Christian Engineering Resources
Books, articles, videos, etc. that are relevant to the interface of Christianity with engineering, engineering education, technology and environment.To suggest a new book, article or video/blog for this list, please e-mail David Che.
Bartlett, J., et al, eds. Engineering and the Ultimate: An Interdisciplinary Investigation of Order and Design in Nature and Craft. Blyth Institute Press, 2014.
Borgmann, Albert, Power Failure: Christianity in the Culture of Technology, 2003.
Ethan J. Brue, Derek C. Schuurman, Steven H. VanderLeest, A Christian Field Guide to Technology for Engineers and Designers, IVP Academic, in publication for spring 2022. (companion website)
Casey, S. M., Set Phasers on Stun: And Other True Tales of Design, Technology, and Human Error, Aegean, 1998.
Challies, Tim, The Next Story: Faith, Friends, Family, and the Digital World, Zondervan, 2011,2015
Charles Adams, Exercising Our Worldview: Brief essays on issues from technology to art from one Christian's perspective
Cunningham, David S., edited, At This Time and In This Place: Vocation and Higher Education, Oxford University Press, 2016
Dyer, John. From the Garden to the City: The Redeeming and Corrupting Power of Technology, Kregel Publications, 2011.
Graff, Bill, Engineering Your Faith - Devotionals for Practical Minds, LeTourneau University Press, 2019
Graham, Loren, The Ghost of the Executed Engineer: Technology and the Fall of the Soviet Union.
Greene, Mark, Thank God it’s Monday – Ministry in the Workplace, 3rd edition, Scripture Union, 2001/2002
Groothuis, Douglas R., The Soul in Cyberspace. Baker Book House, 1999.
Guy Consolmagno, God’s Mechanics- How Scientists and Engineers Make Sense of Religion, 2009.
Halsmer, Dominic M., Hacking the Cosmos: How Reverse Engineering Uncovers Organization, Ingenuity and the Care of a Maker, Dubuque, IA, Kendall Hunt, 2019.
International Association for the Promotion of Christian Higher Education, Christian Higher Education in the Global Context: Implications for Curriculum, Pedagogy, and Administration, Dordt College Press, 2008
Kallenberg, Brad J., By Design: Theology, Ethics and the Practice of Engineering, Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2013.
Kallenberg, Brad J. God and Gadgets: Following Jesus in a Technological World. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2010.
Keller, Timothy, Every Good Endeavor - Connecting Your Work to God's Work, Riverhead Books, 2014
Lai, Patrick, Business for Transformation: Getting Started, William Carey Library, 2015
Lai, Patrick, Tentmaking: The Life and Work of Business as Missions, InterVarsity Press, 2005
Monsma, Stephen V., ed. Responsible Technology: A Christian Perspective. Grand Rapids: W.B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1986.
Niebuhr, H. Richard, Christ and Culture, Harper & Row, 1951
Pearcey, Nancy, Saving Leonardo: A Call to Resist the Secular Assault on Mind, Morals, and Meaning, B&H Publishing Group, 2010
Petroski, Henry, To Engineer is Human - the Role of Failure in Successful Design, Vintage Books, 1992
Preston, Christopher J., Saving Creation: Nature and Faith in the Life of Holmes Rolston III, Trinity University Press, 2009
Schuurman, Derek, Shaping a Digital World: Faith, Culture and Computer Technology. Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 2013.
See below for a link to its companion website. It includes many more resources and links related to faith and computer technology (including instructor resources for those using the book in a capstone course). https://cs.calvin.edu/activities/books/shaping_a_digital_world
Schwartz, Max, The Biblical Engineer: How the Temple in Jerusalem Was Built, Ktav Publishing House, 2002
Schwartz, Max, Machines, Buildings, Weaponry of Biblical Times - a fascinating reference of biblical engineering and design, Fleming H Revell Co, 1990
Sherman, Amy L., Kingdom Calling - Vocational Stewardship for the Common Good, InterVarsity Press, 2011
Swearengen, Jack, Beyond Paradise: Technology and the Kingdom of God, Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2007.
Wilkinson, Loren, et al., Earth Keeping in the 90s - Stewardship of Creation, Wm.B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, 1991
Wolterstorff, Nicholas P., Educating for Life - Reflections on Christian Teaching and Learning, Baker Academic, 2002
Van Dyke, Fred, et al, Redeeming Creation - the Biblical Basis for Environmental Stewardship, InterVarsity Press, 1996
Casey, S. M., Set Phasers on Stun: And other true tales of design, technology, and human error, Aegean, 1998.
