Religion, Science, and Proclaiming the Gospel

There are many ways science and religion conflict with each other in our modern and secular world. This week (June 24-28, 2019), Institute of Lutheran Theology (ILT) hosted six students in Brookings for an intensive summer session in which Dr. Bielfeldt led students through some of the always interesting and often thorny issues at the intersection of religion and science. Students learned all about methods of scientific investigation and the philosophy of science. Issues like God's work in the world, creation, the authority held by science and religion, and discussed many other important ethical and cultural issues. ILT student Bob Rogers said this class "offers us the opportunity to discuss a scientific worldview and the opportunity to put that worldview into a congregation's ministry and to proclaim the gospel to a generation which is enculturated in that worldview."

ILT offers intensive courses like this every year in January and June. In these intensive courses, students can study with other students they do not normally have contact with. While there is no requirement for students to have a residential experience, students are given the opportunity to study and have fellowship with each other in an onsite environment. Three of the six students are using this course for a Doctor of Ministry degree, two are working on master classes, and one is working on a Master of Sacred Theology degree.

ILT strives to be a big tent where Christians from every tradition can come together in academic dialog concerning many theological concerns. Professors and students from many traditions within Lutheranism come together at ILT. This is evident by this course where three students are from the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and three are from Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ. ILT is a school that affords the church what is actually a very unique opportunity: various theological traditions sit at the same table and interact with one another through academic investigation. Every student knows the value of hearing from different expressions of orthodoxy; at ILT we do it every day.

Special thanks to Lenae Rasmussen who served as teaching assistant for this class.

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