At Holy Cross, we are currently celebrating The Season of Creation. As we ponder Christianity’s share of the responsibility for the abuse of the Earth, it is important to remember that we have a role to play in the protection of the planet. Evolutionary Christian Michael Dowd (Thank God for Evolution) insists that Christians need to remember our call to be a blessing to humanity. In this video, recorded Aug 25, 2014, Dowd insists that theology must include ecology and challenges us to move forward in ways that foster right-relationship with all of Creation.
Evolutionary Christian theologian Michael Dowd speaks compellingly about Jewish and Christian expressions of God as the personification of Reality (that which when you cease believing in it doesn’t go away). Dowd sees Christ as the personification of integrety which is the way of living in right relationship to reality. In light of this coming Sunday’s gospel reading from John 14:1-14, Dowd provides an interesting take on Christ, the personification of integretiy as the Way, the Truth and the Life.
Evolutionary theologian Michael Dowd insists that “any understanding of God that is not synonymous with the all, reality, ultimacy, or nature is a trivial and inconsequential notion of God.” He warns that how we think about God matters because our attitudes about reality lead to real-world problems.
Christmas Eve sermons are a challenge for any preacher who takes the gathering of folk on a dark and holy night seriously. I am indebted to Marcus Borg, John Dominic Crossan, Parker Palmer, Michael Morwood, Matthew Fox, and Michael Dowd for much of the inspiration for this sermon.
Evolutionary Christian, Michael Dowd preaches through the lenses of evidentiary faith. His refreshing articulation of “God” as the personification of reality points us to a panentheistic understanding of reality (not to be confused with pantheism). Dowd sees right-relationship with reality as the domain of ecology rather than theology.
Evolutionary Christian, Michael Dowd suggests that we are in the early states of what he calls an “evidential reformation” that is where our best map of what is real and what is important doesn’t come from the church hierarchy or the Bible but with scientific evidence. In this video Dowd looks to Big History, Human Nature, and Death and Chaos from an “evidential standpoint” to offer an “Inspiring Vision of the Future” and “enrich our communion with reality”.
For those who are reluctant to give up the doctrine of “original sin”, Evolutionary Christian evangelist Michael Dowd offers an intriguing re-interpretation of the human condition that uses evolutionary science to offer good news. While I prefer to speak of “original blessing” a la Matthew Fox, Dowd’s re-interpetation offers a radical re-working of a doctrine that has entrenched so many of us in “worm theology” bemoaning our sinfulness. To get a better understanding of Dowd’s approach, I recommend his book “Thank God for Evolution” or check out his website
Michael Dowd, a self-proclaimed Evolutionary Evangelist is committed to spreading the good news that evolution is humanity’s common creation story as he proclaims that science illuminates the evidence with which God is communicating to humans today.
Inspired by the work of Fr. Thomas Berry who portrayed the epic of evolution as a sacred story Dowd seeks to popularize Berry’s insistence that humanity is the universe becoming conscious of itself.
Dowd’s work is especially intriguing to this particular 21st century pastor who connects to the cosmos from the perspective of panentheism (God is in everything and everything is in God). Evolutionary Christianity is an exciting way of using the explosions in scientific evidence to illuminate our religious quest to understand our place in the cosmos.
I am indebted to a blog-follower from South Africa for linking me to this excellent video by New Hampshire Outlook that explores the work of the Rev. Michael Dowd. In addition to a fabulous interview this video provides an enticing overview of Evolutionary Christianity that will leave you wanting to learn more. You can begin by visiting Evolutionary Christianity’s Blog. I’m anxiously waiting for my copy of Dowd’s “Thank God for Evolution” to explore more of Dowd’s insights.
Evolutionary theologian Michael Dowd, author of “THANK GOD FOR EVOLUTION” advocates for an “Evolutionary Christianity”. A self-described “New Theist” Dowd explains: “New Theists are not believers; we’re evidentialists. We value scientific, historic, and cross-cultural evidence over ancient texts, religious dogma, or ecclesiastical authority. We also value how an evidential worldview enriches and deepens our communion with God. New Theists are not supernaturalists; we’re naturalists. We are inspired and motivated more by this world and this life than by promises of a future otherworld or afterlife. This does not, however, mean that we diss uplifting or transcendent experiences, or disvalue mystery. We don’t. But neither do we see the mystical as divorced from the natural.New Theists are legion; we are diverse. Many of us continue to call ourselves Christian, Jew, Muslim, or Hindu. We may also self-identify as emergentist, evidentialist, freethinker, neo-humanist, pantheist, panentheist, or some other label. New Theists don’t believe in God. We know that throughout human history, the word “God” has always and everywhere been a meaning-filled interpretation, a mythic and inspiring personification of forces and realities incomprehensible in a prescientific age. We also know that interpretations and personifications don’t exist or fail to exist. Rather, they are more or less helpful, more or less meaningful, more or less inspiring.”
Here’s the TED TALK: Why We Suffer Now, for those who are pushed for time. But if you have the time, I strongly recommend the longer CAL TECH Lecture: Evolution and the Global Integrity Crisis, below in which Dowd is able to elaborate on his ideas. Fascinating stuff!!!
For more on Evolutionary Christianity click below: