Resourcing Discussions Concerning Racism, Privilege, and Contextual Theology

I was asked to provide a list of resources I have found helpful in thinking and shaping issues concerning racism and privilege. I’ve added resources that also deal with contextual theology because we all read from a place, a position, a framework. Privilege is often assumed and is typically hidden from our eyes, especially when we benefit from those systems. As such, it is helpful to be made aware of our position and its underlying assumptions.

Many of these titles have been very formative for me. Some of the ones I will list have been good to read just to hear dissenting voices from my own. I don’t necessarily agree with every position taken in every book, but I have learned something from each one and therefore offer them as helpful starting points to further conversation and learning. I will also try to categorize each book so that they can be held together with other books that approach privilege, racism, and contextual theology through a particular lens (i.e., preaching, community development, etc.). Some of these resources do not deal with privilege directly, but I certainly see application and overlap. I hope these are helpful!


  • Dem Dry Bones: Preaching, Death, and Hope by Luke Powery
  • Preaching as Weeping, Confession, and Resistance: Radical Responses to Radical Evil by Christine M. Smith
  • Toward a Womanist Homiletic: Katie Canon, Alice Walker, and Emancipatory Proclamation by Donna E. Allen
  • They Like to Never Quit Praisin’ God: The Role of Celebration in Preaching by Frank A. Thomas (A development of Dr. Henry Mitchell’s Celebration and Experience in Preaching)
  • Listening to Listeners: Homiletical Case Studies by John McClure
  • Decolonizing Preaching: The Pulpit as Postcolonial Space by Sarah Travis
  • Blue Note Preaching in a Post-Soul World by Otis Moss III
  • The End of Words: The Language of Reconciliation in a Culture of Violence by Richard Lischer
  • The Liberating Pulpit by Justo Gonzalez
  • The Word Before the Powers by Charles Campbell
  • Preaching at the Crossroads: How the World – And Our Preaching – Is Changing by David Lose
  • Preaching as Local Theology and Folk Art by Leonora Tubbs Tisdale
  • The Journey and Promise of African American Preaching by Kenyatta Gilbert
  • Freedom Faith: The Womanist Vision of Prathia Hall by Courtney Pace
  • Dietrich: Bonhoeffer and the Theology of a Preaching Life by Michael Pasquarello III
  • African American Preaching: The Contribution of Gardner C. Taylor by Gerald Lamont Thomas


  • Reading from this Place, Vol. 1 by Fernando F. Segovia (collection of essays)
  • Soundings in Cultural Criticism: Perspectives and Methods in Culture, Power, and Identity in the New Testament by Francisco Lozada, Jr.
  • Interpretation Theory: Discourse and the Surplus of Meaning by Paul Riceour
  • Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation by James K. A. Smith


  • When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor… And Yourself by Steve Corbett
  • Making Neighborhoods Whole: A Handbook for Christian Community Development by Wayne Gordon and John Perkins
  • The New Parish: How Neighborhood Churches are Transforming Mission, Discipleship and Community by Paul Spark
  • The Art of Loading Brush: New Agrarian Writings by Wendell Berry
  • The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture by Wendell Berry


  • Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? by Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram Kendi
  • Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass
  • Night by Elie Wiesel
  • Jesus and the Disinherited by Howard Thurman
  • The Cross and the Lynching Tree by James Cone
  • The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race by Willie James Jennings
  • Naming the Powers by Walter Wink
  • Unmasking the Powers by Walter Wink
  • Engaging the Powers by Walter Wink
  • Covenant of Peace: The Missing Peace in New Testament Theology and Ethics by Willard M. Swartley
  • Migrations of the Holy: God, State, and the Political Meaning of the Church by William Cavanaugh
  • Being Consumed: Economics and Christian Desire by William Cavanaugh
  • Theopolitical Imagination: Christian Practices of Space and Time by William Cavanaugh
  • The New Asceticism: Sexuality, Gender, and the Quest for God by Sarah Coakley
  • The Blackwell Companion to Christian Ethics by Stanley Hauerwas (collected essays)
  • Prayers for a Privileged People by Walter Brueggemann
  • Acts: A Theological Commentary on the Bible by Willie James Jennings
  • White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo
  • Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God by Kelly Brown Douglas
  • Rethinking Incarceration: Advocating for Justice that Restores by Dominique DuBois Gilliard
  • The Genesis of Liberation: Biblical Interpretation in the Antebellum Narratives of the Enslaved by Emerson Powery and Rodney Sadler, Jr.
  • Can “White” People Be Saved?: Triangulating Race, Theology, and Mission by Love Sechrest, Johnny Ramirez-Johnson, Amos Yong, et al
  • A New Sense of Direction” by Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nahisi Coates
  • Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram Kendi
  • God Has a Dream: A Vision of Hope for Our Time by Desmond Tutu
  • The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race by Willie James Jennings
  • “The Content and Method of Black Theology” by James Cone (The Journal of Religious Thought)


