Evolutionary Christianity


Evolutionary Christianity values big history—the 14-billion-year epic of physical, biological, and cultural evolution—as divine revelation and as our common creation story.  As I've been teaching and preaching it, here are four core tenets of Evolutionary Christianity:

1.  It is impossible not to trivialize and demean God and gospel without a science-based, deep-time appreciation of human nature, our shared ancestry, the trajectory of big history, and the creative role played by death at all levels of the universe.

2.  The history of everything and everyone can be interpreted in hopeful, soul-nourishing ways, and in ways that inspire people to cooperate across ethnic, religious, and political differences in service of a just and thriving future for all. 

3.  An understanding of human instincts and our empathic nature, as given by evolutionary brain science and evolutionary psychology, can help each of us live with greater integrity and zest for life.  It can also deepen and enrich (naturalize/REALize) traditional views of The Fall and Original Sin.

4.  When church leaders study the epic of evolution as they now do the Bible, and when they teach and preach the discoveries of science as divine revelation—as God's word and guidance for us today—Christianity will experience a revival unlike anything the world has ever seen.

To be clear: I am neither a theist, nor an atheist; I'm an emergentist, a religious naturalist.  The concepts of theism and atheism came into use before we had an evidential understanding of how the world, in fact, came into being, and before we learned that Creation itself is creative.  Given what we now know about our origins, the theist-atheist dichotomy no longer makes sense.  Both presuppose a trivial, unnatural God and a Cosmos that is not itself divinely creative.  Reality is my God and integrity is my religion.  By this, I mean that what is real is my ultimate commitment and being in right relationship with Reality/God, and assisting humanity in this process, is my calling and deepest inspiration.

For those not already familiar with us and our itinerant ministry...

I am the author of the bestselling book, Thank God for Evolution: How the Marriage of Science and Religion Will Transform Your Life and Our World (Viking/Plume), which has been endorsed by 6 Nobel laureates and other science luminaries, including noted skeptics, and by religious leaders across the spectrum.  My wife, Connie Barlow (an acclaimed science writer and gifted children's educator) and I have traveled North America non-stop since 2002, living out of our Dodge Sprinter van, "Angel", and have addressed more than a thousand religious and secular audiences.

COST:  We have no set fee.  We prefer to trust the generosity and budget of each church or sponsoring organization.  For Sunday services, most congregations offer an honorarium in the range of $100-$400.  Our commitment, however, is to go where there is interest, regardless of compensation.  For larger events (summer camps, clergy retreats, distinguished lectureships, etc), we've usually been offered an honorarium in the $1,000-$3,000 range, but we're open to negotiating less than this if need be.  ALL EVENING PROGRAMS ARE OFFERED FREE OF CHARGE.

The main way we support ourselves and our itinerant ministry is by selling our books and DVDs at the back of the room.  Attendees may visit a self-serve book table after our programs—during coffee hour and/or after follow-up programs.