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False Evolution vs True Evolution

A (creationist) friend of mine shared this image on facebook today, and I found it troubling, as if it has to be an either-or type of thing.  Like someone cannot agree with evolution and be a humble follower of Jesus.

The Progressive Christianity Index (PCI)

Progressive Christianity Index

Progressive Christians are notorious for disliking labels and categories - and I agree.   Don't try to put me in a box, or stages, or a chart (or an "index"!)... Just allow me to be a human being with my own unique views.  But, as much as I hold those views and you probably do to, we humans are still pretty indexable - and therefore there will be indexes :-)  And to the degree that categorizations can be helpful in better understanding ourselves and others, an index can serve a purpose.  

Do You See Jesus?

I wanted to share a little back-story on this image, as I think the chain of events around how I found it, and why I created it as a text over, tells as story of its own.

Now to those of you who know my theology, you will know that I don't literally go for the heaven / hell  and king / throne imagery in this parable - but I don't want to get into a big exegesis about that in this post.  What I do want to get into though is the points Jesus is making.  He's making two points (1) love ain't about intellectual beliefs  (2) if we want to "believe in Jesus" we do that by serving "the least of our brothers and sisters."  That's how we show that we "believe" (properly translated as agree) in what Jesus was saying...

Here's the Bible parable I'm talking about:

What God Isn't

While writing this months column on prayer for ProgressiveChristianity.Org (which you can check out here if you would like) I got inspired to create the latest meme.   What do you think?

what God isnt

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What Are James Fowlers Stages of Faith?

James W Fowler Stages of FaithJames Fowler was a Professor of Theology at Emory University, and a United Methodist Minister.  He published the following "Stages of Faith" in his book called Stages of Faith: The Psychology of Human Development and the Quest for Meaning, which became very popular in the 1980's and remains influential to this day.

Over the past few months I've heard a number of people mention Fowler's stages in casual conversation, and I thought it might be useful to share them with anyone who may not be familiar with them - or to serve as a reminder for those who may have heard it in the past but haven't looked back at them in some time.  Similar to the stages of grief we might reference after the loss of a loved one, these "stages of faith" by Fowler can help us make sense of our life - and our spiritual path.   They're also helpful to focus us on where we are and what we might be looking for next.   I highly suggest everyone take an honest inventory and put some thought into how we progress, and if we are currently engaged in any communities or practices that are helping us move forward.

I've highlighted parts in yellow that I find to be some key points worth discussion.   And I've plugged in a reflection here and there along the way.  In many ways these stages are written as linear, and will represent the dominant part of where we are, but we may also see parts of ourselves spread across each one.

You've Heard It Said, But Jesus Says

Jesus You've Heard it Said

When I was 20 yrs old and had been away from the church for some time, I began to consider going back again.  There was a lot in the Bible that confused me or turned me off, but I was able to shelf that stuff as non-gating at that time, because there were a few specific things that made getting back into Christian community seem like a better decision than staying away.  One of those things that drew me back into Christian community was the "you've heard it said" statements by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount.  

Is Ray Comfort Right About Evolution?

Jesus Fish with Legs

From my years in the church I still have a number of fundamentalist friends who swear that evolution is just some unfounded and outlandish theory to distract us from God.  To them evolution is a threat to all things sacred, because if God did not create us specifically as human beings, and deem us special as compared to other flora and fauna on earth, then maybe their entire worldview is in jeopardy.  If we're just really smart monkeys, or even really really smart slime evolved over millions of years through the brutal process of natural selection, that changes their outlook on God (and hence some dig in their heels with creationism, while others throw anything metaphysical out the window and become Atheists).

I specifically created this blog post to offer a resource for you to simply send to anyone you know who is confused about the evolution vs. creationism debate.

This week, one of my evangelical friends who I have been debating this topic with over the past year sent me a video called Evolution vs. God by fundamental evangelist Ray Comfort.  My friend is a geology major from college and is convinced it's all just a sham, and that I have been duped by it.  I have embedded the video he sent me below.  You can just watch about 2 minutes of it and get the gist if you're pressed for time.  In the video, Ray goes around interviewing a bunch of science students and university professors asking them for "just one bit of observable evidence in favor of Darwinian Evolution."  Naturally, all of the scenes are of the people hmm'ing and hawing and looking like they can't produce any evidence.  So at face value, it looks like Ray Comfort is stumping all these credentialed evolution advocates.  Here's the video:

Do Fundamentalists Own Christianity?


Jesse Dooleyby Jesse Dooley
Blogger & Poet

fundamentalist Christian question markThere seems to be two opposing positions that plead for absolute membership. One is fundamentalism, specifically Christian fundamentalism.  The other is atheism, specifically anti-Christian atheism.

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