Friday, March 02, 2012

Science and Christianity resources: Test of Faith

One of the things I'm always on the lookout for are good quality materials to help folks think seriously about the interface of science and Christianity. It is important that the material not assume much science literacy. It also cannot assume too much biblical or theological literacy either. I'm not happy to type those last two sentences, but that's the reality in my situation. On the other hand, I want material that will help people engage the topic at a reasonably complex level. Today I want to share my experience with a particular curriculum.

The past few weeks, I have used the "Test of Faith" materials with both community college students and an adult class at my church. The materials have worked well with both groups.

"Test of Faith" is a DVD and participant guide that starts with the premise that the basic claims of modern science are true and that the basic tenets of Christianity are true. The aim of the course is to encourage people to think about how science and Christianity "fit" together. They do this by using short video clips of scientists who are Christian speaking about various topics. The materials are set up to use for three to six class sessions. And within each session one can choose from various approaches, from a basic introduction to in-depth discussion. Some of the topics covered include: the ways science and religion might engage each other, the Big Bang, evolution, creationism, and intelligent design, what it means to be human, the mind/brain relationship and the ethics of genetic testing/manipulation. There are also several "bonus interviews" that cover the environment, emergence, the image of God and so on.

One of the things I appreciate about the "Test of Faith" materials is that it doesn't ignore or explain away difficult topics. For example, the topic of suffering is discussed and it is addressed as a serious theological problem. No "answers" are giving. Some approaches to the topic are offered.

There is a wealth of material included on the DVD and it is set up to be very flexible. If your group is particularly interesting in discussing, for example, the fall and suffering or the environment there is adequate material and support in the Leader's Guide to help you do that.

So I encourage you to check out the "Test of Faith" website and see what you think. I would be interested in what science and religion materials you have used and found helpful... or not helpful.

Here is the trailer;

Here is a link to their Youtube channel. You will get a flavor of what the course is like, plus it is just really interesting. 

No comments: