Faith in Context

Confronting the Big Questions

We’re excited to announce the start of a new speaker series that will explore Big Questions at the interface of science and our Christian faith! During the 2021/22 academic year, COS will host four speakers on the COS campus as well as other venues in our surrounding community. Our goal is to create authentic spaces and contexts for students, their friends, and their families to explore their faith commitments in view of emerging findings in the sciences. More information will be forthcoming in the coming months!

Dr. Jeff Hardin (Dec 9-10, 2021)

Jeff Hardin is a professor in the Department of Integrated Biology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where his research focuses on embryonic development. He has dual terminal degrees, both an M.Div and Ph.D., and thus, Jeff is intimately aware of the tensions that exist between science and theology. Jeff will provide a biological sketch of how he came to reconcile these two systems of knowledge and explore ways that science and faith can coexist and even complement each other.

December Schedule:
December 9th, 7:30-9 p.m. (Sanctuary)
Are Genesis and Science in Conflict? (Part 2)
If Dr. John Walton is correct and Genesis and Science are not in conflict, how do we begin to reconcile scientific findings with the Bible? Dr. Hardin will explore a range of ways committed Christians who are scientists have reconciled their faith with science, and explore principles for how to be a community of “faith seeking understanding.”

December 10th, 7:30-9 p.m. (Sanctuary)
Fearfully and Wonderfully Made? Embryology and Christian ethics. Dr. Hardin will explore how his embryology lab’s research complements his Christian faith and the Bible. He will also explore important bioethical issues that can be thorny for Christians in the public square.

Dr. Justin Barrett (February 24-25, 2022)

Justin is President of BluePrint 1543 and honorary Professor of Theology and the Sciences at St Andrews University School of Divinity. He is a psychologist of religion, having conducted research on how and why people believe in God. Justin’s talk will explore recent findings in his field while engaging two prevalent secular narratives: religion is nothing but a psychological crutch, and our notion of free will is just an illusion.

Dr. Mark Yarhouse (April 7-9, 2022)

Mark is a professor of Psychology at Wheaton College in Illinois, specializing in conflicts tied to religious identity and sexual and gender identity. Mark will explore emerging research on sexual development in adolescents, common assumptions or misconceptions on gender fluidity/dysphoria, and explore related theological perspectives through a various lens including parenting and pastoral ministry.