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The creative work of the Spirit

A response to Paul Elbert’s “Some Reflections of a Participant in Pentecostalism and Science”

This post is a follow up to Paul Elbert’s May 28 post entitled “Some Reflections of a Participant in Pentecostalism and Science.”

Thanks for this, Paul. I very much like your emphasis on the creative work of the Spirit throughout history and in the present world as well as in Christ, through Christ and among the new creatures who come into his Kingdom. Our God is big and we need a creation theology that reflects his greatness. And you are right, we certainly do not need to shy away from expecting/proclaiming the work of the Spirit with results we can observe, if not fully understand. It’s his creation, after all, and the work is still in progress. It’s still Saturday, but Sunday is coming.

Image: Egletrus / Wikimedia Commons

I have a question as an experimental biologist to a physicist. Could you explain “adding more energy to the system”. I’m not sure we know enough about how the Spirit interacts with matter to make that statement. I’m coming from Amos Yong’s discussion of the mysterious causal joint that connects Spirit with this material world. We can see the results, as Pentecostals and Charismatics boldly testify, but the mechanism eludes us (See especially Amos Yong, The Spirit of Creation).

On Pentecostal students embracing the sciences, a big Amen to that! I grew up in the Church and went straight to a secular university and then on to eventually a professorship in biology in the Canadian system. Nowadays it’s much easier to navigate the faith/science issues because of the wonderful literature and on-line support system available among Christ-centred believers. You might have to look for it a bit, but it’s there.

As for serious science requirements (maybe even a lab or two) for ministry/theology students – that makes two votes, but we may be a small lobby. I’d say a full 6 university credits, but realize that may not be possible for a good number. A theology/science course is a solid start. I wonder if they draw in research scientists as guest speakers. Also great to hear that Lee has their chem. undergrads doing research projects. This, as you know, is an essential part of the program even in the biggest research oriented departments.

In Christ,

Bev Mitchell

Prof. Emeritus of Biological Sciences


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About the Author: Bev Mitchell is a retired professor of biology with nearly thirty years of research, teaching and administrative experience at a major Canadian research-intensive university. He grew up in the faith (Wesleyan) has been affiliated with Baptists and associated with two Alberta PAOC (Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada) churches for many years. He and his wife now divide their time between their home province of New Brunswick and their adopted state of Oaxaca, Mexico. He actively participates on his favourite Christian blogs (Roger Olson, Peter Enns and Scot McKnight’s Jesus Creed).

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