Pardon the brief interlude . . .
I was very excited when I came across this article yesterday. Those who have traveled the path that I’m currently on would surely get pumped over sound bytes like:
“We don’t try to show evangelicals or young earth creationists or intelligent design people that we’re right and they’re wrong. Evolution gives me a bigger God, an undeniably real God.”
I even thought that he might favor preterist or postmillennial eschatology:
“If somebody believes that Jesus, the cosmic janitor, is going to return on a cloud and clean up the mess we made, they’re more likely to have a less responsible way of thinking about the future and handing on a healthy, sustainable world.”
The article, for the most part, sounded quite encouraging. When I visited the Rev. Michael Dowd’s website and began surfing some of the video clips, I began to grow wary. Could I be misunderstanding who the Rev. Dowd believes God to be? I figured I would hold off judgment until I read his book, Thank God for Evolution! How the Marriage of Science and Religion Will Transform Your Life and Our World, a .pdf version of which he is offering for free from his website. (The website will show it as out of stock; simply request to be emailed when it arrives and await several emails that send you back to the website to provide contact information as well as the webpage from which you can download the file.)
My suspicions appeared to be confirmed when I skimmed the several pages of endorsements beyond those of the Nobel laureates quoted first: pastors from the Unity Church of Christianity, the Unitarian Church, and the Unitarian Universalist Church; an individual from the Association of Global New Thought; new-agers Matthew Fox and Barbara Marx Hubbard (no relation to L. Ron Hubbard but just as New-Agey); and the list goes on . . .
We’re certainly not off to a good start. I figured that the best place to start skimming the book would be to search for the name of Jesus:
“The core teachings of Christianity will remain foundational. The marvels of public revelation will not unseat them. Jesus as ‘the way, the truth, and the life’ will still be central in an evolutionary form of Christianity, just as the backbone of our common ancestor who swam in the sea more than 400 million years ago is still within us, providing vital support. Moreover, Jesus as “the way, the truth, and the life” will be universalized.” (p. 67)
“Simply, get that you are part of the Whole, and then commit to living in deep integrity—and follow through with it. By being and doing this you will effortlessly express your creativity, take responsibility for your life and your legacy, and listen to your heart for guidance from the source of your existence. You will naturally love Reality (God) with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind. You will love your neighbor as yourself. And, yes, this is ‘the way, the truth, and the life’ that the early Christian gospels portray Jesus the Christ incarnating.” (p. 112)
“Christian leaders and laity alike have long recognized that it is not beliefs about Jesus that will save Christians. It is, rather, faith in him (i.e., trust in the values he incarnated, the integrity he enfleshed). The key to salvation is committing to Christ-like integrity. Being ‘in Christ’ and being ‘in evolutionary integrity’ (or, deep integrity) are different ways of saying essentially the same thing.” (p. 169)
“As a creaTHEIST, I choose to regard as no coincidence that the mythic stories of Jesus the Christ so well match what we now know both experientially and experimentally through the public revelations of science. ‘Getting right with God,’ ‘coming home to Reality,’ ‘abiding in Christ,’ and ‘growing in evolutionary integrity’ are different ways of saying the same thing.” (p. 179)
All I can say is that this will be an interesting read . . .