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The Advent of “Evolutionary Christianity”

Just received an email from the Templeton-funded Metanexus group. The big announcement is the unveiling of a new website:

www.evolutionarychristianity.com

You knew it was going to happen, and now it’s here. “Evolutionary Christianity” — a phrase that rolls off the tongue and inspires theological confidence.

The gallery of people on the homepage features quite an assortment of thinkers making common cause — theological differences aside, the science of Darwinian evolution must be kept sacrosanct!

It will be interesting to see whether this strategy to mainstream evolution among evangelicals succeeds. Granted, the Christian Colleges have by and large embraced “Evolutionary Christianity.” But “evolution” remains a dirty word among many evangelicals.

Will the Templeton-inspired PR campaign that’s evident on this website succeed? Any bookies willing to give odds?

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16 Responses to The Advent of “Evolutionary Christianity”

  1. This is nasty. This is corruption. This is the philosophy of men added to make God’s word more palpable.

  2. Collin:

    This is the philosophy of men added to make God’s word more palpable.

    Perhaps you meant to say “more palatable.”

    And if that’s what you meant, what would be wrong with making God’s word more palatable? (Do you assume that it is currently unappetizing?)

  3. Since obviously the problem is that evolution is not being marketed to Christians properly.

  4. “Only by looking through evolutionary eyes can we see our way out of the current global integrity crisis that is destroying economies and ecosystems around the world.”

    What?

  5. Hayden:

    It will be interesting to see whether this strategy to mainstream evolution among evangelicals succeeds.

    Great catch.

    I assume that you are as surprised as I am by this defection from the Big Tent. Why are these people doing this? Who are the “generous sponsors” that are funding this? What are their motives?

  6. Join thirty-eight of today’s most inspiring Christian leaders and esteemed scientists for a groundbreaking dialogue on how an evolutionary worldview can enrich your life, deepen your faith, and bless our world.

    “Evolutionary worldview”? What? Not just ‘believing evolution is true’, but having an “evolutionary worldview”?

    And this worldview can “enrich your life, deepen your faith” and – oh boy! – “bless our world”? What in the heck could that even mean?

    As a TE myself let me say: I want no part in crap like this. Maybe the content of their “teleseminar” is better, but it’s being presented as if by a shyster.

    we invite you to join in this historic exploration of how a sacred “deep-time” view of grace and guidance can expand your faith and inspire and empower you in ways that believers in the past could only dream of.

    Those poor believers in the past. Those suckers only had Jesus, but I can have Jesus AND Darwin, and my deep-time view of grace and guidance will transform me from a mere Catholic to some kind of Christian super-saiyan!

    (Included on the list is Spong, someone who thinks Christianity has to move away from troublesome outdated notions. Like “theism”. Granted, I doubt everyone shown there is in agreement with each other, but the fact that Spong makes the cut just shows they’re scraping the bottom of the barrel, and that the barrel they’ve chosen isn’t even the best one around.)

  7. Yes, Pendant, I meant palatable. I think that it us unpalatable for some because it does not conform with current secular philosophy. It tells people to be humble, to repent, to change their lives and to recognize a power greater than their own egos. That can be very unpalatable.

    In any event, mixing Christianity with evolutionary philosophy will only water down Christianity.

  8. tragic mishap@4: My sentiments exactly. If we are in the midst of a “global integrity crisis” how is believing in a philosophical worldview that categorically denies that there is any right or wrong going to help?

    John Shelby Spong is categorized as a Christian on that website. That alone made me laugh. He’s written books excoriating the apostle Paul and the Bible, and he is considered a Christian? Um, what?

  9. “we invite you to join in this historic exploration of how a sacred “deep-time” view of grace and guidance can expand your faith and inspire and empower you in ways that believers in the past could only dream of.”

    Anyway, that isn’t Darwinism.

    It’s odd that these Christian scientists are making this move just when Darwinian evolution is weakening.

  10. Collin:

    In any event, mixing Christianity with evolutionary philosophy will only water down Christianity.

    Yet, at Cana, Jesus transformed water into wine…

    Why not give your brothers and sisters in Christ a chance to make their case before passing judgment?

  11. F/N: Cf. some remarks on the a priori “absolute” evolutionary materialism fire that is being played with, here and here. On the likely attitude of an increasingly militant evolutionary materialist magisterium, cf. here. GEM of TKI

  12. With “friends” like this, who needs enemies?

    Matthew 10:36 “and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.” NASB

  13. I just signed in on that site.

  14. OT: This of interest for Christians whether they be TE’s, Creationists, or IDists:

    Shroud of Turin in 3-D – The Holographic Experience – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5833152/

  15. I did too. My first post is in moderation. Hah. Like it will see the light of day. And I was on marginally good behavior… :-)

  16. Before anyone draws any conclusions about what Christian college professors think of “evolutionary Christianity,” you should listen to my interview–very carefully, and all the way through. I think the term “evolutionary creation” has merit, but not “evolutionary Christianity.”

    The interview Dowd conducted of me is completely faithful to my ideas–ideas that contrast markedly with his own. Go listen for yourself. Also, be sure to read the blog that is linked with my name on his site. I respond to lots of interesting questions and defend the deep compatibility of classical Christian theism with modern science. I reject the view that we need fundamentally to re-define Christianity in order fully to embrace modern science.

    One caveat: in order to listen to the interview–which I urge you to do–you will need to sign up and get a password. It’s free, but you still have to do it.

    Here’s the place to start:
    http://evolutionarychristianit.....downloads/

    Once you’ve listened, simply follow the evidence wherever it leads, and you’ll be able to draw your own conclusions about the views of this particular professor at a Christian college. (And, my views are similar to those of a very large number of faculty at my own college and other Christian colleges. I know. I talk to them.)

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