  • Missions and Money: Affluence as a Missionary Problem Revisited by Jonathan Bonk
  • Cross-cultural Partnerships: Navigating the Complexities of Money and Mission by Mary T. Lederleitner
  • Going Global: A Congregation’s Introduction to Mission Beyond Our Borders by Gary Nelson
  • Serving With Eyes Wide Open: Doing Short-term Missions with Cultural Intelligence by David Livermore
  • Ministering Cross-culturally: An Incarnational Model for Personal Relationships by Sherwood Lingenfelter


  • Jonah’s Gourd Vine by Zora Neale Hurston
  • A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines
  • Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe


  • Decoded by Jay-Z (preachers should read this)
  • Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich
  • The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap by Stephanie Coontz


  • “Just Mercy”
  • “The Banker”
  • “Hidden Figures”
  • “13th”
  • “Schindler’s List”
  • “Le Chambon: La Colline Aux Mille Enfants”
  • “Of Gods and Men”
  • “Roots”
  • “The Mission”
  • “Mandela: A Long Walk to Freedom”
  • “Selma”
  • “Mississippi Burning”


(start around 30:38 mark)

“7 Practices of Effective Ministry” by Andy Stanley, Reggie Joiner, and Lane Jones

The bibliographic material in this book was scant.  The purpose of the book, however, does not dictate that there should be a wealth of resources.  It is mainly a reflection of what North Point pastors have found to work best in their context and how it can possibly be helpful to other churches.  As such, it is predicated on their experience, rather than built upon research of others.

Overall, I thought the book was helpful in a number of ways.  The “parable” at the beginning related everything to baseball, which helped to elucidate the material before delving into it a little more deeply in the second half of the book.  Essentially, as the title suggests, there are 7 practices that guide effective ministry: clarify the win; think steps, not programs; narrow the focus; teach less for more; listen to outsiders; replace yourself; and work on it.

“Clarify the win” orients people toward the goal of the organization.  If people do not know what the goal is, they will make up their own or they will exit the organization.  “People love to win.”  Set them up for success.  Clarifying the win keeps everyone moving in the same direction.

“Think steps, not programs” was a significant one for me.  It asks the question: “Where do we want people to end up and how will we help them get there?”  This frees up the organization to get rid of programs that are not in line with the direction that the organization is happening.  It also breaks everything down into manageable steps that guide people along the journey.

“Narrow the focus” is another way of saying “simplify the organization.”  That does not mean that it needs to be simplistic.  However, by saying “no” to some things, it allows us to say “yes” to more important or better things.  Trying to do too much can often leave the organization stretched beyond what it can manage.  This typically leads to doing a bunch of things that may not be done well.  By focusing on a few things and doing them well, you significantly increase the quality of what you are doing.  And, this increases the probability that this will more significantly shape the people you are trying to reach.

“Teach less for more” means that you don’t have to communicate everything to everyone.  Communicate, instead, only what is important to the people that most need to know it.  In baseball scenarios, it’s not important for the pitcher to know everything about the organizational structure, he just needs to know what is essential about pitching.  By concentrating the information that you are feeding individuals, you help them be more successful because they can focus on what they are doing and how they are doing it.

“Listen to outsiders” keeps the organization from becoming self-focused.  Once an organization becomes self-focused, its death may be a foregone conclusion.  Listening to outsiders can help you see whether or not the organization is relevant to the needs of those it is trying to reach and serve.  Furthermore, it can help the organization to push past faulty assumptions about what it should be doing.  In order to reach your audience, you have to know your audience.

