Youth Group Update: Faith & Science

Youth Group Update: Faith & Science

Writing about the “un-churched” in a letter to Christians in Rome, Paul has something very surprising to say. “What can be known about God is plain to them,” he writes, “because God has shown it to them… through the things God has made” (Romans 1:19-20). Taking this early Christian leader at his word, our Youth Group studied a few of the most magnificent, important, and disturbing creations of God using stories told by mainstream scientists and historians. We discovered how unusual it is to find Oxygen in an atmosphere, how distinct and diverse species of bacteria became one in the Eukaryotic cell, and how mind-blowing Einstein’s theory of time really is. We also shared fun, goofy stories about giant prehistoric mushrooms and flower bulbs that sold for as much as a house in 17th century Europe. Once we even stared into the face of tragedy and wrestled with the theological questions raised by the story of smallpox. In the process, a few of our youth rekindled their faith and many more got excited about learning about God through the stories that mainstream scientists tell about the world around us. This was important to do because the Barna Institute has identified “the church coming off as antagonistic to science” as one of the prominent reasons young Christians disconnect from the church in their late teens and early twenties. Rather than say, “Christianity is not opposed to mainstream science,” we strove to show this fact by listening to the stories that scientists tell without an agenda and by remaining mindful of points of connection to or tension with our faith. On the whole, the feedback on the unit has been extremely positive. The youth...