Come Worship!  Sunday School for all ages at 9:45 am and Worship at 11:00 am

Thursdays, September 14 – October 19, 7:30 – 9 p.m.

Join Drew Rick-Miller in the Gather Room at 401 Oberlin Apartments. (corner of Oberlin and Clark)

A perennial question for people of faith is whether or not – and, since the rise of modern science, how – God can act in the world. It is connected to miracles, the efficacy of prayer and more generally how to believe in providence, grace, inspiration, and even the most basic concept of God. Are these ideas even worth considering when science so masterfully describes the natural order of things?


A 2016 Pew Survey seeking to better understand the religious ‘nones’ noted that nearly half leave the religion of their youth because they answer such questions with a no. Belief is lost when dogma and miracles are replaced by the logic, evidence, and the common sense of science.

This inaugural WRPC Theology on Tap series will look into divine action, miracles, science and religion, and related themes, with the helpful guide of leading theologians, scientists, and philosophers. Our conversations each week will be guided by readings in this divine action series hosted by the BioLogos Foundation, an organization founded by Francis Collins to help evangelical Christians reconcile faith and evolution. And while our readings might originate from a Christian perspective, a wide range of perspectives will be drawn on as we all seek to better understand and articulate what we as individuals believe.

Generations have wrestled with these ideas and wave after wave of our contemporaries (at least in Europe and North America) are leaving faith in the face of such challenges. So let’s grab a pint and/or an arepa, put on our thinking caps, and dive in: Can or does God act in the world? I hope how we answer that question in November will be different from how we answer it today.


The Schedule:

Week 1 (Sept. 14) – Before first class quickly read this 2016 Pew survey result and either before or after the first meeting read Jim Stump’s intro to the BioLogos series and watch the introductory video to the Oxford University Special Divine Action project.

Week 2 (Sept. 21) – Read Sara Lane Ritchie’s contributions to BioLogos series, Part 1 and Part 2, along with the four remaining introductory videos on the Special Divine Action project website.

Week 3 (Sept. 28) – Read Alvin Plantinga’s contributions to BioLogos Series, Part 1 and Part 2.

Week 4 (Oct. 5) – Read Robert John Russell’s contributions to BioLogos Series, Part 1 and Part 2.

Week 5 (Oct. 12) – Read Christopher Knight (Orthodox Christian) and Amos Yong’s (Pentecostal) contributions to BioLogos series.

Week 6 (Oct. 19) – Read Thomas Jay Oord’s (Open theism) contribution and Jim Stump and Sara Lane Ritchie’s conclusion to BioLogos Series.

Week 7 (Oct. 26) – tbd by group if we want more time to wrap up our discussions

My Favorite Additional Resources:

Closer to Truthmultiple series of video interviews with leading scientists, philosophers and theologians on God’s interaction with the world. Includes wide range of perspectives, including some of those in the BioLogos series.

Slate Big Ideas Series on Miraclesseries of essays on divine action from a wide-range of perspectives.

Lecture on the Miracles of Jesus and Sciencevideo and audio recording of lecture by science and religion scholar Mark Harris

Special Divine Action Project at Oxfordmassive website designed mainly for scholars that traces the concept through history. It has some good video content, including a series for children (which may be helpful if your son or daughter asks what you are doing going out to a church event coordinated by a guy enjoying an IPA).

Book on Divine Action and PrayerWhen I Pray, What Does God Do? by David Wilkinson

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