“Replace yourself” is self-explanatory.  In my experience, this is vital, especially within the Church.  This is really a matter of discipleship.  Helping others to grow to be able to do the things that you do does not make you less important.  But, it does help the ministry sustain itself beyond a single generation.  Good leaders know how to pass on what they have been taught themselves.

“Work on it” is the final practice.  Nothing will go perfectly.  Making changes takes time and effort and patience.  Creating an environment where you can ask difficult questions and remain committed to one another is essential if an organization is to continue growing and thriving.  These 7 practices are a continual cycle of renewal.

To conclude, I really thought the book was helpful overall.  I wasn’t crazy about some of the business language that creeps into the book.  I don’t think people are consumers and Christ is the commodity while the Church is the marketplace.  However, the book provides very practical insight into ways that organizations can continue to thrive and adapt to a constantly changing culture, while not compromising the Gospel message.  Finally, as the book mentions, none of this is important if the Holy Spirit is not in the process.  Ultimately, it is God building the house, we are simply called to respond to God’s directing.

Genesis 1: Comparative Analysis of Terrence Fretheim and Bill Arnold

Written in poetic prose, Genesis 1 contains a rhythm and rhyme that provide a certain meter to the content.  This rhythm strengthens the overall sense of orderliness inherent in God’s ordering of tōhû wābōhû.  Other creation narratives from the ancient Middle East contain many parallels with the Hebrew narrative.  Arnold maintains that Genesis 1 is not explicitly polemical in nature to these other narratives.  He does recognize the parallels and suggests that it is implicitly polemical.  At this point, Arnold seems to be splitting hairs.  First, nobody can really know if this was or was not the intent of the author.  Second, we can recognize that it is polemical, whether that is the intention or not.

Fretheim agrees with Arnold by stating that God acts in entirely different ways in Genesis 1 than does Marduk and the other gods of ancient Middle Eastern creation narratives.  The gods of the other nations are violent, whereas Genesis 1 describes God as merely speaking to simultaneously command and invite Creation into being.  God does not struggle with chaos.  The watery deep is not like Tiamat, but is invited to cooperate with God.  Fretheim also uses science to back up his position concerning chaos.  Although chaos is randomness, that randomness falls within certain boundaries.  There is orderliness that proceeds from chaos, although it still may not be predictable.

Arnold states: “What God has created in vv. 3-5 is time, which is more important than space for this chapter” (39).  Although time may be an important part of the Creation (i.e., seasons and days), space plays an equally important part in the process.  Day 1-3 is the creation of space, which is then filled on days 4-6.  Day 7 can even be framed as a creating of “space” for rest.  Life does not happen without the proper “space” in which life can be sustained.  Fretheim contests that light and space are inseparable dimensions, contra Arnold.  Both are vitally important aspects of Creation that enable life.

Fretheim employed the imagery of the cosmos being formed in the likeness of the tabernacle.  Each day moves you closer to the Holy of Holies, embodied in the Sabbath.  Although I had thought about the tabernacle being a microcosm of the Creation, I had not considered the reverse in Genesis 1.  This is a powerful image in that all of Creation is gathered in this symphony of worship, where life is created, blessed and sustained.  Thus, space seems to be equally important!

In connection with this imagery, Genesis 1 revolves around the number seven.  The first sentence is made of seven words, the second has fourteen, and the third sentence has thirty-five.  Overall, there are 469 words, which is a multiple of seven.  “God ‘saw and pronounced creation ‘good’ seven times; ‘earth’ or ‘land’… appears twenty-one times; ‘God’ is repeated thirty-five times.  There are also seven days of Creation.  Seven is a significant number in this passage, connoting wholeness or completion.  Fretheim notes the differentiated order that is represented in this number’s use and how that reflects the character of the whole passage.

The phrase “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness,” has been interpreted in a number of ways.  Typically, the Christian faith has understood this in Trinitarian terms: Father, Son, and Spirit conversing.  Another way to understand this is to say that there is a heavenly host that is being referred to here.  I have heard both of these positions before; however, I was unaware of a third possibility.  Arnold suggests that God is simply deliberating with God’s self “about the creation of humankind… God himself decisively steps in to make humankind” (44).  This seems only mildly different than the Trinitarian formulation.

