- John Van Sloten
God's Body Language
This fall I'll be preaching five new bio-sermons on God's revelation through the human body (Sunday mornings at Riverpark CRC... on the human gut/micro biome, DNA reparation mechanisms, the lungs, the heart and the musculoskeletal system - I will post dates in my events calendar once they are finalized). These messages are being funded as part of a grant from the STEAM project at Fuller Theological Seminary that I was awarded last year. Here's the project description from the grant application;
"Our project will provide ‘emerging adult scientists of faith’ with tools to exegete both the 'icon' that is their field of study and the 'vocational parable' that is their job. By discerning God’s revelation in both of these places, young scientists will have more with which to understand and experience God at work (and be better equipped to convey these experiences to others). The goal of this proposal is to create a Lectio Scientia (a theology of creational revelation, unique scientific exegetical practices, and scientific/vocational spiritual disciplines, all drawn from various bio-medical disciplines) that will be published as both a free e-book (aimed at scientists) and trade publication book (written for the broader emerging adult audience)."
While we're just getting started on the grant, some cool things have already happened; like the interview we had with Dr. Laurie Hiemstra, an orthopedic surgeon who fixes knees in Banff. Watch this 20 minute video summary of our interview for a sermon on the knee;
What you can't see in that video was the very excited 20 year old pre-med student who was sitting off camera soaking it all in. After the interview she sent me a lengthy email talking about how encouraging the experience was. This young millennial grew up in the church I used to pastor. She knew all about the theology of experiencing God everywhere. And now she was doing exactly that in the field of her chosen vocation!
My dream is that she, one day, becomes a doctor who practices the presence of God as she works with her patients (in the new kind of way Dr. Hiemstra talks about in the video). My hope, through interviews with scientists and sermon videos and books produced as part of this project, is that many young adults will be introduced to a new way of experiencing God in their biomedical work.
I think the knee sermon was a good start.
If you're interested here are a few more bio-sermons I've preached in the past;
Epigenetics and the Love of God
God's Stress Relieving Truth in your Neurons
The Kidney, Homeostasis and the Holy Spirit
Opening image by Italian Artist Nunzio Paci who gave me permission to use his work after learning about my approach to preaching body as text.