2012 Program


8:30 am Breakfast (HYH118)

9:00 am Devotional, John Reeve,  Associate Professor of Historical Theology, Andrews University

9:20 am Welcome, Andrea Luxton, Provost, Andrews University

9:30 am Gary Burdick, The Faith that lies at the Heart of Science

10:15 am Earl Kumfer, A Reflection on Two Metaphors

11:00 am Carl Helrich, Faith and Reason as Fundamental to Both Science and Religion

11:45 am Martin Hanna, We Have the Mind of Christ: The Relations of Reason and Faith in Theology

12:30 pm Lunch (HYH207)

2:00 pm Panel Discussion, moderated by Paul Reimer, Associate Professor of Physics, Goshen College

3:00 pm Breakout sessions

4:00 pm Synthesis

4:30 pm Worship

5:00 pm Supper (HYH207)*


The Faith that lies at the Heart of Science, Gary W. Burdick
It is often considered that religion is based upon faith, and science upon reason.  However, the reality is not so simple, with reason and faith both being necessary for both disciplines.  In particular, this essay will show that the foundational axioms of science, those principles without which modern science could not exist, are based on faith about reality that originated out of a Theistic worldview.  Because the theologian and the scientist use the same foundational axioms, the theologian can vouch for the reliability of science in arriving at valid truth about the world.  And although the scientist and theologian may look at reality through two different windows, they are in fact looking at different aspects of the same reality.

A Reflection on Two Metaphors, Earl T. Kumfer
This reflection explores two metaphors: the image of faith and reason as two wings on which the human spirit rises toward truth; and, wearing contact lenses -- one for distance, one for near work.  Faith and reason are compatible. They are not only different paths to discovering and understanding the one and same Truth, they mutually support and enrich each other.  Rigorous use of one to the exclusion of the other leads to dire epistemological and social consequences.  Faith has nothing to fear and much to gain from reason; reason has nothing to fear and much to gain from faith.

Faith and Reason as Fundamental to Both Science and Religion, Carl S. Helrich
We propose a thesis connecting faith and reason, which finds its basis in the presence of God in the universe. We explore this in modern thought and in history, tracing Greek, Christian and Islamic thought. We argue that conflict between faith and reason has roots in the industrial revolution and class conflict and is not inherent to science or religion. We then return to the primary questions facing us as humans and validate our thesis.

We Have the Mind of Christ: The Relations of Reason and Faith in Theology, Martin Hanna
It is often assumed that faith is more important to theology than reason. This assumption may seem to be supported by the frequency of the word faith in English translations of the Bible and the relative infrequency of the word reason. However, what we usually mean by the “reason” is very frequently mentioned in the Bible in other words such as the word mind. In this paper I present a study of the Apostle Paul’s use of the term “mind of Christ” to describe Christian rationality. This clarifies the relations of faith and reason in the Christian mind. I will also present some implications for a Christian perspective on the relations of science and theology.

About the Speakers

Gary W. Burdick, Professor of Physics, Andrews University.
Gary Burdick received his PhD in physics from the University of Texas at Austin.  He held postdoctoral positions in France, Hong Kong, and Virginia before joining the physics faculty at La Sierra University.  He moved to Andrews University in 1999, where he is currently professor of physics and associate dean for research.  In his research area of optical spectroscopy, dealing with electronic (optical) transitions of lanthanide elements in solid-state media, he has established international collaborations, with more than fifty refereed scientific publications.

Earl T. Kumfer, Professor of Philosophy and Theology, St. Francis University.
Earl Kumfer earned degrees at Catholic University of America and Southern Illinois University - Carbondale. His PhD dissertation was a study of meaning in the thought of Michael Polanyi (a physicist) and Bernard Lonergan, SJ (a theologian). His current research interests include the interface of science and religion regarding consciousness, and British early Franciscan scholars, especially John Duns Scotus. He serves as an ethics consultant for several medical groups.

Carl S. Helrich, Emeritus Professor of Physics,  Goshen College.
Carl Helrich is a member of the Mennonite Church USA. He conducts research on the biophysics of cholesterol in membranes and directs the Goshen Conference on Religion and Science. Helrich holds a PhD in plasma physics from Northwestern University. He has served the University of Tennessee Space Institute, MSFC (NASA) Huntsville, X-10 and Y-12 Oak Ridge, Kernforschungsanlage Jülich, Germany, Bethel College (KS) and Goshen College.
Martin Hanna, Associate Professor of Theology, Andrews University.
Martin Hanna is from Nassau, one of the beautiful islands of the Bahamas, where he served as High School Teacher and Pastor. At Northern Caribbean University, in Jamaica, he served as Counselor, Dean of Men, Associate Professor, Chair of Religion, and Research Center Director.  He earned a PhD at Andrews University, where he enjoys research and teaching, especially on science-theology relations, as is evident in his dissertation on The Use of Science in Theology and his book on The Cosmic Christ of Scripture. 


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