Fretheim, on the other hand, understands this to be a heavenly host rather than God’s inner dialogue and deliberation.  Fretheim bases this interpretation on other passages in the Old Testament that record the “heavenly council.”  According to Fretheim, the heavenly host has been replaced by humanity as “God’s new pantheon.”

Overall, both Arnold and Fretheim have strengths and weaknesses in their interpretations of Genesis 1.  Fretheim couples his interpretation with scientific undergirding to help shed light on the complexities of creation.  This also happens to be the weakness of his argument, especially given the changing nature of science.  This potentially limits some of its future usefulness.

Arnold offers a less holistic view of the passage.  Most of his commentary on Genesis 1 focuses on its similarities and dissimilarities with the ancient creation stories (i.e., Enuma Elish).  Although this is an important thing to consider, his argument is weak in trying to show that Genesis 1 is not explicitly polemical.  As noted above, that is not something that can be proven.  We only have the text as it is now… which is polemical when read with the other ancient creation stories.  This detracts from Arnold’s interpretation.  However, Arnold does provide some contrasts to Fretheim that allow you to see other available options.

Science Versus Religion: Conflicting or Compatible?

I.                   Introduction

Science and religion have become increasingly critical of each other.  History has many examples where these two have butted heads, scrambling for power.  Religion, when confronted with ideas seemingly in opposition to their beliefs, has been skeptical of scientific findings.  Science has sometimes viewed religion as overly simplistic, blinded by ignorance.  The result has been an escalation of truth claims from both sides, each seeking to establish itself as the authority for all truth with little room, or respect, for the other’s contributions.  The logical outcome quite often has been a rejection of one or the other.  However, science and religion do not and have not always operated as separate entities but as complimentary disciplines.

Although there are plenty of examples that show where each discipline has fought against the other, there are also many examples of great men of faith making tremendous contributions to the realm of science… and vice versa.  Through such efforts religion and science have made great advances in the quest for knowledge and truth.  I believe that science and religion are not incompatible but should be used to build a more comprehensive portrait of the ways in which our world works.

To begin, I believe it is important to state what this paper will not set out to do.  This paper is not designed to be a defense to prove or disprove the validity of religion.  In discussing Religion, I will use Christianity specifically simply because it has had the greatest conflict with Science.  What I hope to accomplish is to simply show that science and religion can work together.

First, I will claim that Science and Religion are in search of a common goal.  I will define Truth, Science, Religion, and Transcendence.  Next, I will comment on the problem of God’s transcendence and immanence and its impact on Science and Religion’s conflict.  Furthermore, I will argue that Science and Religion do not ask or answer the same types of questions to reach that goal.  Next, I will comment on the argument against Religion as too biased for compatibility with Science.  Finally, I will conclude my thoughts.

II.                Definitions of Truth, Science, Religion and Transcendent

Truth is the motivating thrust of both Science and Religion.  It is the very goal at which Science and Religion aim.  Both believe that there is Truth to be attained.  This is the fundamental reason why Science and Religion have been found in conflict with one another.  This essay, like Brad S. Gregory’s paper:

…proceeds on the minimalist assumption that truth cannot contradict truth – the principle of noncontradiciton [sic] is necessary for the pursuit of truth and for rationality whether in science or in religion… Quite plainly, the principle of non-contradiction makes it obvious that not all such beliefs can be true.

Thus, if one makes a truth claim in opposition to the other, there is the obvious result of conflict and struggle to undermine each other.   The power and credibility to speak as an authority is in jeopardy if this struggle is lost.

As such, it is important that we define Truth, which seems to be a common goal for both Religion and the Sciences.  According to the Dictionary of Philosophy and Psychology:

’Truth’ and ‘falsehood’ are used in two main senses, according as (a) our belief in some proposition, (b) the proposition which we believe, is said to be true or false.  True and false belief may be defined, respectively, as belief in propositions which are true or false: and error denotes false belief.

