The Crossroads of Science and Faith:
Astronomy Through a Christian Worldview

The Crossroads of Science and Faith: Astronomy Through a Christian Worldview is a textbook designed to be a resource for the Christian community (for both the home school environment and Christian schools) to teach Astronomy and to introduce students to the science and faith dialog.

Statistics show that a large number of students who claim to be Christians abandon their faith during their college years. While there may be many reasons for this sad abandonment of faith, research shows that confusion about science and faith issues play an important role in this outcome.

The motivation of the authors in writing this textbook is to change the statistics mentioned above by preparing students to engage in courteous and thoughtful dialogue with respect to science and faith issues. They also seek to equip students to defend their faith with sound reasoning and confidence while they learn about the remarkable science of astronomy.

This textbook is unique. It was written by professional Christian astronomers who are also active professionals in college and university environments. They are familiar with the challenges students face during their college years, and the ways in which their faith is tested.

The authors attempted to produce a curriculum that is scientifically rigorous. A significant number of professional Christian astronomers were involved in the chapter revisions and interviews. This curriculum is designed to help students to face a secular environment with confidence by giving them the tools to better relate and integrate what they believe with what they learn about in science.

This one year curriculum contains two parts. Part I is an introduction to the science and faith dialog while Part II focus on teaching astronomy as a scientific discipline. The textbook also encourages the search for truth in every area and promotes dialogue and integration between science and faith while also being grounded in a Christian worldview, where God is the Author, Creator, and Designer of this mind-boggling and awesome universe. The textbook includes many interviews with professional Christian astronomers that will certainly inspire and encourage students and parents alike. Their testimonies are living evidence that one can excel in a scientific career and be a committed follower of Jesus.

Table of Contents

Part I – Introduction to Science Faith Issues

Chapter 1 – Science and Worldviews — designed to help students to discern the difference between worldviews and scientific information. View Sample Exercises

Chapter 2 – Science and Faith: Two Approaches for Understanding the World — investigates the scientific method, critical thinking, the process of faith, and the search for truth from both a scientific and religious perspective. View Sample Exercises

Chapter 3 – Science and Faith: Four Interactions — presents four views of the relationship between science and faith, encouraging students towards dialogue and integration relationships. View Sample Exercises

Chapter 4 – Exposing the Conflicts: Scientists, Christians, and Human Attitudes — investigates perceived conflicts between science and faith and the attitudes that deserve to be questioned on both sides. View Sample Exercises

Chapter 5 – Tips and Tools for Sound Arguments — provides a guide for helping students make logical arguments while avoiding common logical fallacies, enabling them to defend their faith with sound reasoning. View Sample Exercises

Part II – Astronomy as a Discipline

Chapter 1 – History of Astronomy (Science & Faith Session)

Chapter 2 – The Sky: Constellations and the Motions of Objects in the Sky

Chapter 3 – Telescopes and Light

Chapter 4 – The Origin of the Solar System

Chapter 5 – The Sun

Chapter 6 – Mercury

Chapter 7 – Venus: Earth Gone Wrong

Chapter 8 – Earth

Part I – Earth: The Goldilocks Planet
Part II – Earth’s Satellite: The Moon
Part III – The Earth-Sun-Moon System

Chapter 9 – Mars: The Red Planet

Chapter 10 – Jupiter

Chapter 11 – Saturn: The Ringed World

Chapter 12 – Uranus

Chapter 13 – Neptune

Chapter 14 – Small Bodies in the Solar System

Chapter 15 – Extrasolar Planets

Chapter 16 – The Birth of Stars

Chapter 17 – The Nature and the Lives of Stars

Chapter 18 – The Death of Stars

Part I: Low to Intermediate Mass Stars
Part II: High Mass Stars

Chapter 19 – Our Galaxy: The Milky Way

Chapter 20 – Galaxies

Chapter 21 – The Large Scale Structure of the Universe

Chapter 22 – Cosmology (Science & Faith Session)

Chapter 23 – Life in the Universe (Science & Faith Session)

Chapter 24 – A Universe Fine-Tuned for Life (Science & Faith Session)

Appendices

1 – How Astronomers Know the Age of the Universe

2 – Biblical Interpretations of Genesis

3 – The Broad Spectrum of Origin Beliefs

4 – The Star of Bethlehem

5 – Why Astrology is not a Science

6 – Bible Verses about the Universe

Sample: Science and Worldviews

Sample: The Death of Stars

Endorsements

I highly recommend this book!

“The Crossroads of Science and Faith: Astronomy Through a Christian Worldview is a wonderful educational resource for home schooling and Sunday school classes. Using excellent pedagogy, this book demonstrates that the continuing scientific endeavor to better understand the universe and its underlying laws is consistent with our Christian belief in God as Creator. In the tradition of Augustine, The Crossroads of Science and Faith aims to convince the reader that God’s revelation is revealed, in a mutually consistent manner, both in the Book of Scripture and in the Book of Nature. The book offers a concise and accurate summary of our present knowledge of the universe. It is written in a style that high school students will connect with. The end-of-chapter questions are thought provoking and will inspire readers to re-evaluate their perceptions of the relationship between science and faith, and will likely deepen their understanding of God as Creator of our magnificent universe. I highly recommend this book!”

Dr. Gerald B. Cleaver, Professor of Physics at Baylor University and Head of the Early Universe Cosmology and Strings Division of Baylor’s Center for Astrophysics, Space Physics, and Engineering Research

Excellent work!

“I have not seen a better book about astronomy and Christian faith for pre-college students. Scientific, historical, and theological aspects are all very well written at just the right level to challenge students while helping them to meet the challenge. Christian families owe much gratitude to the authors for producing such an excellent work.”

Dr. Ted Davis, Distinguished Professor of the History of Science at Messiah College

Extensive and thought provoking!

“As someone who has taught astronomy in a Christian context at the college level, I am very excited about this textbook. The authors have done a remarkable job introducing students to the intersection between science and faith at a high level. The end of chapter questions and exercises for this material are extensive and thought provoking. Students using this text will also experience the science of astronomy in a rigorous way, complete with beautiful images showing the latest observations. I loved reading the personal interviews of so many Christian scientists, astronomers, and astrophysicists, many of whom I know personally and highly respect. Overall a great resource for students, parents, and teachers looking for an inspiring and trustworthy introduction to astronomy from a Christian perspective.”

Dr. Darren Craig, Associate Professor of Physics and Department Chair at Wheaton College

The Crossroads of Science and Faith:
Astronomy Through a Christian Worldview

High School Astronomy Textbook

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