4. We recognize our responsibility, as stewards of God's creation, to use science and technology for the good of humanity and the whole world.
These four statements of faith spell out the distinctive character of the ASA, and we uphold them in every activity and publication of the Affiliation.
There are some remarkably persistent misconceptions that prevent us from having a proper understanding of Christianity and its relationship with natural science. Let's examine a few:
Exclusive - Many people believe that Christian groups are social cliques where everyone thinks the same way, and there is no tolerance for diverse viewpoints. Far too often, this is exactly the case — but the ASA operates according to a different model. We believe that there is room for open dialogue, and that honest disagreements have the potential to enrich our understanding.
None of us has mastered every domain of knowledge, and we are eager to interact with those from a variety of backgrounds. While full ASA members are professionals in science who profess Christian faith, the larger ASA community is inclusive of everyone who is eager to learn about issues of science and faith.
Dull - God is not static, dull, or risk-averse. So why should Christians be? Jesus told us to follow him. Since he was always on the move during his ministry, we have to be prepared for rapid change and reorientation.
Doubts and Uncertainty - Many people think that having doubts and uncertainty about God is a sign of weak faith. Doubts can lead to questions, and questions can lead us to investigate new vistas.
Nature is truly awe-inspiring. Throughout history, humans have endeavored to comprehend its complexity, appreciate its beauty, and unravel its mysteries. Modern civilization in particular has explored and investigated our surroundings at a dizzying pace.
But does this imply that science will enable us to understand everything? Will science eventually enable us to dispense with religion, philosophy, art, and literature?
Given its remarkable track record, many people have developed tremendous faith in science to solve all our problems, answer all our questions, even save humanity from self-destruction. In our age, science has taken on many of the attributes that other societies have ascribed to God.
So is faith in God compatible with the rigorous study of the natural world? We can't possibly answer this question without thoroughly investigating many possibilities. We must dive in, confront our anxieties, and push forward in the midst of uncertainty. What good is faith if it makes us afraid to learn new ideas? What good is science if it prevents us from asking big questions?
Wherever you stand now, challenge yourself.