Reflection on Science and Christian Learning

You're not going to believe this.

An evangelical Christian school is in the midst of a review of its whole curriculum, including a survey of its alumni. One of those alumni is a student in this class, who shall remain anonymous. That person's replies were so interesting to the school's principal that last week our interim dean of students Warren Rogers received a call from the teacher directing the curriculum review asking for more information on Westmont's vision of science among the Christian liberal arts. It asks, "What do our high school students need to understand about scientific study and Christian education to become faithful, educated, responsible adults in our present cultural situation?"

Dr. Rogers forwarded that request to me as the teacher of the class! However, before I answer it myself, I want to take the opportunity to collect answers from all of you. Your diversity of perspectives and educational backgrounds (from secular as well as Christian high schools) promises a particularly well-rounded answer, as well as a providential learning opportunity.

Write a response to that school's curriculum review committee answering the question, "What do our high school students need to understand about scientific study and Christian education to become faithful, educated, responsible adults in our the present cultural situation?"

Your answers could address any of a wide variety of aspects of the question. They will of course need to reflect a thorough understanding of both the broad sweep and the important details of Witham's history of intellectual interaction between the sciences and theology and Polkinghorne's introduction to the fundamental issues in their relationship, as well as insights you have to offer from your own learning outside our class.

In my own preface to your collected answers I will introduce Witham and Polkinghorne, so your essays do not need to include that information. I think the committee would find twenty-four of those introductions tedious anyway. So you can assume your readers will know who you are talking about but will not have done that reading themselves.

I think you should consider meeting with other students in our class — especially students with different attitudes and backgrounds — to discuss your responses to the question, since the very diversity that enriches our collected answers can enrich the individual answers as well.

My confident hope is that your answers will reflect well on our school, its mission, the quality of instruction here, and of course the quality of our students.

Please keep your paper 4-5 pages, double-spaced, and follow the directions in my handout for writing papers.

By the way, this scenario is fictitious. You were right not to believe me. But a guy can dream, can't he?

Remember, I want to see proper style, clear writing, a thorough answer to the question, and explicit citations of course materials.

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