The account of Genesis is not a scientific piece of data on how God did it, but more of God's narrative of his motivations — why he created the universe the way he did and what man's role in the universe is supposed to be.
IN ACADEMIA, HAVE WE REACHED A POST-RELIGIOUS ERA? I think there is more and more of a shift towards people realizing that this sort of "never the twain shall meet" is unrealistic — and part of this has been driven by students.
It was sort of assumed [a generation ago] that a generation down the road no one would be talking about faith — all the people coming to school would be sort of post-religious. And that hasn't really happened. The students who come to schools like Harvard and MIT and URI, they all still have these faith backgrounds.
So people are starting to realize that trying to educate students in such a way as to say, "Well, now you have to leave all these things at the door, so to speak, when you come into the classroom" is probably a disservice. Trying to actually bring those issues to bear on their scholarship and on their work life is probably beneficial. And so it's actually been somewhat of a crisis at the university level for people to start to figure out, "Well, how do we do that?"
WHAT ARE YOU HOPING TO ACCOMPLISH WITH THIS TALK? In science we focus so much on objective knowledge or objectification — making myself objective, separating myself from the thing that I'm learning, recognizing that there may be some objective truth, irrespective [of] my relationship to the truth.
That's been a great thing in terms of advancing society, generating new technologies, but it isn't the whole of our existence. One very important component of truth is that subjective piece: "How do I relate to this piece of truth? How does it affect the way I live?" And for me, Christianity and Jesus Christ, in particular, have been very important in terms of trying to understand and make sense of how I should live within the light of these objective facts.
And whether people choose to follow Christ or to follow whatever their faith background or to be atheist — for them to make sure that they have wrestled with these issues of how they should be subject to the truth and what reality and what truth has to say about how they live. These are important questions [and] I don't think we really teach them in the university very much.