On top of his duties as the director of the National Institutes of Health, Francis Collins takes time to answer letters from Christians trying to reconcile their faith with science.

At a conference last week of BioLogos, the nonprofit he founded more than 10 years ago to bridge science and faith, Collins told an audience of 360 scientists, pastors and educators about an email he received recently from a man in Nigeria named Emanuel. Emanuel was raised in a conservative Christian home but was studying to be a nurse and wrestling with whether he could hold on to his faith.

Collins told him he didn’t need to abandon his faith in order to understand what he was learning.

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