Stirling Baptist Church booked out their local Indian restaurant and invited me to come and address the topic, “Has Science Buried God?” The event was structured in such way that church-folks could only come if they brought a non-Christian friend, so it was a 50:50 ratio of Christians to non-Christians. There were about thirty people there, so around fifteen non-Christian folks came to hear the message and engage with it.
In the talk I showed that science and the Christian faith, far from being at war with one another, actually fit together very well. This is partly because they are answering a different set of questions, but also because Christianity actually provides the best foundation for doing science. The pursuit of science itself requires answers to questions such as, “Why should we put effort into pursuing truth?”, “Why is important to report your results truthfully in the sciences?”, *(its ethical foundation); and then of course – “Why can we trust our minds to do science in the first place, if in fact our minds are just atoms and particles?” On the other hand, if we are made in the image of a God who is the source of all knowledge, all truth, all reason, then that is a very good foundation for pursuing scientific enquiry.
After the talk we did some Q&A, and there were some very interesting questions. What was great was that after that, people didn’t just get up and leave, but hung around for ages and there were many great conversations with people who were very stuck by the message. It was also really encouraging that several of them signed up for the Alpha Course at Stirling Baptist Church.
At the very end I had a really interesting conversation with a man who had only been a Christian a few months and had found the evening really encouraging. Looking back just two or three months to when he had been an atheist, he recalled that he had always just assumed that science had disproven God. Now as a Christian he id beginning to fill in the foundations of his faith, processing some of the objections to Christianity, and he found this really, really helpful.
It was great to see the church taking this kind of initiative, and Christians stepping up and bringing their friends. For example, Michael Wright who organised the event, is a great runner and had invited several friends from his local running club.
At Solas we have a great relationship with Stirling Baptist Church, they hold regular outreach events at a pub in the town called “The Kilted Kangaroo!” and I’ve done three of those. However, this curry house event was even better; more structured and deliberately designed to promote Alpha.
Editor’s note. After Andy Bannister wrote this report, Michael Wright from Stirling Baptist wrote to say:
“I thought the evening was excellent, and Andy Bannister’s talk was fantastic. I think the talks by Andy at our pub or curry night evenings, is probably the one thing in our events that I don’t need to worry about! It is always thought-provoking, humorous, and always, and ultimately, pointing to Christ, and it is perfect for our outreach evenings.”
Solas can help your church run an outreach event. Contact us, to find out how. Read more about some of the great work Stirling Baptist are doing, and of lives transformed by the gospel here.