Thus, something cannot be both true and false, as the principle of non-contradiction asserts.  However, as stated, there are corresponding errors or falsehoods for every truth.

I believe it is also helpful to define both science and religion, especially since they are both large in scope and have many different branches or disciplines.  Science is “Knowledge; in particular, knowledge in the eminent sense as the outcome of the systematic and trustworthy functioning of the cognitive processes.  Systematic co-ordination and certainty have, therefore, often been specified as the notes of science.”  It is an observational method for understanding the natural world.

            Religion is a little more difficult to define.  The Dictionary of Philosophy and Psychology defines Religion as:

Subjectively, the experience which arises out of man’s conscious relation to some transcendent agent or agents, upon whose attitude towards him his [sic] welfare is believed in some measure to depend; objectively, the body of beliefs and practices which arise in connection with this experience, and which are ordinarily associated with some form of institutional life.

Although this definition might be disputed as being exclusive of some religions that do not believe in a deity, it is usually this definition of religion which most conflicts with Science.  Thus, Religion, for the purposes of this paper, will be defined as belief in a Transcendent reality or agent.

Transcendent will also be an important term in discussing Religion.  Within Judeo-Christian thought, which will be the specific religion I use in this paper, God is thought to be a transcendent being.  This becomes extremely important in our later discussion.  Transcendent means:

…applies to whatever lies beyond the realm of experience and of knowledge… Transcendent is opposed to immanent… It is particularly used in religious philosophy as defining the relation of God to the world; the transcendent theory… holding to the existence of God external to the universe, the immanent theory holding to the presence of God in the world.

III.             The Transcendence of God

The transcendence of God may seem like a totally inappropriate subject in this discussion.  However, looking at this particular subject will prove instrumental in how Religion and Science can cooperate, as well as, their limitations in making claims on each other.

Brad S. Gregory writes an informative excerpt on John Duns Scotus’ view on the transcendence of God and the following implications that impact us today.  John Duns Scotus, a medieval scholar and author, believed:

…insofar as God exists, he belongs and must belong conceptually at least in certain respects to the same ontological order as everything else that exists… Therefore God is a ‘highest’’supernatural’ being alongside other beings – which is why Descartes, for example, thought God could be ‘clearly and distinctly’ conceived.  So the supernatural and natural are brought within the same conceptual and causal scheme.

Thus, you have an open window for God to be equated with nature in scientific studies.  This line of thinking leads both scientists and people of faith to the conclusion that God can definitively be disproven or proven, respectively, through scientific endeavors.  It is little wonder why there is so much bickering from both sides when it comes to interpreting scientific information.  However, this is a major problem in understanding God, as well as, the limitations of Science.

A traditional Christian views God as both immanent in creation and yet transcendent from His creation.  “God viewed in this way is neither outside nor inside his creation, but altogether beyond spatial categories: divine immanence is therefore not the opposite of divine transcendence, but its correlate.  Only because God is radically distinct from his creation can he be fully present to everything in it.”

As Brad S. Gregory discusses in his article, science does not deal with the supernatural, only the natural.  Since God exists outside of the natural world, although He also participates in the system, He cannot be defined by the system.  He is not testable or subject to experimentation.  As such, God’s existence cannot be certified or otherwise discarded through scientific means.  Thus, to employ Science for such means is to grossly misunderstand God’s nature.

IV.             Differences in Science and Religion Questions

As mentioned previously, both Science and Religion are seeking Truth.  They both hold that there is truth to be found and that conflicting truth claims cannot ultimately stand together.  The conflict between these two entities has arisen largely due to this fact.  However, there is a misunderstanding between both Science and Religion at this point as well.  Although they are both in pursuit of Truth they do not ask the same types of questions, nor do they use the same methods for deducing the truth of their claims.  It is my conviction that Science and Religion are compatible for this reason.  They are looking at Truth from different perspectives and disciplines.  I will explain further the types of questions each discipline employs and why it is problematic when each oversteps its bounds.

