The local church has always been the center of Christian spiritual formation and discipleship, but in recent years it has been challenged by divisive issues at the crossroads of science and faith, which has hindered its discipling work. For four years, TCF has worked to develop a unique mode of engagement enabling Christians to wrestle with issues in a way that brings new knowledge, new understanding, and a recognition that in spite of differences, all things hold together in Christ.
Our recent experience and the guidance of our network of advisors and scholars suggest the time has come to extend the reach and impact of TCF beyond the “laboratory” of the university. It is time to migrate our process for engaging difficult issues of faith and science as opportunities for spiritual formation into churches.
With our new initiative we want to answer the question: “When scholars are reconnected to the intellectual life of the church through engagement with divisive issues of faith and science, can this serve to rekindle a distinctively Christian imagination in ways that will produce knowledge deeply formed by the Gospel?” And with this specific project we want to know: “What kind of training and materials, together with collaborative partnerships, will inspire a formative and unitive mode of cultural engagement between church and academy?”
As we answer these questions, we will design, develop, and pilot a church-based version of The Colossian Way, specifically designed to address the needs of churches engaging faith and science with lessons, written resources, videos, and more. We will create a marketing plan focused on churches and we will prepare TCF to provide ongoing support and dialogue with the academy that will produce fruitful interaction, the discovery of new knowledge, and deep Christian discipleship for years to come.
Our goal is to establish this new engagement method in 200 churches by 2019 as a springboard for exponential growth beyond that.