Occasionally, it’s helpful to stand back and ask whether it is possible to put these developments together into a broader picture. The speed of scientific discovery can make our heads spin. Can we put things together? Is it possible to offer a theologically coherent view of science and technology today?
One of the boldest attempts along this line is the “Pastoral Letter” released by the United Church of Christ early in 2008. The full title of the Letter is "A New Voice Arising: A Pastoral Letter on Faith Engaging Science and Technology."
When the Letter first appeared, one person to recommend it was Alan Leshner, Executive at the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He wrote:
I am delighted to see the United Church of Christ's clear support of science. I believe that science and religion are complementary to each other, and should not be seen as competing ways of looking at the world; they are concerned with different questions. In an era of such rapid science and technology advances – advances that bring benefits as well as, at times, risks -- and when science and technology are becoming ever-more imbedded in every aspect of modern life, it is essential that we maintain an active dialogue among scientists, ethicists, and religious communities. In the same way that UCC states that it cannot ignore the context in which it functions, neither can the scientific community ignore its societal context. For this reason, we see a dialogue between science and religion as vital.
While science and technology have continued to advance rapidly since 2008, the themes expressed in the Letter remain current. Church groups have used it as a study document. Clergy have used it for sermons. My guess is that they will continue to do so.