Lent Lecture

The Role of Science in an Evolving Christianity

Prof Richard Baker, Lay Pastor, Bramhall Methodist Church and Professor of Clinical Gait Analysis, University of Salford.

This lecture was delivered as part of the Bramhall Methodist Church Lent Lecture series in May 2019. It is not part of the Science and the Language of Prayer seminar series but is on a related theme.

Richard has an MA in Physics and a PhD in Biomechanics. His research focussed on how people with and without disabilities walk and evaluating the efficacy of clinical interventions. Until 2017 he was Professor of Clinical Gait Analysis at the University of Salford (and still holds an honorary appointment). He has been an active Lay Preacher for twenty years and recently took a career change to become full-time Lay Pastor at Bramhall Methodist Church. 


Over the centuries Christianity has evolved considerably as a consequence of the evolution of society in which it is embedded and also an evolution of the Christian understanding of God. That understanding of God has evolved through variability of ideas about God put forward by individuals or groups followed by selection based on a poorly defined process of communal discernment. Methodism has classically based this upon a consideration of scripture, tradition, reason and experience. This lecture proposes that, in the modern world, science (knowledge supported by an evidence base) and culture (knowledge not supported by an evidence base) should be included alongside the traditional quadrilateral. Having developed this framework its application is illustrated through two examples: “Where is God in Cancer?” and “Prayer”.


The video below is actually the first of a playlist of four with a total playing time of just over 30 minutes.

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