Intelligent Design

Much has been written in the blogosphere in the last week and a half about the Texas science curriculum director who was fired for sending an email to friends suggesting that she thought more highly of evolution than 'intelligent design' (ID). (I find this amazing given the fact that well over 95% of the scientists of the world hold an evolutionary worldview.) I first learned about this story in Wired, which directly led to Wired science blogger Brandon Keim's blog about my version of Evolutionary Christianity, and then, the next day, his interview of me. Since then, however, this Texas story has been written up nearly everywhere.

Clergy Letter / Emerging Churches

I'm often asked "How large is the Evolution Theology movement?" and "What kinds of individuals, churches, and other organizations find a sacred view of evolution inspiring?" These questions are not easy to answer, of course, for two reasons. The first is that there are many different ways that people have referred to a sacred, meaningful interpretation of cosmic history. Second, there are far, far more individuals and institutions that align with Evolutionary Theology than have ever used the term.

Thank God for the New Atheists and Creationists!

The New Atheists and Young-Earth Creationists are both playing vital, necessary roles in furthering the evolution of religious perspectives. The New Atheists are assisting the evolution of religion by ridiculing trivial, uninspiring notions of God; the Young-Earth Creationists are doing their part by ridiculing trivial, uninspiring notions of evolution.

Although a number of insightful and welcome blog posts have manifested on the Internet in response to the November 2007 publication of my book, Thank God for Evolution, one particular blog entry especially delighted Connie and me - for it was written by perhaps the best-known advocate of Young-Earth Creationism.

Ken Ham posted his December 4, 2007 blog with this title: "Evolution Evangelist Visits Creation Museum.". He wrote it in response to an article that appeared two days earlier in the Louisville Courier-Journal, titled "Will Science, Religion Kiss and Make Up?".

Ken Ham is the president and founder of Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum (in Petersburg, Kentucky). He blogged:

The Gospel of Evolution - Pentecostal Evo-Theology

While I find tremendous value in a wide diversity of religious orientations and spiritual practices, I remain unabashedly a Pentecostal Christian - an evolutionary Pentecostal to be sure, but a Pentecostal nonetheless. Whatever differences exist around the world, most Pentecostals and Charismatic Christians are united in emphasizing the following. I see these as 'the four pillars of Pentecostalism':

Florida Panhandle

The last couple weeks have been a whirlwind. Since returning from my time with 125 'emerging church' evangelical leaders in the Bahamas (see my last post), Connie and I have driven from St. Louis to Lexington, to Louisville, to Cincinnati, to Birmingham, and finally to (and throughout) the Florida panhandle, from Pensacola to Panama City.

Progressive Evangelicals / Emergents

I'm writing from Nassau, the Bahamas, where for the last week I've been with 125 progressive evangelical leaders at an event called Soularize. What a treat! As I shared in my "UU's: Celebrating Evolution" post, over the course of the last five and a half years of living on the road, speaking to religious and nonreligious audiences across North America, by far the majority of the people Connie and I have addressed are on the moderate to liberal end of the theological spectrum. This is, of course, not surprising. Any minister who believes evolution is of the devil, as I once did, is not likely to invite me into his or her pulpit. So it's exciting for me to get to know so many "emerging church" leaders, most of whom embrace, or at least accept, an evolutionary worldview.

It Just Doesn't Get Any Better!

As I mentioned toward the end of my second blog post, "Life as an Evolutionary Evangelist", one of the richest aspects of our itinerant lifestyle is falling ever more deeply in love with Nora (North America), in all her stupendous beauty and diversity. September and early October in New England are fabulous in this regard. Here I am atop Mt. Chocorua, near Tamworth, NH, a few weeks ago.

Cherished Retreats

There's no place quite like autumn in New England. For the past two years, Clare Hallward, a dear friend of ours from Montreal, Canada, has invited Connie and me to stay at their family "cottage" on the coast of Maine. It's a nine bedroom, four bathroom house that is filled with family during the summer but used only infequently the rest of the year.

Evolutionary Religious Studies

"Is 'Do Unto Others' Written Into Our Genes?" This is the title of a September 18 New York Times article by journalist Nicholas Wade.

Here the bright new field of "evolutionary religious studies" comes front and center. The article analyzes a 2006 book, The Happiness Hypothesis, by moral psychologist Jonathan Haidt (pronounced "Height").

I am anxious to get a copy of this book, as it seems to build new and alluring bridges between liberal and conservative religious perspectives. And it does so precisely by tracing the evolutionary history and adaptive value of five broad categories of religiously sanctioned "moral intuitions".