This summer, DiscoveryU will launch a new category of courses specially designed for adult students who desire live class sessions and an interactive, cohort-style learning community. The 12 planned course offerings will be arranged in four topical modules: Science and Christianity, Cosmos by Design, Biology by Design, and Mind by Design. The six weeks of instruction for each course will include four Zoom sessions, weekly reading assignments from required texts, supplementary study materials, and an instructor-led discussion forum. In addition, students will be guided through the development of a polished capstone project — such as a presentation or study guide — that can be used in their respective ministry or vocational contexts. This format will provide a level of personal mentoring, accountability, and encouragement that isn’t possible in automated, self-paced learning options. The course content is best described as semi-academic; it’s rigorous yet accessible for motivated learners. No previous formal education in the sciences, philosophy, or theology is required for successful completion.
Deconstructing the Warfare Thesis
The pilot course, Science and Christianity I: A Historical Exploration, begins on July 10 and will be the first in a three-part module taught by yours truly. In a fascinating grand tour of the historical interaction of science and the Christian faith, we will examine ancient cosmologies, early theologians’ attitudes towards natural philosophy, the complexities of the scientific revolution, the pre-Darwin heyday of natural theology, the rise of Darwinism in America, the 20th-century physics revolution, and the current conversation. Particular attention will be given to episodes such as the so-called “Dark Ages,” the infamous Galileo Affair, and the Scopes “Monkey Trial” of 1925 for the purpose of dispelling popular myths that continue to fuel the widespread thesis of “warfare” between science and faith. The overarching goal of the course is to provide a foundational understanding of the historical complexities of the intersection between science and Christianity and equip students to address the distorted narratives that skeptics often use to support the allegation that Christianity has been an obstacle to scientific progress since late antiquity.
The second course in the Science and Christianity module will pick up where the first left off. It will cover the essential philosophical issues surrounding the contemporary science and faith debate and analyze the inherent weaknesses of the materialist worldview. The third course will explore the broad spectrum of views on the best approach to the biblical creation narrative. Within an environment of intellectual hospitality and from the perspective of “mere creation,” students will learn about the different types of theistic evolution, progressive creationism, and young-earth creationism. The course will end with a short introduction to the theological issues related to the question of a historical Adam. Scientific issues pertaining to human origins will be covered in the biological design module, which will launch in early 2024.
Are you an educator, ministry leader, STEM professional, parent, or simply an avid lifetime learner? I invite you to join me in July for Science and Christianity I: A Historical Exploration. Registration is now open at DiscoveryU, and early bird pricing won’t last long!