meets mere Christianity
Here's a comment from one Amazon reader that offers an introduction:
“I absolutely loved this book. I found it to address most of my concerns involving Christian faith and proven science. The book really takes on so many tough topics that matter in the context of attracting and retaining Christians. This honest reflection truly empowers the church to be more inclusive and inspires 'nones' to see the love of Christ and scientific reason as compatible with one another. Thank you Greg for such a thoughtful book which I am excited to share with others!” Marc, an Amazon reader of Mere Science
Ok, now to Karin Öberg, Professor of Astronomy at Harvard University and leader of the Öberg Astrochemistry Group at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. I encourage you to read her recent interview with BioLogos (the faith-science nonprofit that the head of the National Institutes of Health Francis Collins helped start).
She was commenting that, after finishing her undergraduate studies at Caltech and beginning her Ph.D. in Leiden, and her path toward Christianity and especially Catholicism. She is a walking rejoinder to those who assert that you must decided between being a top scientist and a Christian. By the way, guess who shows up? C.S. Lewis
“The next book I ordered was Mere Christianity, which is a dangerous book to read if you are trying to stay agnostic, especially if you’re primed, as I was…. Being well-primed, I got through about half the book before acknowledging that I believed what C.S. Lewis believed.” Karin Öberg, Harvard astronomer
“Believed what C. S. Lewis believed”—let’s let that sink in for a moment...
OK, has that settled? Lewis a non-scientist, has affected scholars of Christians in the sciences to consider faith. Francis Collins, of course, is Exhibit A. (You can find even more about Lewis's influence in this excellent PBS interview with Collins.)
In the interview she was asked about the alleged conflict between faith and science.
I don’t think students come into college with an intellectually rigorous reason for why there should be a conflict between science and religion. I think they just pick it up because when they see things about science and religion in media, it’s always a conflict. The Catholic leadership is very clear that there is no conflict between science and religion, yet many Catholic students I talk to think that to be good Catholics, they can’t take seriously some scientific claims. So I think it’s something they’ve subconsciously absorbed through society rather than deeply thought about. Most of the time when I talk to students, we can very quickly remove major barriers. For example, a common one is, how can you accept that there are miracles and at the same time do science? I think this misunderstands both natural laws and miracles." Karin ÖbergI'll close then with one last question on what it means to bring Christian faith to a top-notch secular environment. I find the answer inspiring and don't need additional comment. (Res ipsa loquitur, as the saying goes.)
I feel like there are so many stories of Christians that have had a great struggle in academia and for whom living out their faith has been problematic in different ways. While these people do exist and those struggles are real, I want people to know that this is not always the case. I have had a smooth and joyful journey being very open about my faith at the very secular place that Harvard is. And by being open about my faith, I’ve had many meaningful encounters at Harvard and many good discussions with my colleagues. I think it’s important to have both kinds of stories out there—academia is often painted as a very dark environment for Christians, but it doesn’t have to be." Karin Öberg