Because Dr. Regnerus would not be interviewed, it is impossible to know his latest views about the relationship between his faith and research. But we can still ask if, in principle, belief in the divinity of Jesus could affect one’s social science. Put another way: Is there a Christian way to crunch numbers?
“The answer, in my personal opinion, is no,” said Mark Chaves, a sociologist of religion at Duke Divinity School. But, he added, religious concerns “can very profoundly shape the kinds of questions we ask, and what we’re interested in, what we think is important and so on.” So while “in the narrowest sense it doesn’t affect his computations,” Dr. Regnerus’s Christian faith may have drawn him to questions about same-sex relationships and family structure.
And a religious worldview, like any worldview, can dispose a researcher toward certain mistakes in thinking....
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