OBU to Host Philosophy Forum on Science and Theism Jan. 29

January 28, 2016

The philosophy department of OBU’s Hobbs College of Theology and Ministry invites students, faculty and staff along with the general public to the first OBU Philosophy Forum of 2016. Dr. Jim Baird, professor of Bible and philosophy at Oklahoma Christian University, will speak on “Why Science Needs Biblical Theism.”

The lecture will take place Friday, Jan. 29, at 4 p.m. in the Tulsa Royalties Auditorium, located in Bailey Business Center on OBU’s campus. After Baird’s lecture, there will be time for a robust question and answer section. The forum will conclude by 5:15 p.m.

“Every semester, our Philosophy Department seeks to have scholars from other universities visit our campus and bless our students with guest lectures and public forums,” said Dr. Tawa Anderson, assistant professor of philosophy and director of OBU’s honor program. “I am thoroughly thrilled that Dr. Jim Baird, esteemed professor of Bible and philosophy at Oklahoma Christian University, has agreed to come to OBU this month.”

OBU’s Philosophy Forums are intended to spark interest in and engagement with philosophical topics and issues that have broader rational and practical implications. Friday’s lecture and discussion will feature Baird speaking on perceptions that science and Christianity are at odds with one another.

“So often today, you hear that Christianity and science are at loggerheads - that one cannot be a faithful scientist and a believing Christian,” said Anderson. “You might also hear that science is an atheistic enterprise that rejects the existence of God, or that Christianity suppresses or oppresses scientific investigation. In short, there is a lot of popular animosity perceived between the discipline of science and the Christian faith.”

Baird will address these issues and will work to help Christians and non-Christians alike understand the debt that modern science owes to Christian foundations, and how that foundation continues to serve as the necessary support for the scientific enterprise that is valued and desired by all.

Dr. Baird graduated from Oklahoma Christian College in 1978 with a bachelor’s degree in Bible and English. While attending school, he preached for the Church of Christ in Maud, Oklahoma. He received his theology degree from Harding Graduate School of Religion in 1982. His areas of major interest at Harding were Christian evidences and historical theology. In August 1992, Jim was awarded his doctorate in philosophy from Oxford. His dissertation was a new argument confirming the existence of God based on some newly discovered limits on the ability of science to explain human thinking.

Baird joined the College of Biblical Studies at Oklahoma Christian University in January 1992. His areas of specialization are Christian evidences and philosophy of religion. He has presented lectures on Christian evidences at many churches in the U.S., as well as in England, Poland, and Austria. He has also written articles on Christian evidences in various books and journals and served as editor of the Oklahoma Christian's journal, “Christianity and Contemporary Culture.” In addition to teaching apologetics at Oklahoma Christian University, Dr. Baird has been used as an adjunct in this subject by Austin Graduate School of Religion, Abilene Christian University, and Harding Graduate School of Religion. In 1999, Jim and Len Feuerhelm won a $10,000 prize from the Templeton Foundations for developing a new course dealing with the relationship between science and religion. He currently serves as the preaching minister for Wilshire Church of Christ in Oklahoma City.

“Jim is a tremendous scholar, who has spoken in churches, colleges and communities literally around the world,” said Anderson. “He is an expert in the Christian intellectual tradition, and has a wealth of knowledge and wisdom to share with all who attend his lectures. I am looking forward to the opportunity to learn under his teaching.”

For more information regarding the forum, please contact Dr. Tawa Anderson at tawa.anderson@okbu.edu.