FASTLY - Faith & Science Teaching

Part 3: Big Questions


3. Hermeneutics


The goal of this topic is to give students practice in carefully drawing conclusions about the possible connections between biblical hermeneutics and issues in applied science and technology.

Consider beginning class with the desks arranged in a circle.

The majority of this session will be spent on an academic dialogue that reflects on the passages studied in the preceding lesson. You can use these questions to focus the discussion:

  • For each passage, what are the implications on the way we think about the applied scientific developments under investigation?
  • Are there any reasons for us to hesitate in making this connection between the passages and the applied scientific developments? Are there any ways in which the passage might not clearly or straightforwardly speak to the issues at hand? Is more than one conclusion possible?
  • What might we need to do to arrive at a clearer, more defensible view? What other passages might be relevant? How would we find them?
  • What are the similarities and differences between the ways in which the processes of scientific inquiry and biblical hermeneutics push us to be careful about truth? Let students know that they have only explored one simple example of the process of interpretation and that the discipline of biblical interpretation, like the discipline of natural science, can be pursued at greater depth and involves more than what they have practiced.

For the debrief:

  • Bring the dialogue to a conclusion about 15 minutes before the end of the class session.
  • Allow ten minutes for a debrief.
  • Spend some of the time on content—correcting erroneous thinking or pointing out logical thinking.
  • Spend some of the time debriefing virtue—praise students who acted virtuously or bring up moments when students failed to do so.

During the last five minutes of class, assign the following writing task:

  • Pick one specific biblical passage engaged in the preceding lesson and write a personal response in the form of an essay, short story, poem, or other type of writing—feel free to be creative.
  • In your writing, include a response to the following questions:
    • How should a Christian respond to this passage when thinking about current developments in applied science and technology?
    • Why should they respond in this way?

Next Topic:
Sharing Responses