8. What are possible topics and themes for the projects?
There are numerous topics and themes that this programme could generate. Phrased as questions, here are a few possibilities:
- What is the right relationship between science and the Christian faith? What does it mean to believe in the triune God in an age of science? What is the difference between scientific and Christian thinking? What are the similarities?
- Does the Bible say that we have a soul? And what does contemporary neuroscience say about that? What is the relationship between body and soul? How do we understand the work of the Holy Spirit with relation to physical brain function?
- How do we read Genesis 1 in light of evolutionary science and Big Bang cosmology? Can we subscribe to the theory of evolution through natural selection and the doctrine of God’s creation of the world? Can this exploration enrich our understanding of any Biblical texts or Christian doctrines that have otherwise seemed more difficult to fathom?
- Scripture describes the human as being a slave to sin. What does science tell us about the limits of human beings to live lives of obedience to God, to live as disciples of Christ? How might scientific insight into the human’s “natural” state of existence stress the human being’s need for God’s grace?
- How critical is an appreciation for the virgin birth in the engagement between faith and science? What are the implications for science of the incarnation, of God becoming human?
- Can a scientist believe in the resurrection? What does it mean for a scientist to embrace the fact that Jesus rose from the dead?
- What does it mean for a scientist take Jesus’ miracles seriously? Should a scientist believe that God is still miraculously involved in the world today? How important is this for the Christian faith?
- How can the biblical accounts of the end of the world be taken seriously alongside alternative scientific cosmologies? Do the insights of science have anything to say about life after death, about the physical resurrection of the dead?
- What resources are available from psychology and the human sciences to help Christians think about discipleship? How might recent work on self-control or the growing movement of positive psychology engage in a constructive conversation with the church’s concern to encourage obedience and service amongst the faithful?
- How might recent scientific research on human uniqueness (how we are both similar and unique from animals) engage with the theological questions of what it means for a person to be created in the image of God
- A number of areas of research suggest that there are health benefits for church members and persons who are able to be grateful, generous and forgiving? How might these observations affirm a Christian understanding of what it means to be human?
Questions that focus primarily on ethics, including medical ethics and environmental stewardship, as well as approaches that are primarily historical (without clear relevance for the current situation) or which deny large areas of well-documented science or diminish theology are not eligible.