random thoughts after going to a TX State panel

Can religion and science coexist in a our theology and philosophy?  That was the topic at a panel discussion I attended on the TX State campus last Thursday.  The University is hosting a series of panels to promote religious diversity on campus.  The general public is invited to attend, and since I was not already booked that I night, I decided to check it out.

There were six men and women on the panel.  They ranged from a Protestant Biology professor to philosophy professors to a theologian.  What makes you a theologian, anyway?  From the synopsis of the night, you don’t have to be a believer in anything.  Simply study religion.  It was quite sad that the theologian was some how to represent a religious side.  He often was more theologically confusing than he was clear.  Although, he did say some very thought provoking things.  On the end of the table was Kathy Miller, a political activist.  According to her website, her organization’s mission is to counter the ‘religious right’.  She has popped up in one of my other blogs.

The audience was made up of about 35 students of all ages and backgrounds.  Most seemed to be there for some sort of extra credit.  There was a time for audience questions and comments.  I sat on the far right side of Centennial Hall and simply observed.

One of the questions that was asked was, “Why are American churches declining in attendance?”  I wanted to stand up and shout something, but decided not to.  The theologian took a shot at the answer and hit a few keys, but they all seemed to miss one very important aspect of modern churches… They are irrelevant.  They don’t relate.  They focus on the structure and government of the church.  They look at preserving the model instead of preaching the gospel.  We are starting to create a cliche, but it seems to sum it up nicely…’They are more worried with their religion, than their relationship with God.”  On the contrary, those churches that are being relevant to the culture are growing, and growing by the thousands.  Where they stand on theology is not the issue when it comes to growth.   Of course this could be dangerous to church leaders.

The panel discussion at TX State digressed to Kathy Miller stating her case for religion and education.  The students didn’t mind talking about it and the rest of the panelists sort of limped along in the discussion.  It was funny to see her trying to get the professors to back up some of her stances, but the professors didn’t necessarily play along.  The biology professor was consistent that science and religion could live peacefully together as long as science answers our questions of HOW things happen and religion answers our questions of WHY things happen.  We could deduce that he holds to his Christian theology while being a scientist.

They gave each audience member a piece of paper and asked us to fill out a survey and give feedback.  So, I mentioned that they should have active/local clergy on the panel (of any faith).  After all, the point of the discussion was to promote religious diversity.  Right?

I am not waiting around by the phone…



About pastorrobin

Hello. I pastor PromiseLand Church in San Marcos, TX. I am married to Erica, and we have 3 kids: Kennady, Jude, and Avery. All little ones! Visit our church site at www.psmchurch.com

Posted on April 16, 2009, in My Family, politics, Random Mumbling. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Would you be interested in going with me to panel discussions like this? I will post the next one I plan on attending.
    Also, I am thinking of creating a PromiseGroup that meets periodically to discuss topics like this. Would you be interested in that?

  2. Very Interesting, I think I would have a little laugh at “Why are American churches declining in attendance?” I hope they take your advise, I dont think they have done enough research to anwaser. Please do post when these go on. If I could find the Child care I would go.

  3. I agree with Jaylene. Id like to go but childcare might be an issue. So, yes, post the next one.

  4. Erica Gallardo

    I often attended panels such as this while at TX State…Evolution vs. Religion, Can you believe in Science and be a Christian etc. I agree with you Pastor, they were not enlightening. It always seemed like they just didn’t get the whole picture. They were mainly for extra credit and that’s a shame. Michael and I would love to attend with you.

  5. I would be interested in attending for two reasons, A) Texas State formerly known as SWTSU is my alma mater and anything collegiate is coolios (for me) and B) I am hoping it will be an outing that does not include the phrase, “Who has to use the potty now?”

  6. This sounds sort of like the blind leading the blind, but I would be interested in observing something like this. Maybe we should passs out fliers at the next one showing our church growth. A Promisegroup for these kinds of topics sounds interesting.

  7. I would definitely be interested in going to one of the meetings.
    Do wait around by the phone. Let’s all believe that Pastor will be called!!

  8. Eldon & I would definitely want to go ,that is if u let me Pastor…..:0) I promise to be……. I promise to be me.
    I think it would be interesting.

  9. I saw God in everything taught, in the literature, the science, the social studies. He even showed me how math is a type of universal language, a type of Babel tower (not that math is bad or evil). Two things that were supported throughout my studies was that all roads of discussion start and end with God and the belief in One God is where the roads separate and become narrow.

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