Review by Lee Nickles firstname.lastname@example.org :The author presents 20 case studies of engineering failures. There are familiar (to many engineers) and obscure ones, but all describe what happens when a particular set of conditions lead to a failure. Many have disastrous consequences, encouraging engineers young and experienced alike to consider the possible outcomes of their decisions. These do not read like a dry report; the writing is engaging and effectively draws you in to each event. Any engineer will find it an engaging book, but I particularly recommend it for undergraduate design courses as a prompt for discussion or writing assignments on ethics, design failure, and professional responsibilities
The author presents 20 case studies of engineering failures. There are familiar (to many engineers) and obscure ones, but all describe what happens when a particular set of conditions lead to a failure. Many have disastrous consequences, encouraging engineers young and experienced alike to consider the possible outcomes of their decisions. These do not read like a dry report; the writing is engaging and effectively draws you in to each event. Any engineer will find it an engaging book, but I particularly recommend it for undergraduate design courses as a prompt for discussion or writing assignments on ethics, design failure, and professional responsibilities
A major point of this book is that much of the information technology we employ now (and back in 1999) disembodies us and decontextualizes information. And, this is bad. Bad for deep understanding and bad for community (among other things). Also, this technology makes information ethereal - easy to create, transmit, remix, and to delete either accidentally or purposefully. Certainly information technologies and the Internet can be used wisely and well, but Groothuis argues that we do not do so. More recent technology doesn't change this book - though it is 11 years old (a few web generations), the insights still hold and may have even better exemplars now. As an engineer, this book has helped me see the consequences of how we have designed information technology without a thoughtful Christian philosophy to guide us.
*Saving Leonardo* is Nancy Pearson's magnum opus and furthers the thought she articulated in *Total Truth.* Building on the work of the great theologian, Francis Schaeffer, Nancy continues her analysis of secularism and asks a simple question: Is secularism a positive force in the modern world?
The book is beautifully written and illustrated in 328 pages on heavy gloss paper, and after a brief introduction (Why Americans Hate Politics) it is organized into two main parts comprising nine chapters and an epilogue. Part 1, The Threat of Global Secularism, comprises three chapters: 1.) Are You an Easy Mark? 2.) Truth and Tyranny 3.)Sex, Lies, and Secularism. Part 2, Two Paths to Secularism, comprises the remaining six chapters and an epilogue: 4.) Crash Course on Art and Worldview 5.) Beauty in the Eye of the Machine (The Enlightenment Heritage) 6.) Art Red in Tooth and Claw (The Enlightenment Heritage) 7. Romancing the Canvas (The Romantic Heritage) 8.) Escape from Nihilism (The Romantic Heritage) 9.) Morality at the Movies; and an Epilogue, Bach School of Apologetics. The book is heavily annotated and referenced with acknowledgments, a list of notes, and list of images; but unfortunately this scholarly work has no index.
By surveying art and philosophy from Aristotle, Descartes, and onward, Pearcy weaves together a coherent, cogent, and convincing case that secularism is an abject failure both as a worldview and as a positive force in art, science, and the modern world. To do this, she builds on Schaeffer's fact/value split -- a theme she thoroughly introduced in *Total Truth* and amplifies further via example in *Saving Leonardo.* Basically, the argument is this: secular thought has devolved to the following. When it comes to scientific facts, what's true is true. That is, 1 + 1 = 2 for everyone everywhere every time. However, when it comes to values, i.e., morality in its various expressions (e.g., abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, homosexuality, etc.), what's true for you is true and what's true for me is true -- even if such "truths" are mutually contradictory. Thus, with respect to facts, secularists are modernists but with respect to values, secularists are post-modernists.
This schizophrenia continues in worldview. That is, a worldview should explain the world, not fall apart when the focus shifts. Yet those secularists who genuinely believe that life evolved from a prebiotic soup do not treat their loved ones as if they were mere rearrangements of carbon atoms. They do not behave as if their love is an evolutionary trick foisted upon them by their genes. They genuinely love.
However, the fact/value split has more serious issues than being schizophrenic; it commits suicide. That is, if there is no absolute truth, then any statement affirming such is self-destructive reducing to an absolute truth claim that absolute truth does not exist. If all thought is ultimately the result of evolution, then so is the thought that all thought is the result of evolution, and we have just lost any objective basis to affirm that all thought is a result of evolution.
One may argue that not all seemingly coherent worldviews are true, but one cannot properly argue that an incoherent worldview is true, and secularism offers an incoherent worldview. But that is not all. As Pearcy shows, secularism has had a debilitating effect on art and science. It destroys any basis for science -- if absolute truth does not exist why study it in the particular? It also corrupts art, which Pearcy shows via numerous examples in her text.
Christian theism stands in stark contrast to secularism; it is a coherent worldview: because we were created by a loving God, love is not illusory but genuine. Because God is a truthful moral agent, true morality exists. Because the Christian God is a rational God, a rational world is not only allowed but expected; indeed, historically it was Christianity that motivated science while secularism (in the form of modernism and later post-modernism) among other "isms" (such as fatalism, paganism, animism, and mysticism) militated against it.
