Cover

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Praise, Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-x

Contents

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pp. xi-xii

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Preface

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pp. xiii-xvi

“I wouldn’t have pegged you to write a science and theology book,” said my friend. I nodded my head in agreement, and she continued, “And I really wouldn’t expect that you could do that through youth ministry.” And yet here it is! I actually think...

Part I. (Part Aly)

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1. Introduction: When Ministry Meets Science

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pp. 19-24

If the Internet is good for anything—besides streaming TV shows, movies, and music—it is lists. Top ten lists are everywhere, and about everything. Recently I clicked on one (when, of course, I should have been doing something else): “Greatest...

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2. When Youth Ministry Encounters Science: The Story of Jared (Aly’s Story)

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pp. 25-32

Jared considered himself a veteran. By this point he imagined he’d seen just about everything in ministry. By the end of the year he’d complete twelve years in full-time youth ministry, and for some reason crossing this marker gave him great confidence...

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3. When Youth Ministry Encounters Science: The Story of Jared (Martin’s Story)

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pp. 33-38

The disappointment had left an almost metallic taste in Jared’s mouth. Just two and a half weeks after meeting with Aly, Jared interviewed once, and then again before being passed over for the position. He felt heartbroken and foolish. He had actually...

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4. When Youth Ministry Encounters Science: The Story of Jared (Sasha’s Story)

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pp. 39-44

Jared wasn’t sure if the conversation with Martin had reinvigorated him or sent him to the precipice of despair. It had reinvigorated him in the sense of energy; after the mission trip he felt a new verve for his ministry. But the shadow side was that he felt...

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5. Is Faith for Immature Babies?

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pp. 45-58

It was one of those beautiful years where Christmas had a magical feel to it. The reds and greens could almost be smelled, and every breath seemed to hit Jared with a wave of cinnamon and mint. In years past, the Christmas season had come and gone...

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6. “Science,” Adolescence, and Growing Up

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pp. 59-76

All three of the young people speak to Jared of growing up and not being childish, moving past stupid fantasies. It is no wonder that the adolescent feels particularly drawn to (and even at times forecloses on) the comprehensive social practice of “science...

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7. The Faith of the Child as the Welcoming of the Scientific

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pp. 77-92

Jared felt too full to move. Between the large Christmas Day meal and the piles of cookies and candy, he’d overdone it. As he threw himself into the large living room chair for a quick respite, lying in the chair to keep his full belly elevated, he felt a sense of...

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8. Relating Faith and the Scientific, Issue One: SCIENCE Doesn’t Say Anything

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pp. 93-102

It’s become common for some people to say, “Well, that’s just science!” or “Science tells us . . .” As a matter of fact, this is what Martin said when discussing the inevitability of mass extinctions. His pushback to the group was that some coming mass...

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9. Relating Faith and the Scientific, Issue Two: How This Relating Is Done

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pp. 103-122

After the winter morning at The Rusty Spoon, Jared was resolved to follow Aly’s advice. He needed to help his young people relate faith and scientific findings and theories. But he had no idea how he was going to do this, or even how to think...

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10. Finding Personhood: The Face

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pp. 123-148

“I can’t believe she’s gone,” Aly said as she leaned in to hug Jared, her tears wetting his shirt. She was gone. As Jared’s eye met Aly’s, he wasn’t sure if he could do this. To be asked to do Gena’s funeral was such an honor that it took his breath away...

Part II. (Part Sasha)

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11. Sasha and Big and Small Infinity

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pp. 151-154

The thrill was intoxicating. From the fear of defeat to the jubilant celebration of victory was a dazzling rush. Jared screamed and jumped as if he’d finally seen his beloved Detroit Lions win a Super Bowl—or a playoff game for that matter. But his cheering...

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12. Galileo and Alien Life: The Story of Galileo Galilei

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pp. 155-170

It appears a devastating fact of history that the church took poor Galileo into a Vatican jail and beat him by ten for every public comment he’d made that the earth moved around the sun. It is such a devastating fact that every young person seems to...

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13. With a Bang

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pp. 171-178

Galileo had moved us from the center; by giving us our first visions of just how expansive space was, he displaced humanity. The genie was now out of the bottle, Pandora was out of the box. And no matter how hard Jesuit/Aristotelian philosophers or...

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14. Finely Tuned

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pp. 179-190

When they arranged it, Jared was sure that he would have no problem keeping up. Trent had about fifteen years and at least forty pounds on him. Jared was so confident, he wasn’t worried that it had been months, probably closer to a year, since he’d...

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15. A Rebel’s Birthday Party

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pp. 191-216

“Well, very few scientists would agree,” Trent said. “Now don’t get me wrong, it is really unnerving and to me it is aweinspiring. It leads me to wonder about a lot.”
“But, wait. I thought you said you came to faith because of the Big Bang...

III. (Part Martin)

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16. Martin and the Coming Mass Extinction

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pp. 219-222

The group responded with shock that quickly turned to indignation. But Jared couldn’t join, because to his shame he couldn’t remember who Sarah was. Knowing it would be inappropriate to ask, he remained silent and just slowly shook his...

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17. When the Rocks Speak

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pp. 223-230

Darwin’s dangerous idea seems, at least in part, to follow Galileo’s space travels. If Galileo used the telescope to travel to the moon and beyond, showing us that space was so expansive we could no longer assume ourselves (and our little planet)...

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18. A Clergyman’s Dangerous Ideas: The Story of Darwin

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pp. 231-246

Like Galileo before him and Einstein after him, the first stage of Charles Darwin’s life was filled with more confusion and false starts than success. Few of the great figures of the history of science were like Mozart, child protégées who were clear masters...

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19. Darwin’s First Dangerous Idea

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pp. 247-260

It was an odd blend of envy and gratitude. These two seemingly contradictory emotions were coming in waves, cresting and falling, one after the next. Sitting on tenth-grader Aaron’s patio, watching the pool glisten and shimmer, Jared wondered why he...

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20. Darwin’s Second Dangerous Idea and All Those Other Hominids

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pp. 261-284

It is rare for an academic debate to turn into a Comedy Central roast, with zingers and barbs flying and audiences erupting in laughter. Academic debates tend to be events with intensity and anxiety. It’s understandable that sometimes those involved might...

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21. The Bible, the Ministers, and the End

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pp. 285-306

Gus was the church’s pastoral assistant. He’d been a solo pastor for more than forty years, and was well known and respected in the denomination. After retirement, Gus and his wife decided to move across the country to be closer to their daughter. When...

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Epilogue

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pp. 307-309

While Jared bathed in his good feelings and before they could start their prayer, Tegan spoke up. Tegan had faithfully come to every Bible study, but always remained quiet and disengaged, only breaking her frozen face of skepticism when Martin made...