In 2014, the Forum organized our first summer lecture series, consisting of dinner, lecture by a local speaker, and discussion on various topics, for ten weeks. In succeeding summers, we have always incorporated weekly talks by local speakers, centered around a particular theme for each summer. Beyond that, we have broadened our discussion by inviting a visiting speaker of national stature to give evening lectures.
In 2015, we organized a summer lecture series during June and July using the book Origins: Christian Perspectives on Creation, Evolution, and Intelligent Design, by Deborah Haarsma, president of BioLogos, and Prof. Loren Haarsma of Calvin College, concluding with a visit and three keynote lectures on August 4-6 from the Haarsmas. Their lectures were titled “Evolution and Christianity: Past, Present, and Future”; “God and the Multiverse”; and “God, Evolution and Morality”.
In the winter of 2015/2016, we organized a monthly video/lecture series on the topic “What Makes Us Human?”. This was also our topic for the summer of 2016. Our invited speaker that summer was Justin Barrett, Thrive Professor of Developmental Science in the Graduate School of Psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary, who gave two evening lectures, titled “From Homo erectus to Homo religiosus” and “When Science ‘Explains’ Religious Beliefs: Basic Approaches and Implications”.
In 2017, our summer theme was “Hope: Science, Religion, and The Future.” The motivation for this theme was our desire to investigate conceptions of “The Future” and examine the basis for hope and optimism, or despair and pessimism, as we find it in science and religion. Our visiting speaker was theologian John Haught, Distinguished Research Professor at Georgetown University. His two evening lectures were titled “Science, Religion, and Cosmic Purpose” and “Evolution and Faith: What Is at Stake”.
In 2018, our summer theme was “Purposeful Evolution?” Our visiting speaker was Dennis Venema, professor of biology at Trinity Western University in Langley, British Columbia. His two evening lectures were titled “Adam, the Genome, and Evolution” and “Evolution, Intelligent Design, and the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis.”