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Task force tackles questions of science and theology

NASHVILLE (Tennessee) – A surgeon pauses to pray before entering the operating room. The family wonders: Does that mean he doesn’t know what he is doing?

A college freshman struggles with what she learned in church and what she just heard her professor say: “We are not spiritual beings, just a collection of molecules.”

A mother helplessly watches the national debate on stem cells knowing those cells could help her paralyzed son walk again.

Is there a place for science in the pulpit? For faith in the laboratory? Those questions and more were discussed recently by a group of pastors, scientists, students and concerned lay people during two days of meetings sponsored by
the United Methodist Board of Discipleship.

A report will be sent to the 2004 General Conference by the Science and Theology Task Force addressing the best ways to help local churches understand scientific issues and how they relate to faith issues.

The Rev Dan Dick, an executive with the Board of Discipleship, which heads the task force, said: “The participation and energy remained high throughout the meetings.

“We gained a wide variety of voices and perspectives on the relationship of science and theology. It gives the Science and Theology Task Force a firm foundation for building their report to the General Conference.”

The group discussed communication between faith and science; ways to educate students within Christian theology without limiting their curiosity; stem cell research, cloning, abortion, environmental issues and many other topics. — United Methodist News Service.