Thursday, January 21, 2010

Conference: Reformed Theologians and the Discovery Institute

There are dozens of conferences annually throughout the world touching upon issues of science & Christianity, but I just received word of a conference which might be of special interest to our readers due to the fact that it is hosted at Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia) and features a number of well-known Reformed theologians.

The conference (March 12-13) is planned to be of special relevance to ministers and seminary & university students. If I was in the Hamilton area, I would seriously consider organizing a 7-hour road trip, enjoying fellowship and conversation in each direction. It will a couple of days well spent, especially in these times when there is much lack of clarity (to put it charitably) surrounding the issues in our ecclesiastical circles.

The only hesitation I have in recommending this conference is that it is co-sponsored with the Discovery Institute which will make this conference heavily weighted towards intelligent design (ID). ID is certainly an important position among those who object to evolutionism, which (unlike the biological theory of evolution) claims nature is all there is and thus despises any ontological notion of a Creator. But it will be worth remembering that many corners of the ID movement accept selected aspects of the biological theory of evolution (as do some elements within young-earth creationism), and that besides ID there are a number of other ways in which Bible-believing Christians, including Reformed believers, conceive of the relationship between scientific theory and the Christian faith.

I have included below some material from the conference announcement. For full details, please see

Westminster Seminary will be hosting a Science and Faith Conference on March 12th and 13th, and would like to invite you to join us. This conference will be tackling some important questions: Are science and Faith compatible? What is the role of Christianity in the founding of modern science? How do we respond to the effect of Darwinism in our culture?

Speakers will include Dr. Vern Poythress, author of Redeeming Science; Dr. K. Scott Oliphint, author of Reasons for Faith; Dr. Stephen Meyer, author of Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design; Dr. Jay Richards, co-author of The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos Is Designed For Discovery; Dr. C. John Collins, author of Science and Faith: Friends or Foes?; Dr. John West, author of Darwin Day in America: How Our Politics and Culture Have Been Dehumanized in the Name of Science; Dr. Bruce Gordon, co-editor of The Nature of Nature; and Dr. Paul Nelson.

This conference will be of special interest to anyone in church leadership, seminary and college students, or those involved in both a scientific and a Christian community. The speakers will be available during breaks to go into more detail about some of the issues and topics they will discuss, and on Saturday there will be a formal question and answer period during lunch.