Posted by Sean Flynt on 2012-10-07

Samford's Center for Science and Religion will present a free inter-denominational conference on "Science, Religion, and the Church" Saturday, Oct. 20. The conference will be held at Dawson Memorial Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Event organizers said the conference will challenge the perceived conflicts between science and belief that trouble many Christians and alienate many non-believers. "Despite the common perception that science and religion are locked in mortal combat, it is only some scientists and persons of religious faith who fit the warfare profile," said Samford Mathematics and Computer Science professor Steve Donaldson.

In addition to helping the faithful overcome the stereotype of Christians as scientifically naïve, Donaldson said exploration of the topic can help broaden everyone's horizons. "Attendees will have the chance not only to obtain a more accurate view of science but to acquire a bigger view of God," he said. "The idea that a deeper understanding of the universe and how it works can contribute to both personal and congregational spiritual development is exciting. "This conference has the potential to be another step toward making the mind a full partner with the heart, soul and strength with respect to loving and serving God".

Dr. Karl Giberson will open the conference with a keynote address on the question, "Is Science at War with Christianity?". Giberson is former professor at Eastern Nazarene College and former executive vice-president of BioLogos Foundation. He has written or co-authored a number of books including Saving Darwin, The Language of Faith and Science (with Francis Collins), and The Wonder of the Universe.

Other conference sessions will include:

  • Can there be Purpose in a World of Chance? (Dr. Tom Woolley, Samford University)
  • Where Do We Come From? (Dr. Wilton Bunch, Samford University)
  • Is There a Place for the Soul in a Physical Brain? (Dr. George Keller, Samford University)
  • What Difference Does Interpretation Make? (Dr. Todd Harrington, Dawson Memorial Baptist Church)
  • The Seven Deadly Sins of Science and Religion (Dr. Steve Donaldson, Samford University)

Free lunch will be provided for up to five ministers and members per congregation if registered by October 12.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.