Evangeline Colarossi—Staff Writer
The science building lecture hall was packed with students, faculty, and community members as three speakers came to consider origins, the process of creation, and how to discuss these tough topics. One hundred and ninety people attended the final evening event, but the speakers presented seven times on Tuesday, speaking to various classes and groups over the day.
Darrel Falk and Todd Wood were the speakers for the evening, joined and moderated by Rob Barrett of the Colossian Forum. The two speakers have vastly different beliefs on the creation of the world and humankind. Falk is a theistic evolutionist and Wood is a six-day creationist. They presented their various points of views, along with depicting how to disagree well and learn from and teach others. The session “Engaging Tough Topics” was held during the community block and many students and professors attended. The speakers addressed that Science and Scripture should not be obstacles for each other and showed how disagreements can cause growth when handled correctly.
When asked if their opposing views made them friends or enemies, Wood answered that it was a bit of both.
“I look forward to the day when we both agree 100 percent, to the kingdom when we won’t be working against each other,” he said.
Falk encouraged the students to disagree well, but to learn from one another and not let those disagreements tear apart a relationship.
“Let nothing stand between you and love for that individual who has a different perspective,” said Falk. “Don’t have an argument you’re trying to win, but rather a discussion you’re trying to learn from.”
Brooke Altena and Chloe Hansen are co-leaders of the Dordt Science and Faith club. Currently, sophomores, the planning for this event began in April of their freshman year. It has taken six months to prepare, plan, and provide funding for this event. Altena and Hansen obtained funding from the Andreas Center, Office of the Provost, Student Government and Cocurricular, the Oxford Fund, and Biology and Chemistry departments.
Hansen was a senior in high school when she heard Falk and Wood speak in Denver. After conflicting origins articles in the Diamond last year, along with topics breached by the Siouxland Reformation Society, she and Altena decided to see what it would take to bring in several speakers.
The goal of the event was to get students to want to talk about tough topics and to learn how to have Christian conversations through them. Hansen and Altena know that the college and community could benefit from learning how to have Christian conversations about origins. They believe that the speakers do science well because they want to answer questions and educate people on two different views.
“I really appreciated how the speakers explained why we need to have conversations that show love. I feel like they presented that well. It’s what the community and students needed to hear,” said Hansen.
“I’m extremely proud of how they demonstrated their friendship,” said Altena. Despite their differences, the speakers both answered questions to the best of their abilities and spoke in respectful manners to each other concerning various topics and beliefs. They presented their beliefs and the reasoning behind them, and answered questions directed to them. Their goal was sharing for understanding and learning.
“I respect them both very deeply for how they love other people,” said Hansen.
At the end of the Engaging Tough Topics seminar, Wood addressed the fact that after taking in so much information, it’s okay not to know.
“I don’t know is a great answer, a fantastic answer,” Wood said. “If that is what you have to fall down on at the end of the day, that’s valid. Affirm it, grab it love it. But don’t settle for it, either.”