Frequently Asked Questions
Why did you name the program "science and religion"? Why not "Christianity and science"?
The secular academic world uses the label “science and religion” for interdisciplinary programs they offer which are similar to ours. To aid in degree recognition of our new program, we felt it wise to use an established category for the degree's title instead of creating a new one. Certainly the emphasis in our program is on the interaction between Christianity and science.
However, in today's pluralistic secular society it is important to be aware of how other world religions interact with the sciences. Consequently this is also covered as a part of our academic program.
Will the program take a young-earth or recent-creation position?
While the young-earth model is a popular contemporary view on creation, it is not the only view held by conservative evangelicals. The Biola program will attempt to represent fairly the range of evangelical positions on issues like the age of the earth and the time intervals involved in creation.
Since the challenges from naturalistically based interpretations often take aim at creationist models in general, there is plenty of common ground for evangelicals of various persuasions to work together to develop effective responses to these secular arguments. The program seeks to foster such a spirit of cooperation.
Biola University and its faculty hold to the full inerrancy and inspiration of Scripture, but we recognize that our interpretation of Scripture may not be absolutely certain at all points. We expect there to be harmony between the data from nature and the words (data) of Scripture, but we realize that apparent conflicts can arise when we interpret and integrate these data. One goal of this program is to identify, minimize and resolve those apparent conflicts.
As a Christian school, don't you have an obvious bias that makes it impossible for you to teach this material objectively?
One of the most serious oversights in studying an interdisciplinary field like science and religion is to forget that everyone – both scientists and theologians – has biases. Thus to presume that one can be completely objective in this field, while dismissing everyone else as biased, is naive. For example, to deny the possibility of supernatural action because it is not a scientific explanation, because it is not a repeatable event, or because it violates the laws of nature, reflects an obvious bias towards naturalism. One of the major goals of this program is to make students aware of the biases and presuppositions that influence the interpretation of scientific and scriptural data. To be candid, our own "bias" is that "all truth is God's truth," and we seek to construct models of reality that fully incorporate the data from Scripture with what we know about the created world.
What if I don't have the science background necessary for admission, but still have an interest in the program?
Many of the courses offered in this program will be available as electives through Biola's existing Apologetics program (see www.biola.edu/apologetics). Students without the appropriate sciences background are encouraged to participate in the program through that route, although they will be subject to the same course prerequisites and may be wait-listed for MASR courses that have a seating limitation.