ECF Grant Awards

ECF Grant Awards February 13, 2013

I’m quite honored to announce that biologist at Trinity Western, Dennis Venema, and I have been granted a scholarship through BioLogos and the Evolution and Christian Faith program:

The Grantees

As part of our objective to create a network of scholars and leaders, we awarded grants to organizations across the U.S. and the world. Thirty of the 37 grantees are domestic; seven are international, hailing from Canada, France, Great Britain, Netherlands, and Spain.

Two-thirds of the accepted projects will be led by teams—some with three or more Project Leaders. We expect that the teamwork and time spent together at our summer workshops will be the start of a long-lasting network of people dedicated to helping the church think carefully about origins.

Applicants chose to apply under one of three program tracks: interdisciplinary scholarship (Track 1), intra-disciplinary scholarship (Track 2), and translational projects (Track 3). Track 1 projects focus on both the collaboration between individuals in different disciplines and the development of projects at the interface of different content areas. Track 2 projects focus on work done within a specific discipline. Track 3 focuses on projects that encourage Christians, especially those within more conservative traditions, to engage in meaningful and productive dialogue to reduce tensions between mainstream science and the Christian faith. The numbers of grantees in Tracks 1, 2, and 3 are 6, 8, and 23, respectively.

Many of the scholarly projects tackle questions about Adam and Eve, the Fall, human identity, and Original Sin—some of the most critical interpretive issues for evangelical theology.  Some examples:

Theologian Oliver Crisp of Fuller Seminary will take an analytic theology approach to ask to what extent a theological account of the origin of human sin depends upon the evolution of modern humans from one and only one ancestral pair—especially if that pair does not appear to correspond to what we would think of as modern human beings.
Pastor Michael Gulker and philosopher James Smith, leading a large team from The Colossian Forum, ask a related question: if humanity emerged from non-human primates—as genetic, biological, and archaeological evidence seems to suggest—then what are the implications for Christian theology’s traditional account of origins, including both the origin of humanity and the origin of sin?
Biologist Dennis Venema of Trinity Western University and New Testament scholar Scot McKnight of Northern Seminary will write a book on the evidence for evolution and population genetics, with informed theological reflection on how these issues interact with orthodox Christianity.
Biologist David Wilcox of Eastern University will develop an updated model of human identity which reflects the complex recent scientific advances in genetics and paleoanthropology and yet is sensitive to theological concerns.

These are just a few of the scholarly awards; check out the Grantees page for full descriptions of all Track 1 and Track 2 projects….

[More at the link above.]

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Congratulations! Looks like an intriguing project.

  • Congratulations, Scot. Looking forward to reading that book.

  • RJS

    We shall look forward to reviewing this book when complete.

    Some of the other projects should result in good new material as well.

  • unapologetic catholic

    Outstanding! Congratulations.

  • AHH

    Sounds like a much needed book. From where I sit, most science/faith controversies in the church (old Earth, evolution) are easy to deal with if people just avoid fundamentalist approaches to Scripture and avoid “God of the Gaps” errors. But there’s some legitimate tension, not so easily resolved, when it comes to human origins and what it means for us to be sinful (or “fallen”). I can’t think of a better combo to tackle it — I hope you’ll recruit RJS to review a draft along the way.

    Now if only you could finish the book by the end of this month — an Associate Pastor and I are covering that ground in an Adult Ed class at church the first 2 Sundays in March …