From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Science and Technology Luncheon Features ... Technology

Date 21 Jun 2002 08:09:08 -0400

Note #7310 from PCUSA NEWS to PRESBYNEWS:


Science and Technology Luncheon Features ... Technology

by Nancy Rodman

COLUMBUS, OH - "Technology pervades every part of our lives and we've begun deciphering the book of life."  So began James B. Miller's address, "At the Banks of the River Jordan:  The Promise and Peril of the Future for the PC(USA) to members and friends of the Presbyterian Association on Science, Technology and the Christian Faith (PASTCF) at the association's annual General Assembly luncheon.

Miller referred to two books - the book of Scripture and the book of nature.  He said that there is a cultural effort to keep the two separate, science on one side and religion on the other.  This effort is often presented as conflict, he said, "sort of the Robert Frost theory of science and religion - good walls make good neighbors."  There is an interactive alternative that has developed over the last 25 years, he continued, where science describes nature which informs religion which in turn offers meaning to the culture.

In a presentation that used the modern technology of power point and drew on Scripture, the writings of St. Augustine, and contemporary humor, Miller offered reflections on worship, education, and mission in the Presbyterian Church. Among his observations:

* "There is a paucity of hymns that reflect the creation God is bringing into being."  He asked whether we are really singing to the Lord a new song when we sing hymns that refer to the earth standing still and the sun in its orbit.

* "What we need to do in our talk in the church is to talk in a way that is consonant with the world in which we find ourselves."

* "In evangelism, do we have a message that is both compelling and credible?"

Miller reviewed PASTCF's long-range plan that includes increased individual and institutional membership, resource development, and full time staffing.

He closed with these words from Copernicus:  "To know the mighty works of God, comprehend His wisdom and majesty and power, to appreciate in degree the wonderful working of His laws, surely all this must be a pleasing and acceptable mode of worship to the Most High to whom ignorance can not be more grateful than knowledge."

The following presentations were made at the luncheon:

* The Rocky Mountain Chapter of PASTCF, the organization's first local chapter was presented with its charter.

* The Dan Martin Science As Christian Vocation Recognition was presented to James Bidlack for exemplifying the practice of science as Christian vocation, and Aubrey C. Briggs for exemplifying the practice of engineering as Christian vocation.  
* Miller was presented with a certificate of appreciation for his service to the church in the area of science, technology, and the Christian faith by Joseph Small on behalf of the Office of Theology and Worship and the Congregational Ministries Division. 
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