Dr. Drew Crain, a professor of Biology at Maryville College, published his first book, “Science & Christianity: Past, Present, and Future” this January.
Crain wrote this book while finishing other projects during a recent sabbatical. The idea stemmed from a class he previously taught at Maryville College to fulfill a senior seminar requirement that is no longer a part of the required course load for students.
“The senior seminar had to be an interdisciplinary class, so I chose science and religion,” said Crain. “I got several grants through the years to go to workshops, to go to conferences…they basically provided a lot of resources for such a class. I had to learn a lot about the interaction between science and religion, so I developed this course and we taught it for years here. When the senior seminar went away, basically I thought about how I might use the information that I invested a lot of time in, and the college invested money…how can I use that on a bigger scale?”
Crain’s idea for targeting this book towards churches instead of academic circles came from a realization of the lack of materials available about science and religion for the average person—not a theologian or scientific professional.
“What there’s not is, for Christian churches, a resource of how they can tackle this tough subject of science and religion,” said Crain. “So, I wrote a book for the average lay-person in Christian churches. I not only wrote a book but made videos that supplement each chapter. It’s a book designed for groups in churches, or Christian groups at colleges, universities, things like that.”
Originally, 1,000 copies were published, and in the two and a half weeks since its publication, 700 have already been distributed.
“The response has been tremendous so far,” said Crain. The book, which is divided into five chapters, covers some of the biggest sources of conflict that typically arise when discussing science and religion like creation and evolution.
“I argue that a full understanding of natural selection theory by Darwin is a benefit to our faith not an impediment,” said Crain. “It talks about conservation which Christians term ‘Conservation Care’ and it’s a very pro conservation…narrative.”
The book is ultimately aimed at conveying not only the coexistence, but the greater understanding that each discipline can lend to the other.
“The book is unabashedly against the conflict motif,” said Crain. “It is basically a book that says there is no conflict between modern science and the Christian faith.”
While hard copies are available, there is also a PDF version that is available to the public. If you wish to obtain a copy or for more information, email Dr. Drew Crain at firstname.lastname@example.org