Mere Science and Christian Faith: Bridging the Divide with Emerging Adults / by Greg Cootsona. 11.2.2018

IVP Books ISBN 9780830838141

Adult Rating: 5

Greg Cottsona, writer and researcher with a Ph.D. from Theological Union, draws from his experience in ministry with young adults (emerging adults to use Cottsona’s terminology and referring to 18-30 year olds) and his theological expertise, to explore how faith and science are not in a wrestling match where one will be the victor. Mere Science and Christian Faith is written conversationally rather than didactically, and provides a field guide that identifies challenges and creative ways faith can integrate and collaborate with science, whether in concern for environment, an understanding of human sexuality, or the ubiquitous presence of smart media which changes how we relate to each other and the community. Quotes from young adults that relate to chapter themes are sprinkled throughout the narrative. Current scientists like Katherine Hayhoe and Elaine Ecklund are cited, as well as writers on the philosophy of science like Ian Barbour, and theologians like Arthur Peacocke.

Cottsona notes that emerging adults are leaving the church in record numbers or that increasing numbers identify as “spiritual but not religious.” He is concerned that the church too often creates a suspicion of mainstream science, and that when the church does talk about science, it often focuses on conflict instead of embracing that God as first cause works through secondary, intermediate, and natural causes. He sees it as a natural given for mainstream scientists to hold onto Christian faith.

Both the narrative and footnotes point readers to further resources in print and online.

Leroy Hommerding, CLJ