On Sunday at church (the one I go to on campus), I was chatting to an old woman who is just about the only non-student, non-young person to go there. She seems like a very interesting and sensible person, but then we had this weird conversation.
She found out I was living with my dad, and asked what his interests are.
I say, "Rocks and wood." [My father would hasten to say he has many other interests, but I would like to add that I have never seen him so animated as when he talks about rocks and wood.]
"What?!" she says.
"Well, geology," I explain.
"And he's a Christian?"
She looks very surprised. "And how does he reconcile geology with Christianity?"
I'm a little taken aback. "Er, God made rocks too."
How weird is that? I mean, I know a lot of people in the Church have a problem with the way science seems to be attacking them these days, but you'd think their point of view would be that science does not contradict faith. Whereas this woman seemed to think that if anyone was interested in rocks or wood they'd come across insurmountable obstacles to Christianity.
I like that in my family there are a lot of scientists, some of whom are very distinguished, who are also Christians, and that they don't feel their faith is fundamentally threatened by the things they study in the world around them. I am totally uninterested in science in general, but with all the Richard Dawkinses in the world it's nice to know that theirs are not the only qualified points of view to be had.
So why does the Church seem to shoot itself in the foot sometimes by suggesting that science and Christianity cannot go together?