From the Dust is a feature-length documentary film from Highway Media and The BioLogos Foundation tackling some of the most important questions in the science-faith dialogue. This topic intrigues me greatly, not so much from the scientific standpoint (biological, geological, etc), but from a theological standpoint. I enjoy thinking through the theo-philosophical points that must be considered in light of a universe that is conceivably 13.82 billion year-old.
This film has just become available for both rental and purchase via iTunes. You can see the trailer at the end of this post. Here is a short summary of the 1-hour 7-minute film:
The question of where we come from is a mystery man has explored throughout human history. As Charles Darwin composed his theory of natural selection, he began defining for the modern generation a suitable, if altogether scientific answer for the origin of man. While this theory has gone largely unchallenged scientifically for the past 150 years, there is one segment of society that has been consistently uncomfortable with its revelations—the community of faith. Does the Bible provide a narrative of mankind’s material origins? What is the real source of the controversy surrounding evolution vs. creation? How do we reconcile scientific discovery with a loving, universal, Creator-God? In From the Dust, renowned theologians, educators, and scientists reexamine this perennial debate, and infuse it with fresh theories, new theological insights, and an open desire for truth and dialogue.
Some of those interviewed in the film are N.T. Wright, Alister McGrath, Peter Enns, John Polkinghorne, David Wenham, Michael Lloyd, Chris Tilling and many more.
Recently, Ryan Petty, the filmmaker of this documentary, gave his own feedback after working on the film:
With From the Dust, we wanted to put something proactive on the table that could help motivate an elevated conversation about the “war” between science and faith. It was our goal to help Christians see (and accept) the complexity of the issues raised by modern science, as well as help them to courageously engage with the theological conversations happening within the sphere of Christian culture today. We wanted the film to address the topic hermeneutically, historically, and socially in order to gain a better perspective on the issues, and, hopefully, address some of the fears (justified or otherwise) concerning what science is telling us about our physical origins.
Personally, this project has been a spiritual shot in the arm and has whole-heartedly reignited my walk with God. I have been truly humbled by my opportunity to speak with so many incredible theologians, scientists, biblical scholars, and authors. As a result of this project, the book of Genesis has become more alive and more dynamic than I had ever allowed it to be. It is my hope that this film will both challenge and inspire people of faith, no matter where they are on their journey, to revere the complexity of God both through his word and his creation.
As I said, I too get excited when I ponder some of the deeper spiritual and theological points flowing out of the early chapters of Genesis. I’m strongly convinced the passage is not a journalistic reporting of history. It’s a narrative story speaking of origins, but also into Israel’s forming as the people of Yahweh. Thus, I don’t believe Scripture and science are at odds with one another. Rather they are speaking to different areas. Coming to this conclusion gives me much clarity on the larger narrative of Scripture, as well as peace as I think through Scripture’s teaching and science.
The full-length documentary is available to view for free.