I first met S. Joshua Swamidass MD, Ph.D. in 2016 at our monthly Reasonable Faith meeting. After learning that he was a professor at Washington University here in St. Louis, I asked him if he’d be willing to talk with me more about Christian teens and the challenges of University life. We shared a meal together at a little restaurant near his home in University City and we talked for a long time.
I discovered that our churches were different, our personal reactions to the riots in St Louis were different, and our views on the particulars of creation were different. In many respects, I thought Dr. Swamidass and I couldn’t be any more different. I remember leaving that meeting pondering the many things Dr. Swamidass and I disagreed on. But, at the same time, I was thrilled to meet someone who knew how to disagree so well. Shortly after that meeting, I asked him to be a panelist at a Faith Ascent seminar and a speaker at Base Camp!
To be clear, while we may disagree on a few non-essential matters Dr. Swamidass and I agree on the essentials of the historic Christian faith. More relevant to Faith Ascent’s mission, Josh and I also agree on these three critical issues:
1. Youth ministry is in serious need of a reformation.
2. Christians need to learn how to navigate disagreements better.
3. The central theme of the Christian gospel is not political or scientific. It is Christ prophesied, Christ crucified for our sins, and Christ resurrected and, now more than ever, we need to get this right.
Through these shared convictions Josh and I have grown closer both professionally and personally and I am very pleased to have him as the keynote speaker for our annual fundraising dinner on October 26, 2018. Together we’ll be asking and answering this critical question: What Guards a Student’s Faith?
In addition to his important work as Associate Professor of Laboratory and Genomic Medicine at Washington University in Saint Louis, MO. Dr. Swamidass was a featured speaker and panelist at Base Camp 2017 and 2018. He also speaks regularly for Intervarsity Christian Fellowship and The Veritas Forum. He served as a Science Advisor to Concordia Seminary for AAAS Science for Seminaries and is a core member of The Carver Project.
Dr. Swamidass’ recent scientific work has built unexpected bridges between all sides of the origins debate by demonstrating that Adam and Eve, ancestors of us all, could have been de novo created less than 10,000 years ago somewhere in the Middle East. This work was presented, along with a working theological model, to attendees of The Dabar Conference last summer.
This brought high visibility to Dr. Swamidass, especially after Christian Apologist, William Lane Craig began a two year project on the science of Adam. Interacting directly with Dr. Swamidass’s work, Craig said this: “…some scientific popularizers have claimed that the genetic diversity of the present human population could not have arisen from an isolated primordial pair. Joshua Swamidass, a geneticist from Washington University… helped me to understand that this claim is completely wrong-headed.”
Faith Ascent Ministries