Let us first look at Science and the type of question it asks within the scope of its field.  As noted previously, Science uses the method of observation to construct how the world works.  It asks questions of “how.”  How did the world come to exist?  How do particles work?  How does the brain work?  How do plants make food?  These are testable, definable questions that may be studied with the power of observation and intuition.  If a theory is incorrect, you modify it and test again until you find a solution.  In a quest for knowledge, this may not be expedient but it is satisfying as a method for learning.  It is little wonder people desire the same principles to be applied to Religion as well.  For, if one can observe it then it can be tested and validated or proven false.

Next, let us look at Religion’s question by which it operates.  Religion seeks to answer the question “why.”  Why is there something rather than nothing?  Why am I here?  Why is there evil and pain (although not every religion believes in evil)?  These are the types of questions which Religion seeks to answer.  These questions deal with subjects that are not easily, if at all, observable.  However, these beliefs are still subject to the principles of reason.  Their tendency has been to look at metaphysical explanations for why things have come about.

The tension and the problem is found when Science or Religion move beyond the scope of their question that they are suited to answer.  Science cannot answer the “why” questions that Religion seeks to answer and vice versa.  For instance, an article by Chris McGillion details an attempt to explain off Religious experience with neuroscience:

Many neuroscientists claim they can locate and explain brain functions that produce everything from religious visions to sensations of bliss, timelessness or union with a higher power… By stimulating the cerebral region presumed to control notions of self, Persinger has been able to induce in hundreds of subjects a ‘sensed presence’ of which only the subjects themselves are aware.

Although this study may indeed show that such experiences can be stimulated, it does not disprove the existence of God.  One can simply say that God created the brain to be able to experience such things.  Plus, it does not hold that just because something is not directly observable that it thus does not exist.  For instance, one cannot prove or disprove the love I had for my grandfather who is now deceased.  It might even be possible to stimulate my brain to experience some of those same feelings or a memory of my grandfather, but this does not prove or disprove that “love’s” existence.  Thus, Science makes a fundamentally flawed move from reality to metaphysics.

Religion tends to make the same mistake in the reverse direction.  For instance, Galileo was a tremendous scientist who further built on the work of Copernicus.  Galileo was able to show that the earth traveled around the Sun in an orbit.  However, due to its conflict with stories within the Bible, Galileo was called to trial.  The trial ended in Galileo recanting his teaching.  Unfortunately, it was some time before the Church consented to the findings of Copernicus and Galileo.  Timothy Moy comments, “For me, one of the greatest culprits in the tale is something that still plagues us: a confusion of boundaries between these two ways of understanding the world, and the false belief that expertise in one grants an authority to speak in the other.”

Science and Religion can both learn from these examples.  Within the confines and boundaries of their said discipline, they can each help us to see Truth holistically.  They can together act as corrective balances for viewing our world.  Science and Religion become problematic and dangerous when they overstep the boundaries of their discipline.  It should be noted by both Science and Religion, scientific inquiry and methodology cannot justify or falsify the existence of God.  To try to do so is to fundamentally step out of Science.

V.                Argument Against Religion’s Bias

One of the arguments against Science and Religion being compatible is the history of atrocities committed by the Church.  It is true that the Church lashed out against Galileo’s theory.  It is also true that hurtful and hateful things have been done in the name of some deity.  It is also true that some of the greatest crimes and atrocities have been conducted by avowed atheists.  However, this is simply to look for a last ditch effort to refute each other’s world view.  There have been a great number of atheists that have accomplished tremendous things.  Likewise, there have been a great number of religious people that have done likewise.  Again, these are not scientific conversations, but valuations outside the realm of Science.

Furthermore, it has been argued that people that ascribe to religion are overly simplistic in thinking, such as the Bible literalists.  Thus, they conclude that all Religion is naïve and does not value Truth as embodied by Science.  However, this may be the view of the extreme positions from both Religion and Science.  “Polls show that 90 percent of the American people describe themselves as religious… Yet, perhaps surprisingly, of Americans in the twelve largest Christian denominations, 89.6 percent belong to churches that support evolution education – a subject where science and religion are often perceived to be in disagreement.”  Thus, it does not seem that Science and Religion need be mutually exclusive.

