January 7, 2007
The view from Neverland
Science and religion no longer are conflicting ideas for two local physicians. They prefer to battle science with science. Through the Christian group Reasons to Believe, they have found a way to reconcile science, religion and Scripture.
“Our society is so anti-God, but this says it’s OK to believe,” said Dr. Bruce Hennigan. “He’s out there. You can look in the sky and see him.”
The organization sponsors scientific research into the questions of creation. It believes that the Bible is without error, and that scripture is supported by science. On the biblical account of creation, it has concluded that “day” means a long period of time, so God created the universe over thousands of years.
… A radiologist and lifelong Christian, Hennigan’s partners started asking him some tough questions about 12 years ago. They wanted to know about creation and what he believed: science or God?
“I couldn’t answer from anything but a biblical perspective,” he said.
He started doing some research and came across a book, “Creator and Cosmos,” by astronomer Hugh Ross, who founded the organization.
… About the same time, Dr. Stephen Patton, a local nephrologist, also completed the apologist training. Reasons to Believe sent each doctor an e-mail with the other’s contact information.
They started talking and hoped to form a local chapter of the group. Chapters are usually in bigger cities, but they want to be able to host studies or speak at churches.
“We think we have information people really need to know,” Patton said.
… The difference between young-earth [creationist] theories and science were problematic to Patton, but he accepted them. A book recommendation from his daughter two and a half years ago led him to the Hugh Ross model. To Patton, that presented “complete harmony” of his faith and his knowledge of science.
“Reason to Believe offers a scientific, testable, Bible-based model,” for creation, Patton said.
It follows the standard scientific process of peer-review and has established a data base that makes no concessions to evolution, Patton said.
Or, presumably, to any factual evidence whatsoever.
Hennigan has been able to take his expertise and pass it along at his church, Brookwood Baptist. The church pastor, the Rev. Mark Sutton, said he has folks from both young- and old-Earth camps, but has never seen it be a problem.
Personally, he supports the Reasons to Believe model, but said there’s certainly room for interpretation.
“Some people get hung up on that kind of stuff. I don’t care. I know God did it,” Sutton said. “I lean (toward old earth) because that’s what our senses seem to tell us, that’s what physics tell us. I don’t believe God would try to fool us.”
On the scientific side, they see some suppression of these ideas that support the possibility of a creator.
“To see that made me angry,” Hennigan said. “In the last 20 years, scientific discoveries have shown an element of design and evidence of a creator.”
“Evidence of a creator,” huh? Now that I would love to see.
Graphic courtesy of the Shreveport Times.
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