Reinhardt University helps explore relationship between science and religion


  Does having faith in an all-powerful Creator mean rejecting science? For many people, the two are like oil and water. They don’t mix. But is it necessary to make a choice between following religion or science?
  Each Tuesday evening in May, representatives of Reinhardt University, in conjunction with two churches in Cherokee County, invite the public to join in a study exploring the relationships of modern science and religion.
     A grant from the Templeton Foundation Science and Ministry Initiative has funded a series of weekly discussions featuring scholars of science and religion. The programs will include presentations of what both science and the Scriptures have to say about the origin of the world, the development of human life, varieties of religious experience, human sexuality and questions of life and death. 
    Sessions will be held at the Heritage Baptist and Faith Presbyterian churches, which are next door to each other at 3615 and 3655 Reinhardt College Parkway.
      Seminar development team leader Mary Jo Osteen said speakers will address whether or not there are real conflicts between Judeo-Christian theology and findings of science, and discuss whether modern science may help in understanding Scripture and developing theological understandings that are in keeping with modern science advances.
     The project was awarded $17,000 in financial support by the Templeton Foundation in a national competition.
     On May 8 at Heritage, the subject will be evolution and the development of life on earth. Dr. Scott Reese will speak first, followed by Rev. Jake Hall on religious resistance to the theory of evolution.
     On May 15 at Faith Presbyterian, Dr. Curt Lindquist will address origins of religious belief and the partnership of religion and science, followed by a panel discussion of “Revelation and Reason; the Bible and Science” moderated by Hall.
     On May 22 at Heritage, Osteen will present “Sexuality: It’s All in the Brain,” followed by Swann speaking on “Sex and Religion: Responses of Churches.” The series will end at Faith Presbyterian on May 29 with perspectives on the end of life by a panel of physicians, ministers and counselors.
     Speakers and panelists will be: Donna Free of Heritage Baptist Fellowship; Jake Hall, pastor of Heritage Baptist Fellowship; Abraham Luckhoff, pastor of Faith Presbyterian Church; Mary Jo Osteen, Adjunct Professor of Physiology, Brenau College; Scott Reese, Associate Professor of Biology, Kennesaw State University; Eddie Robertson, Professor of Biology, Reinhardt; Paige Sibley, Adjunct Professor of Biology, Reinhardt;  Charles Swann, retired Presbyterian minister; and Mark Waterman, Emergency Medicine Chief, Atlanta Medical Center.