Bestselling Author Preaches Bold Science-Based Gospel

Ventura County Star

The Rev. Michael Dowd, author of the bestseller Thank God for Evolution: How the Marriage of Science and Religion Will Transform Your Life and Our World, will give a free lecture based on his book on Sept. 27 at California Lutheran University.

"I hope to help attendees celebrate facts as God's native tongue and to truly get that scientific, historic, and cross-cultural evidence reveal God's word for today far more accurately than the Bible could ever hope to," Dowd said. "And if Moses, Jesus, or the Apostle Paul were alive today, they'd be the first ones to shout 'Amen!' to this."

Accessible to all faiths and non-believers, the program is geared for teens and adults and is similar to what Dowd delivered last year at the United Nations.

Dowd served as a United Church of Christ minister for nine years in Massachusetts, Ohio and Michigan. He and his wife, Connie Barlow, a science writer and family educator, launched an itinerant ministry in 2002 and have since spoken to more than 1,500 groups as "America's evolutionary evangelists."

He believes his upcoming talk is important because "idolatry of the written word has rendered the church deaf, dumb, and blind to what God's been faithfully revealing through evidence the past 200 years," Dowd said. "Consequently billions of human beings not only don't appreciate the evolutionary significance of religion and religious differences, their inner GPS is so wildly out of date that it's no wonder they suffer and struggle needlessly. Their views of history, death, and human nature are not aligned with reality."

The discussion — sponsored by CLU Religion Department, the United Church of Christ in Simi Valley and Progressive Christians Uniting — is part of The Memorial Just Peace Lecture Series established in 2008 by the United Church of Christ of Simi Valley in honor of the late James Henry Dekker.

"On behalf of the United Church of Christ in Simi Valley I was eager to invite Michael because he is a critical voice in the evolution versus creationism/intelligent design conversation," said June Goudey, a United Church of Christ minister. "That conversation has to do with the compatibility of science and religion, which many conservative people of faith discount."

Dowd's teachings "support the insights researchers have made into the importance of human consciousness in the evolving universe," Goudey said. "By understanding that human beings are the universe becoming conscious of itself, he offers a powerfully transcendent and liberating view of human nature without undermining the role of divine presence and purpose."

For Dowd, the ultimate goal is "to inspire people to celebrate what God is revealing through evidence, to grow in integrity, and to devote themselves in service to a just and healthy future for all."

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