History speaks a great deal for itself in the possibility of Religion and Science working together.  Think of some of the greatest contributions made to Science.  Many of these contributions have been made by individuals of faith.  Martin H. Levinson comments:

While it is true that science has furnished theology with a more verifiable sense of man’s place in the world (e.g., scientific evidence showing progressive increases in the age of the earth and size of the universe has progressively undercut literalist biblical readings), it is also true that Christian theology provided significant institutional support (patronage) for studies of the natural world in the last millennium; the scholastic tradition of disputation was important to the advancement of science; and many founders of modern science were devout religious believers (e.g., Kepler, Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, Boyle).

From a Christian perspective, all truth is God’s Truth.  So, in fact, those ascribing to Religion need not be in conflict with Science and its endeavors for Truth.  As mentioned earlier, they can be great contributors to scientific discovery.  When conflict does occur, we may simply look at it as an opportunity to learn more about our world.  It is not a cause for alarm or mudslinging from either side.

VI.             Conclusion

It is vital that we remember the boundaries of each discipline.  To make scientific conclusions from the Bible would be naïve and no longer theology.  Likewise, to make a theological conclusion (there is no God) from scientific pursuits would be equally naïve.  As shown, Science cannot prove or disprove, justify or falsify claims pertaining to God.  It is unreasonable for either side to try to employ Science in this fashion.  There can be a constructive dialogue between the two disciplines, if the underlying purpose of each is maintained.  John F. Haught states, “Both science and religion ultimately flow out of the same ‘radical’ eros for truth that lies at the heart of our existence.  And so, it is because of their shared origin in this fundamental concern for truth that we may never allow them simply to go their separate ways.”  Indeed, they may well lose out on a valid view of Truth that can better inform, leaving them open to extreme forms of fundamentalism not receptive to open communication… which leaves Religion and Science both biased.

Works Cited

Baldwin, James Mark [ed.]. Dictionary of Philosophy and Psychology . . . Volume II. New York: Macmillan, 1901.

Frazier, Kendrick. “Are Science and Religion Conflicting or Complementary?: Some Thoughts About Boundaries.” In Science and Religion: Are They Compatible? Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 2003. 25-30.

Gregory, Brad S. 2009. “Science Versus Religion?” Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought &

Culture 12, no. 4: 17-55. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed December 18,


Haught, John F.. “Conclusion: Toward Conversation in Science and Religion.” In Science and Religion: From Conflict to Conversation. New York: Paulist Press, 1995. 202-203.


A Review of General Semantics 63, no. 4: 422-429. Education Research Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed December 18, 2009).

McGillion, Chris. 2003. “Religion versus science might be all in the mind.” Sydney Morning

Herald, The, April 29. 13. Newspaper Source Plus, EBSCOhost (accessed December 18, 2009).

Moy, Timothy. “The Galileo Affair.” In Science and Religion: Are They Compatible? Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 2003. 139-144.

[1]Brad S. Gregory. “Science Versus Religion?” (Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought & Culture 12, no. 4: 17-55, 2009), 21.

[2] James Mark Baldwin. Dictionary of Philosophy and Psychology . . . Volume II. (New York: Macmillan, 1901), 716.

[3] Ibid, 499.

[4] Ibid, 452.

[5] James Mark Baldwin. Dictionary of Philosophy and Psychology . . . Volume II. (New York: Macmillan, 1901), 710-11

[6] Brad S. Gregory. “Science Versus Religion?” (Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought & Culture 12, no. 4: 17-55, 2009), 34-35.

[7] Brad S. Gregory. “Science Versus Religion?” (Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought & Culture 12, no. 4: 17-55, 2009). 36.

[8] Chris McGillion. “Religion versus science might be all in the mind.” (Sydney Morning

Herald, The, April 29, 2003), 13.

[9] Timothy Moy. In Science and Religion: “The Galileo Affair”, (Buffalo: Prometheus Books, 2003), 143.

[10] Kendrick Frazier. “Are Science and Religion Conflicting or Complementary?: Some Thoughts About

Boundaries.” In Science and Religion: Are They Compatible? (Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 2003), 26.


(A Review of General Semantics 63, no. 4: 422-429, 2006), 428.

[12] John F. Haught. “Conclusion: Toward Conversation in Science and Religion.” In Science and Religion: From Conflict to Conversation. (New York: Paulist Press, 1995), 203.