Scibel is a registered UK-based charity, committed to
promoting understanding of the harmony between mainstream
Christian faith and modern science.
"The universe doesn't make sense to me unless
there's God behind it all."
Professor Anthony Hewish, Emeritus Professor of
Astronomy at Cambridge University, Nobel Laureate
The fundamental belief of Scibel is that mainstream Christian faith and mainstream science are in basic harmony. Those involved in any 'official' capacity, including those involved as speakers on science-faith issues, are expected to be active Christians who adhere to historic mainstream Christian beliefs and are in sympathy with modern science as a means of knowing more about the universe God has created.
Scibel was initially formed as Christian Students in Science (CSIS) in 1996. It was born out of a paper researching student opinions on science and Christianity, presented at a Christians in Science (CiS) conference. CSIS received support from a wide range of Christian organizations, all recognizing the importance of talking about science and Christianity with young people. The name CSIS seemed specific to christians who were students and working in science, and this led to a name change to Scibel to broaden its appeal. Today, Scibel helps young adults to think about some of the big questions in life - whether they are Christian or not, students or not, or studying science or not. Scibel has also progressed to use modern technology to reach people, no matter which country they are in.
Mainstream in Faith
'Mainstream faith' means identifying with historic Christian belief as reflected in particular in the Nicene creed, a modern English translation of which is as follows:
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, one in Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us men and women and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he was born of the Virgin Mary, and became human. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered, died, and was buried. On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated on the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy universal and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.
In the 'science-faith' context, Scibel would also emphasize speaker assent to the following biblical teachings:
Creation and Redemption: The universe is a consciously purposed creation of the Triune God; all things were created through the divine Word who was God and was with God (cf eg Colossians 1.15-16, John 1.1-3). That divine Word became flesh in Jesus, who was the unique incarnation of God, and through his death and resurrection forgiveness and redemption were made available to those who receive him in repentance and faith (cf eg John 1.14, Galatians 2.15-16).
Nature: The 'laws of nature' are not independent of God but reflect his continuing upholding will (cf eg Hebrews 1.3). God can work for his purposes through natural law, no less than on those occasions in which 'supernatural' miracles reflect his sovereign decision to alter his normal pattern of working in nature for purposes of grace (cf eg his natural 'creation' of winds Amos 4.13, and compare Luke 8.24).
Scripture: All Scripture given by inspiration of God is profitable for teaching the truth (cf eg 2 Timothy 3.16). What God says in Scripture is true, and is not of ‘private interpretation’ (cf eg 2 Peter 1.20 on prophecy). Rather, the meaning of Scripture may often be clarified by an understanding of the literary conventions and cultural contexts of its human writers, as well as by the divinely given spiritual wisdom embedded in the historical traditions of the Church (cf eg James 1.3).
Mainstream in Faith
The following are relevant aspects of mainstream
Definition: 'Science' is "a branch of knowledge
constructed on objective principles involving the
systematised observation of and experiment with
phenomena, especially concerned with the material
and functions of the physical universe" (Concise
Oxford Dictionary). Science is thus an approach
and activity, but also a body of received knowledge
about the world, built up empirically over past
Actuality: The body of received knowledge which
constitutes natural science is found in the
disciplines of chemistry, physics, physiology,
astronomy, biochemistry, geology, genetics etc.
as taught in general science courses in our
Harmonising Two Mainstreams
Scibel believe that classically, the many devout
Christians involved in the historical development of
science sought harmony between theology as the interpretation of Scripture (sometimes called the "book of God's word"), and science as the interpretation of nature (sometimes called the "book of God's works"). Theology and science are both fallible human activities, and mistakes can be made. Scibel, however, stands for the view that on the whole the received teachings of traditional bible-orientated Christianity, and the well-supported conclusions of modern science (though not necessarily the interpretations put on these by some scientists) are both trustworthy, and are capable of being seen as in fundamental harmony. Scibel believes in working to change the culture so that both Christians and non-Christians can see that Christian faith and science are compatible and can work in harmony.
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Copyright 2001 - 2007 Scibel