSCA’s Dr. Arnold Sikkema — both a Christian and a physicist — to do a short video presentation to be included in his sermon on thinking about science. Sikkema makes the following helpful points for churchgoers, among others:

  • Neither the Bible nor science tells us everything about everything.
  • We should pray for and encourage Christians in the sciences.
  • Christians in the sciences can participate in the Christ’s ministry of reconciliation by helping to redeem creation, putting it “back to rights.”
  • The Bible cannot necessarily be used as scientific data to prove or disprove scientific theories, and Jesus’ miracles and Resurrection cannot be disproved by science.
  • Scientists are not trying to disprove the Bible; they are trying to understand the world.
  • Every good scientist actually tries to disprove currently-held theories.

Pastor Gallahar does a great job of communicating these things to his congregation: “If God created nature,” Gallahar reasons, “then science should point to the existence of God.” So it’s not that the Bible or nature communicates falsehood, but that we have fallen interpretations of both — good theology and good science will not conflict because revelation and creation both come from the same God.

Of course, there is always room for further reflection on these matters, and those of us digging deep into theology and the philosophy of science may wish to ask how science may point to God:

  • Some might say that it is not so much science itself that points to God (science does not have any methods or tools to conclude anything one way or the other about things outside of nature); rather, it is philosophical and personal reflection upon the findings of science that may point (or not) to God.
  • Others of us, advocating Intelligent Design, for example, will say that science does have the tools to point (or not) to God — with scientific authority.

Much more could be said on this, but Gallahar wisely sticks to those things most needful for his congregation regarding the larger discussion of Christianity and science.

Go Hear Pastor Todd’s Sermon