Faith & Science
One of New Wine, New Wineskins’ aims is to foster constructive dialogue involving the faith and science communities. While some conflict is inevitable (and even healthy), in any discourse involving distinct disciplines, it is crucial that we facilitate fruitful discourse on faith and science in its various aspects. The aim is to pursue and cultivate informed respect between faith and science, and where possible, integration. Such efforts promote the common good.
Recent surveys have found many people of faith go to their spiritual leaders—such as pastors—with questions regarding science. All too often faith leaders are ill-equipped to address scientific issues, or congregations are made to feel the questions themselves are taboo. When the faith community is uninformed on pressing cultural issues, it negatively impacts the church’s witness in a scientific age.
In partnership with New Wine, New Wineskins, Multnomah Biblical Seminary (MBS) received a major grant from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) several years ago to promote a stronger engagement between Christian faith and science. That endeavor has made an indelible imprint on New Wine’s ventures. Dr. Metzger and New Wine oversaw the MBS “Science for Seminaries” grant. AAAS through the Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion (DoSER) along with the John Templeton Foundation, and the Association of Theological Schools partnered with seminaries like Multnomah to equip pastors in training for ministry in a scientific age. New Wine hosted a major conference titled “Church and Science: Partners for the Common Good” and produced two issues of its Cultural Encounters journal on the subject of faith and science. Dr. Metzger has since served as a theological advisor to AAAS/DoSER for Science for Seminaries and as an advisor to several theological institutions. New Wine assists students, pastors, and their parishioners in becoming more informed on key scientific topics and their intersection with matters of faith for more effective ministry.
You can read Dr. Metzger’s article for the American Academy of Religion on the seminary’s grant initiative here.
New Wine also partners with Dr. S. Joshua Swamidass and Peaceful Science, where Dr. Metzger serves as an advisor. You can find here Dr. Metzger’s article “On the Origins of a Virtuous Vision for Human Perfection,” which reflects upon Dr. Swamidass’s book, The Genealogical Adam and Eve: The Surprising Science of Universal Ancestry (IVP Academic, 2019).
New Wine also values its connection with Drew-Rick Miller and Greg Cootsona in their work at Science for the Church.
New Wine colleague Derrick Peterson’s recent work on the conflict thesis involving faith and science is a noteworthy contribution to the field of study. It is titled Flat Earths and Fake Footnotes: The Strange Tale of How the Conflict of Science and Christianity Was Written Into History (Cascade, 2021).
Check out “New Wine Tastings” at New Wine’s YouTube channel for various interviews on faith and science.
Working with the people of New Wine, New Wineskins as a science adviser for their AAAS Science for Seminaries grant let me come to understand their approach to the relationship between religion and science. New Wine has a foundation in faith that is so confident that it can freely engage in deep conversation about complicated issues with mainstream scientists or anyone else. New Wine has a commitment to serving young people by engaging with modern issues that raise troubling questions, often ones with significant scientific components, recognizing that trying to ignore those issues is not the same thing as solving them. New Wine promotes a reciprocal atmosphere of humility at all of its conferences, saying that dialogue must be safe and open for it to be fruitful. I was hoping to bring something of value to the Science for Seminaries efforts, but I think I ended up getting more from my interactions with New Wine than I provided. New Wine is a remarkable organization and one well worth paying attention to.
Dr. Steven A. Kolmes, Molter Chair in Science, University of Portland