No shock or dismay greeted even the most aggressive claims made for technology at an interdisciplinary Conference on Human Engineering and the Future of Man. The conference drew 140 evangelical scholars and leaders to Wheaton College late in July. Their obvious aim was not to discredit but rather to motivate science, and to assess Christian duty at the frontiers of technology.

Evangelicals listened dispassionately to radical naturalists, confident that biblical faith was not being imperiled. They even welcomed the constructive aspects of human engineering. Long before the final day, when a paper by Senator Mark Hatfield underlined the importance of image in an age of mass communications, it was clear that modern evangelicals are not hostile to free inquiry and liberal education. As Dr. Robert Herrmann of Boston University School of Medicine helped remind the conferees, the Christian Church should oppose research only when it infringes upon biblical principles or is unworthy.

If anyone thought these positions were achieved by forfeiting basic evangelical loyalties, no one said so. In fact, participants insisted that science has indispensable (if often unacknowledged) theistic supports. Many of the scientists met daily for pre-breakfast prayer. No evangelicals veiled their faith in a miracle-working God. If any of the secular scientists questioned whether evangelical scholars can be earnestly dedicated to science, the caliber of the audience kept them from saying it.

Science often forgets, noted Dr. Herrmann, that “a biblical perspective forged its beginnings,” while Dr. Donald M. MacKay reminded everyone that the prestigious early modern scientists were overwhelmingly devout evangelicals. Emphasis fell on the Christian view ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.