Religious belief is often perceived as being in conflict with science—but does it have to be?
Not usually, says Joseph Vukov. In this short, accessible guide, Vukov advances three models for Christians to utilize when navigating the relationship between science and faith: conflict, independence, and dialogue. He argues that dialogue is the ideal model to follow most of the time—but not necessarily all the time. Through a philosophical approach grounded in compelling real-world examples, Vukov shows how no single model can be universally adequate, and how Christians must proceed with discernment according to the nature of the matter at hand.
Considering a wide variety of illustrative issues—including cosmology, evolutionary biology, extraterrestrial life, miracles, brain death, and theoretical physics—Vukov introduces and describes each of the three models of interaction between faith and science, surveys their applications, and evaluates the effectiveness of each. Throughout, he encourages Christians to embrace a spirit of intellectual humility and remember that, at their best, faith and science converge in their relentless human pursuit of truth.
Table of Contents
1. Intellectual Humility
5. Choosing a Model
“If you’re afraid that a conversation about science and faith is inherently contentious, Joseph Vukov has good news for you! Vukov sets the table and invites us to sit down. He walks us through three frameworks for productive dialogue and skillfully equips us to know how and when to apply them in the context of science and faith.”
— Janet Kellogg Ray
author of Baby Dinosaurs on the Ark? The Bible and Modern Science and the Trouble of Making It All Fit
“Persistent conflict between science and religion dominates the popular imagination, despite scholarly work to the contrary. Joseph Vukov’s helpful work reveals the richly complex ways in which science and religion interact. Filled with helpful anecdotes and an insistence that ‘the confident Christian is not intellectually arrogant,’ Navigating Faith and Science is a valuable guide to one of the most important conversations of our time.”
— Karl W. Giberson
author of Saving Darwin: How to Be a Christian and Believe in Evolution
“Whereas many introductions to science and faith suggest that there is one and only one correct model for envisioning their relationship, Joseph Vukov convincingly shows that things are more complex than that. Indeed, even though ‘dialogue’ is often the most fruitful model for approaching issues in science and religion, in some cases we might better keep the two apart or acknowledge that there is a real conflict between them. Dr. Vukov ably and accessibly illustrates these various options, all the while pointing to the importance of intellectual humility in navigating them.”
— Gijsbert van den Brink
author of Reformed Theology and Evolutionary Theory