When there are so many other crucial areas in which to serve the body of Christ, why are we spending our energy and resources convening Christianity and science gatherings? Our four most important reasons are:
- Witness to the unbelieving world,
- Encouragement of the saints,
- Nurture and support of our young people,
- Vitality of worship and fellowship in the body of Christ.
Witness to the unbelieving world
John records some of Christ's final words to us:
"By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35, ESV).
Much heat is being generated in the body of Christ over faith and science issues, much of it public, much of it quite bitter, especially in the blogosphere. The witness of the body of Christ is being significantly hampered by the acrimony of this public interaction.
Encouragement of the saints
A key part of our mission is to help counter the erroneous cultural presumption that science refutes Christianity. In fact, science is substantially consistent with the Biblical view of the universe; much more so than with any other worldview. It shouldn’t be a surprise to us as Christians that science supports Christianity. God made the world and gave us His written word and therefore, because of who He is, the world and the Bible are consistent, within the limitations of man's understanding and the mysteries God chose not to reveal to us.
Nurture and support of our young people
Barna surveys indicate that 50 to 70 percent of Christian young people abandon their faith in college. Surely much of this has to do with faith and science issues. The health of the Church in coming years depends critically on better nurturing, teaching, and mentoring of our young people in faith and science.
Vitality of worship and fellowship in the body of Christ
The heat generated and the energy expended within the body of Christ over defending one of several faith/science positions is hurting fellowship and dissipating the precious resources that Christ has given us. Even when the interactions are not acrimonious, they expend the energy of our leaders and often leave our people sadly divided and confused. The Church would have more vibrant worship, rich fellowship, and effective service if the level of faith/science conflict were reduced.
What About Heresy?
Notwithstanding the above perspectives, there is such a thing as heresy in the faith/science arena, and there are related limits to gracious dialogue. In our effort (The Vibrant Dance of Faith & Science Initiative) we do not want to give platform to or encourage any heretical views. However, is most of the current faith/science conflict within the body of Christ over truly heretical issues that actually put one outside the body of Christ? We believe that, in most cases, it is not.
One of our key missions is to promote gracious dialogue among orthodox Christians to engender better understanding of the views held by other Christians with whom they disagree.
Each of us on the Vibrant Dance Team and, to our knowledge, all of the speakers whom we invite, believe the orthodox Christian faith as expressed in the creedal statements that have unified Protestant, Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox Christians across centuries and continents: the Apostle’s Creed and the Nicene Creed.