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Gardner-Webb Event Invites Two Faculty Members to Discuss Relationship Between Science and Faith

The Webb Connections Panel, from left, Dr. William M. Downs, Dr. Jim McConnell and Dr. Meredith Rowe.

President Downs Leads ‘Webb Connections’ Program with New Testament Scholar and Cell Biologist

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—In the third program in Gardner-Webb University’s “Webb Connections” series, President Dr. William M. Downs is joined by two faculty members to discuss “Science and Faith: Not Mutually Exclusive.” While this topic has been examined and debated for centuries, it remains relevant to today, and especially on the campus of Gardner-Webb, a private Christian liberal arts university, where conviction and critical thinking meet every day.

The guest panelists were Dr. Jim McConnell, Bob D. Shepherd Chair of Biblical Studies, associate dean of the School of Divinity and professor of New Testament interpretation, and Dr. Meredith Greene Rowe, an assistant professor of biology. The discussion was recorded live in front of an audience of students, who were given an opportunity to ask questions at the end.  

Dr. Jim McConnell listens as Dr. Meredith Rowe responds to a question.
Dr. Jim McConnell listens as Dr. Meredith Rowe responds to a question.

McConnell teaches classes in all areas of the New Testament as well as biblical Greek. The author of “The topos of Divine Testimony in Luke-Acts,” as well as other articles and essays, McConnell focuses especially on Luke-Acts and Paul. Rowe typically teaches Human Biology, Anatomy & Physiology, Cell Biology and Immunology. Her areas of interest are Translational Science and Osteoarthritis.

A student asks the panel a question.

McConnell and Rowe shared their own personal beliefs about faith and its relationship with science. They also discussed a number of topics, from interpreting the biblical accounts of the creation story and miracles to developing a mutual appreciation of both science and faith. They answered questions from students about calculating the earth’s age and dealing with Christian leaders who deny science. They explored the connection between healing and medicine, especially as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think we are very well able to trust God for healing and to bring us through this rather extended crisis that has lasted longer than most of the population would have anticipated anyway,” Rowe stated.

McConnell agreed and added, “I literally pray every day that God would remove this pandemic from us. In doing that, I think one has to rely on the means of removing the pandemic to God. I, too, see that God can work through scientists in labs creating vaccines, and God can work through vaccine programs to make sure people are getting vaccinated.”

The full conversation is available below.

The next Webb Connections event, “A Revival in Christian Higher Education: Building A Bigger Tent … Beyond Denominations,” is scheduled for 7 p.m. on April 20.

Located in the North Carolina foothills, Gardner-Webb University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university. Gardner-Webb emphasizes a strong student-centered experience and rigorous academics to prepare students to become effective leaders within the global community. Ignite your future at

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