Section VIII: Courses Offered

6. Theology

6.4. TH504 Trinitarian Perspectives on Faith and Science

course originally created by John McKenna, PhD; rewritten and administered by Kerry Magruder, PhD

The early church developed the doctrine of creation through sustained theological reflection on the Incarnation. This course explores what it might mean today to ground our thinking about science, nature, and creation in the foundational theological perspectives of the Incarnation, Resurrection, and Trinity. This course surveys some of the conflict points for science and religion frequently encountered in modern culture, reassessing them in light of the theological perspectives of the Trinitarian theology of Thomas F. Torrance, and incorporating insights from the writings of C. S. Lewis.

This course will equip participants to…

1.         Converse with four scientists and creation workers about their vocational callings, in order to gain experience that will help make our churches safe and welcoming places for those who are involved in any of the fields of the natural sciences, including healthcare, technology and engineering, agriculture, and conservation.

2.         Critically analyze misconceptions that underlie the most common caricatures of conflict between Christian faith and modern science such as the flat Earth myth, the trial of Galileo, the immensity of the universe, the plurality of worlds, the age of the Earth, Darwin and evolution, and the Church and ecology, in order to be able to respond to persons, unbelievers and believers alike, who are troubled about such issues.

3.         Develop and demonstrate a practice of thinking theologically about God and nature, or faith and reason, according to a “Christian theological instinct” that reasons from a Trinitarian basis and goes beyond responding ad hoc to select misconceptions about Christianity and science.

4.         Develop and articulate a creational theology which arises naturally and organically from the nature of the gospel and the doctrines of the Incarnation and the Trinity. That is, to practice drawing out the implications of the Incarnation and the Trinity for a Christian perspective on creation and the natural sciences.

5.         Describe and explain select perspectives of T. F. Torrance and C. S. Lewis on faith and science.

6.         Enter into weekly discussion with other students in the course to share ideas, concepts and reflections on how the course materials apply to ministry.

7.         Practice reading well by adopting strategies appropriate to the nature of the text, such as close reading for the dense prose of T. F. Torrance and literary reading for the Ransom Trilogy of C. S. Lewis.

Click here for the short syllabus