But is Christianity true? That is the question worthy of debate and the one that is tacitly dismissed without due consideration by the fact/value split. Christian apologetics have affirmed a rational and emphatic yes to that question that has withstood millennia of destructive criticism. How remarkable that two millennia after its introduction by the most common of folk, and after continued opposition by the greatest world empires, that we continue to name our children Peter and Paul and our dogs Nero and Caesar.
In alphabetical order of the author's last name, except the first entry, which contains hundreds of papers relevant to the topics of engineering and engineering education in a Christian way/context.
Proceedings of the Christian Engineering Conferences (formerly Christian Engineering Education Conferences)
Adams, Charles C. "Automobiles, Computers, and Assault Rifles: The Value -Ladenness of Technology and the Engineering Curriculum." Pro Rege, March 1991, pp. 1-7.
Dovich, Laurel, "Our Creator - the Master Engineer," 30th International Seminar on the Integration of Faith and Learning, Seoul, Korea: Sahmyook University, 2002. Retrieved 9 5, 2020 from http://circle.adventist.org/files/CD2008/CD1/ict/vol_30/30cc_035-054.pdf
Dovich, Laurel, Integrating Faith and Learning in an Engineering Classroom, http://circle.adventist.org/files/jae/en/jae200971033604.pdf
Dovich, Laurel, Technology Careers and Faith: Closing the Great Divide, https://jae.adventist.org/2019.81.2.3
Kallenberg, Brad J. "Teaching Engineering Ethics by Conceptual Design: The Somatic Marker Hypothesis." Science and Engineering Ethics (10 Apr 2009; online).
Kallenberg, Brad J. "The Theological Origins of Engineering." In Engineering Education and Practice: Embracing a Catholic Vision, edited by James Heft and Kevin Hallinan. 41-55. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 2012.
Kallenberg, Brad J., and Hamid Rafizadeh. "A Systems View of Time-Dependant Ethical Decisions." In Engineering Education and Practice: Embracing a Catholic Vision, edited by James Heft and Kevin Hallinan. 104-17. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 2012.
Newberry, Byron, "The Challenge of Vocation in Engineering Education," Christian Scholar’s Review, v35, n1, Fall 2005, pp. 49-62.
Schuurman, Derek C., "Technology and the Biblical Story", Pro Rege, Vol. 46, No. 1, September, 2017, pp. 4-11. http://digitalcollections.dordt.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2949&context=pro_rege
Schuurman, Derek C., "Approaches to Christian Education: From Elusive Towards a Larger and Deeper Approach", Pro Rege, Vol. 44, No. 3, March, 2016, pp. 14-20. (This article uses examples from computing to explore approaches to Christian education). http://digitalcollections.dordt.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2877&context=pro_rege
Schuurman, Derek C., "Technology and the Church", God and Nature Magazine, Fall 2015. http://godandnature.asa3.org/essay-lsquotechnology-and-the-church-by-derek-schuurman.html
Schuurman, Derek C. "Kuyper and Technology, or How a Voice From the Past Can Speak to our Digital Age", Christian Scholar's Review, Volume XLIX, Number 2, Winter 2020, pp. 161-174.
Schuurman, Egbert, Perspectives on Technology and Culture, Sioux Center: Dordt College Press, 1995
VanderLeest, Steven H., “Engineering Is Not Science,” Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, March 2012.
Van Poolen, Lambert, “Towards a Christian Theory of Technological Things,” Christian Scholar’s Review, v33, n3, Spring 2004, pp. 367-378.
Warners, David Paul, et al, editor, "Beyond Stewardship: New Approaches to Creation Care", 2019, Calvin College Press
Winyard, David, et al, "Technological Enhancement: What's a Christian to Do?", American Scientific Affiliation (ASA) Conference, 2015, https://n414.fmphost.com/fmi/webd/ASAdb49?script=SearchForPublicationYear&$SearchString=2015
Winyard, David, "Christianity, Transhumanism, and Techno-Syncretism", American Scientific Affiliation (ASA) Conference, 2018, https://n414.fmphost.com/fmi/webd/ASAdb49?script=SearchForPublicationYear&$SearchString=2018
Winyard David, "Transhumanism: Human Destiny or Distraction," https://www.csca.ca/2019/04/23/winyard/
Technology and the Biblical Story, Derek C. Schuurman, 2016 Faith & Work Conference, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York City, November 2016.
Practicing Creativity, Jim Tingler, ITEC (Indigenous People's Technology and Education Center).
Beyond Stewardship: New Approaches to Creation Care, David Paul Warners, et al,
Biblical Stewardship of Creation, E. Calvin Beisner, Apr 24, 2020.
Christian Engineering Ethics, David C. Winyard, 3/2/2021.