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Traces of God's handiwork in the universe

The heart of Goshen College’s Christian mission is to integrate faith and learning. Students come to Goshen to learn in an academic community that encourages and supports them – not only by helping each student develop their individual gifts and calling, but wrestling and living consistently with and sharing their beliefs.
The places where faith and reason intersect provide infinite questions. The college’s role, then, is to provide a framework for asking questions throughout a lifetime. We ask students to bring their values to their academics, and a foundation-building general education program helps them make connections between fields of study.
In that spirit, Goshen College also instituted a community theme in 1999 (see page 4). The topic for 2000-2001 is “Discovering Truth: Intersections of Religion and Science,” featured in this issue of the Bulletin.
Scientific discoveries transform our understandings of and response to the world around us. But does that mean our faith must change? Since the Enlightenment, Westerners have articulated this paradox in terms of faith and reason, often polarizing the two. Many Christian scientists, however, are more interested in the interconnectedness of life’s mysteries as was Augustine, who noted, Credo ut intelligam – “I believe in order to know.”
In his 1995 acceptance of the 25th Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion, Paul Davies, a professor of mathematical physics at the University of Adelaide, Australia, described this relationship between intellectual and spiritual query:

“It was from the intellectual ferment brought about by the merging of Greek philosophy and Judeo-Islamic-Christian thought that modern science emerged … All the early scientists, like Newton, were religious in one way or another. They saw their science as a means of uncovering traces of God’s handiwork in the universe. What we now call the laws of physics they regarded as God’s abstract creation: thoughts, so to speak, in the mind of God.”
On this campus, it isn’t just Bible and religion majors and those in the sciences discussing these engaging issues, but everyone, through our community theme.
We invite you to join this campus-wide discussion through these essays and stories.

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Return to April Bulletin contents
Science and simplicity by President Shirley H. Showalter
Measurements of God: The search for truth and beauty by Carl Helrich
Creating a community: General education guides discussion by Ryan Miller with Beth Martin Birky ’83
The best of times, the worst of times by Owen Gingerich ’51
Science and spirit, hand in hand by Debra Brubaker ’79
Marrying science and religion, in classroom and home interview with Elizabeth (Miller) ’51 and Marlin Jeschke

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