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!

Monday, February 09, 2009

Evolution Will Have to Wait

Evolution Weekend is coming, February 13-15. Check the Clergy Letter Project for resources and details. Since I am going to be out of town, First Presbyterian of Elizabethton will be bit slower to evolve. We will celebrate Evolution Weekend, February 20-22. I hope Chuck Darwin won't be offended that we moved this high holy day, especially as it is his 200th birthday and all.

Mr. Evolution himself, Michael Zimmerman, is going to be a presenter at Westar's Spring Meeting, March 18-21. Here is the scoop:

The Evolution/Creation Controversy: Why it Matters

Creationist strategies have evolved over time but one factor has remained constant: a single, narrow religious perspective has been passed off as science and as the religious norm. Michael Zimmerman will discuss how these efforts diminish science literacy and promote a false conflict between religion and science. And he will suggest ways scientists and clergy can join together to promote a shared sense of respect.

Joining Dr. Zimmerman is Louise Mead, Teaching Evolution to Children.

Using the Polebridge title, Stones & Bones—selected by BioScience magazine for its Fall 2008 Focus on Books, Louise Mead will demonstrate strategies for introducing children to the marvelous nature of science as they take a walk through time to learn about the evolution of their favorite animals.

And, Mark Chancey will speak about
The Bible, the First Amendment, and Public Education

Recently states have enacted legislation promoting Bible courses. Is this a positive sign that Americans are recognizing the importance of religious literacy for cultural literacy—or a troubling indication that the line separating church and state is becoming increasingly blurred? Mark Chancey will examine the academic, political, and constitutional aspects of Bible courses in public schools.
Good stuff.

The Jesus Seminar is more than voting with beads to find a hippie Jesus. It is an educational enterprise to bring religious literacy to a hungry public.

That is why I heart them.

You will get your Jesus fix with Stephen Patterson who will deliver the keynote address.

The Gospel of Thomas tells few stories about Jesus, makes little of his death and resurrection, and perhaps most significantly, does not speak of Jesus or his followers as having “faith.” Why is this? The answer may lie in the difference “place” or “context” makes in the way the early Christian message was formulated. In an attempt to understand why Thomas is what it is, and is not what it is not, Patterson puts it in its place—Edessa, east of the Euphrates. As Thomas becomes more clearly a product of its place, he observes, the particular way the Christian message was formulated in the west will also become more clearly a product of its place. That leads to the question: Must Christian faith ever and always be about death and resurrection, about faith?
Now that is a good question. Must Christian faith ever and always be about death and resurrection?