Shuck and Jive

Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Evolution Sunday: February 8-10, 2008

The first thing to mark on that new calendar you have just received is Evolution Weekend, February 8-10, 2008. It has expanded from just one Sunday to a whole weekend of evolutionary fun. This will be the third year for celebration at First Presbyterian Church of Elizabethton. Here is the website to find a congregation near you or to get your congregation on the list.

Also you will find a handy selection of scientists (real ones--not the ones with the fake ID) who can help clergy and congregations understand the technical aspects. At First Presbyterian we will be planning a trip to the Gray Fossil Site as well as celebrate Evolution in worship.

Here are some resources regarding evolution and its conversation with religion.

I have signed the following letter. Maybe you would like to sign as well:

Within the community of Christian believers there are areas of dispute and disagreement, including the proper way to interpret Holy Scripture. While virtually all Christians take the Bible seriously and hold it to be authoritative in matters of faith and practice, the overwhelming majority do not read the Bible literally, as they would a science textbook. Many of the beloved stories found in the Bible – the Creation, Adam and Eve, Noah and the ark – convey timeless truths about God, human beings, and the proper relationship between Creator and creation expressed in the only form capable of transmitting these truths from generation to generation. Religious truth is of a different order from scientific truth. Its purpose is not to convey scientific information but to transform hearts.

We the undersigned, Christian clergy from many different traditions, believe that the timeless truths of the Bible and the discoveries of modern science may comfortably coexist. We believe that the theory of evolution is a foundational scientific truth, one that has stood up to rigorous scrutiny and upon which much of human knowledge and achievement rests. To reject this truth or to treat it as “one theory among others” is to deliberately embrace scientific ignorance and transmit such ignorance to our children. We believe that among God’s good gifts are human minds capable of critical thought and that the failure to fully employ this gift is a rejection of the will of our Creator. To argue that God’s loving plan of salvation for humanity precludes the full employment of the God-given faculty of reason is to attempt to limit God, an act of hubris. We urge school board members to preserve the integrity of the science curriculum by affirming the teaching of the theory of evolution as a core component of human knowledge. We ask that science remain science and that religion remain religion, two very different, but complementary, forms of truth.