Review: Being a Christian in Science

I picked up this book, written by Walter Hearn, for two reasons. First, I was looking over a bibliography of books recommended by the Grove City College faculty. This was on the list, and it caught my attention. Second, (and probably the reason why it caught my attention), I’m entering into ministry to graduate students at CMU and Pitt. Both schools have great departments in various sciences, and I know nothing about science, so I thought this would be a good introduction.

The book is actually about 10 years old now, but I still found some of the opening chapters to be excellent, mainly because of the theology of vocation that Hearn lays out. Hearn’s basic argument is that the world of science is a subculture, and thus a mission field. Christians entering into the world of science thus ought to see themselves as missionaries to this subculture. This is actually very similar to what Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch Call for on a broader scale in The Shaping of Things to Come.

As much as I enjoyed and agreed with those chapters that had more to do with theology, I was quickly reminded in the subsequent chapters which focused more on science that I am not one of those Christians called to be a “missionary” in science. Nearly all of Hearn’s discussions about various sciences went right over my head, which is somewhat humbling considering he wrote the book with the intention that it would be accessible even to high school students considering a career in science.

That being said, I get the impression that a lot of the science chapters are outdated. The few parts I actually did understand seemed to be such. For example, you may as well skip the ten-year-old chapter on the internet. Nevertheless, I would still recommend this book to Christians entering any of the scientific fields, if for no other reason than for the theology of the opening chapters. The world of science needs missionaries, and preferably missionaries who can understand the second half of Hearns’ book.

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Drumroll….

… I have a job! I found out this week that I’ve been appointed to InterVarsity’s Graduate Student and Faculty Ministry on the campuses of Carnegie Mellon and University of Pittsburgh. This is great affirmation on God’s call on my life to do church planting in and around Squirrel Hill, as this will both provide connections and ministry to the university community there and provide for some of my financial needs. The next step is to raise my support, so please pray!