For the past 50 years, the Canadian Scientific and Christian Affiliation has facilitated discussions about science and Christian faith in Canada. As part of our 50th-anniversary celebrations, we asked 50 CSCA members to comment on their personal connections to science, scripture, and Canadian scenery. We will share these contributions throughout 2023 in the hope that you will find them engaging and encouraging.
CSCA member of the week: Patrick Franklin, Associate Professor of Theology, Tyndale University, Toronto.
1. Why did you choose your scientific discipline?
I initially entered seminary with the goal of becoming a pastor (and I have served in that role a couple of times over the years), but I really fell in love with theology. I find that life’s questions continually drive me back to the study table to search things out. Theology, for me, isn’t simply a body of information or a bunch of stale teachings, but an active practice, a discipline, of thinking about all things in relation to God, as revealed in Christ and by the Holy Spirit.
2. What is one of your favourite Bible verses and why?
There are lots, but in relation to faith and science, I love Colossians 1:15-17: “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” This passage names the one “in whom” all things hold together and cohere. Science is a gift from God that helps us understand “how” things hold together; Christian faith provides the larger context of “why” (to what end or purpose?) and “what” we should be doing (ethically) in light of that.
3. Which Canadian city or landscape do you love exploring and why?
We spend time on Manitoulin Island every year (in Lake Huron, southwest of Sudbury, ON, and the world’s largest freshwater island). It’s beautiful, diverse, and a place where our family finds rest together.