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Old-Time Religion Trivializes God, Guidance, & Good News
As I offered in a recent blog post: "7 Deadly Sins of Old-Time Religion", there are at least seven seriously negative consequences, personally and collectively, of flat-earth scriptural literalism.
By "Old-Time Religion", I mean religious faith that has not yet embraced an evidential understanding of revelation and a deep-time view of grace—that is, religion that still hasn't integrated and been transformed by the epic of evolution—cosmic, Earth, biological, and human history—as given by science.
1. trivializes God, guidance, and good news;
2. balkanizes religion and bastardizes science;
3. desacralizes nature;
4. blasphemes death;
5. fails our children and grandchildren;
6. exacerbates personal and interpersonal challenges; and
7. blinds us from seeing our way out of the current global integrity crisis.
Old-Time Religion trivializes God by claiming that the Creator is still best understood in terms of Iron Age and ancient Palestinian metaphors. It trivializes guidance by suggesting that God stopped communicating all the really important stuff back when people believed the world was flat and religious insights were recorded on animal skins. And it trivializes good news by suggesting that our greatest religious inspiration is found in unnatural events ‘back then, up there, or someday.'
It is vitally important to remember that supernatural and unnatural are synonyms. If something is supposedly supernatural then, by definition, it is also unnatural.
Is it any wonder that millions of young people are turning their backs on religion if the so-called "good news" or "gospel" they are offered is a literal interpretation of this storyline?...
An unnatural father who occasionally engages in unnatural acts sends his unnatural son into the world in an unnatural way to offer an unnatural salvation from an unnatural curse brought about my an unnatural snake. Those who believe in all this unnatural activity get to enjoy an unnatural heaven and everyone else will suffer an unnatural hell, forever.
Is it really a surprise that the new atheists continue to ride bestseller lists when religion is equated with such otherworldly "supernaturalism"?
Evolution Theology un-trivializes God, guidance, and good news. It REALizes all three. It offers a God no less real than the Universe. It shows how divine guidance can be discerned in every fact discovered by science. And it offers this-world saving good news for individuals, families, and for the body of life as a whole.