The title of the next public lecture in the lunchtime series at St Bartholomew’s Church, Stranmillis Road, Belfast, is Rescuing Genesis from the Creationists.
It will be given by the rector of the church, the Rev Dr Ron Elsdon at 1.15 pm on Tuesday September 9.
Huge questions have been raised about how evangelical Christians (and others) should handle the biblical text, and especially the opening chapter of Genesis.
Interpreting this text literalistically has led Mervyn Storey, Chairman of the NI Assembly Education Committee, to call for creationism to be taught in school science classes alongside mainstream science.
In this lecture, Ron Elsdon will draw on the work of scholars such as Dr Jim Packer to show that there is a much more considered and fruitful way of handling these controversial verses.
The issue has important implications for science and religion education in schools and elsewhere. There are also important implications for how the bible has to be handled in a scientific age, and for how Christians face up to some of the criticisms thrown at their beliefs by people such as Richard Dawkins.
The final lecture in this series takes place on Tuesday November 4, when Doug Smith (Director of Youth Initiative) speaks on the subject ‘Keeping religion out of politics: reflections on the American experience’.