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  • Evolving Faith | Thank God For Evolution
    Connie Barlow have been nomads traveling by van from city to city spreading their word Many religious people reject evolution because they ve been taught or told that it s contradictory to their faith Dowd says by phone from a stop in Dayton Ohio His interpretation is that life on earth has evolved and continues to do so and that religious creation stories are poetic myths that can help us understand the ineffable beauty that is science For billions of years life has found ways of creating greater complexity and interdependence says Dowd calling evolution a holy trajectory His notions he says are God glorifying because they contend that evolution is the work of the Divine in action People can call that God he says or just see it as the work of some greater holier good Jews Christians and Muslims all talk about humanity s fall from innocence he explains Those are mythic terms traditional poetic understandings that point to something that s true That true thing he says is pure innocence tainted by self interested mistakes a universal theme in the human experience I hold all these concepts all these doctrines to be true in a symbolic sense It s not about whether someone chooses to believe in the literal miracles of the Bible So if the doctrines are merely symbolic why bother maintaining ties to Christianity at all Every religion has its own gifts he says Whether one interprets the stories of Jesus as complete fiction or myth it doesn t matter The person the character of Jesus the Christ is the authenticity trust and humility that we need to coexist on the planet What s most important Dowd says is that we realize our interdependence on one another and our role in the millennial symphony being

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/news/evolvingfaith (2016-04-30)
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  • Unconventional gospel: Self-described 'evolutionary creationist' | Thank God For Evolution
    of his ministry is to zap caricatures on all sides of the evolution debate A June 2007 USA Today Gallup poll found that 39 percent of Americans definitely believe that God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10 000 years Another 27 percent thought that was probably true while 30 percent believe that God guided evolution Just 13 percent said God had no part in evolution Mr Dowd 49 was raised Catholic a tradition that has long reconciled faith with evolution But teenage problems with drinking drugs and sex led to a conversion to Pentecostalism when he was 21 and a soldier stationed in Germany he said For the next five years the books I read and the people I hung out with were coming from a very anti evolution fundamentalist perspective he said After the Army he enrolled at Evangel College in Missouri an Assemblies of God school Evolution was taught in the biology classes but few students were exposed to it he said Most of the faculty would probably have considered themselves theistic evolutionists but the vast majority of the students could go through the entire four years and unless they re a science major wouldn t have their worldview challenged he said It was easy for him to accept evolution again but it would not become important to him until years later He studied for the ministry at what is now Palmer Theological Seminary an evangelical school in Wynnewood Pa and became pastor of a dually affiliated American Baptist and United Church of Christ congregation in Massachusetts There he began reading Thomas Berry a Catholic priest and environmentalist who called himself a geologian or theologian of the Earth I encountered a science based understanding of the universe that

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/unconventional-gospel-Self-described-evolutionary-creationist (2016-04-30)
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  • The marriage of Science and Religion | Thank God For Evolution
    with God and a more joyful walk with Christ than ever before We are the local embodiment of a Cosmos grown to self awareness We have begun to contemplate our origins star stuff pondering the stars Carl SaganMichael Dowd relates the tale of his transformation to evolutionary evangelist in his book Thank God for Evolution How the marriage of science and religion will transform your life and our world Council Oaks Books LLC 2007 In the 1980s Michael pursued an education in religion at Evangel University and Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary In the 90s he shifted from United Church of Christ ministry into interfaith sustainability work and community organizing In the spring of 2000 Michael received a prophetic declaration from a friend who had taken him to a Pentecostal Charismatic worship service I have a word from God for you Thus sayeth the Lord My son I have called thee home to reveal thy true mission Step out boldly with thy beloved and fear not For I will bless thy steps and thy ministry more abundantly than thou canst imagine Praise God I m ready Michael thought Then I wonder why God likes Elizabethan English so much And finally Whoa boy did you hear that God said with thy beloved You d better get moving dude You don t even have a girlfriend Several months later Michael met Connie Barlow an acclaimed science writer and author of 4 books including Evolution Extended Biological Debates on the Meaning of Life and The Ghosts of Evolution Michael and Connie were married in June 2001 Three months later when the World Trade Center was attacked the couple felt compelled to reevaluate their priorities Connie had been scheduled for a meeting on September 12 in Tower I In October 2001 they watched a PBS television special Evolution A Journey into Where We re From and Where We re Going Afterward Connie turned to Michael and said You need to be out there speaking to those students You need to show how an evolutionary understanding can enrich one s faith Since 2002 Michael and Connie have traveled the northern continent in a van proclaiming the sacred story of cosmic biological and human evolution On their van are 2 decals one the Jesus fish the other the Darwin fish kissing Many passersby flash a smile when they see it although disapproving responses are not uncommon A retired biology professor in Lawrence Kansas took one look at the decals and laughed Oh great Now you p everyone off A playful approach to the serious subject helps the two maintain perspective Far from a hardship though Michael and Connie enjoy their life on the road and feel blessed to experience the stunning beauty of this vast continent They are nurtured too by the invitations they often receive to stay in people s homes Surely the rewards are reciprocal I see science and religion can be mutually enriching Dowd says in the book We are in the early stages

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/news/the-marriage-of-science-and-religion (2016-04-30)
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  • Preacher says evolution and theology mix | Thank God For Evolution
    Donate Testimonials Subscribe Study Guides Media Audio Video Flyers Posters Schedule Store The Great Story Search Preacher says evolution and theology mix The Oregonian by Nancy Haught If science is sacred maybe evolution needs an evangelist So thinks Michael Dowd a Pentecostal preacher and the author of Thank God for Evolution How the Marriage of Science and Religion Will Transform Your Life and Our World Dowd will present evolution as

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/news/preacher-says-evolution-and-theology-mix (2016-04-30)
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  • Evolutionary evangelist to speak in Roseburg | Thank God For Evolution
    imprinted on their van Red hearts float above the image of one fish with the word Jesus imprinted in the hollow of its body kissing the other fish labeled Darwin Dowd said one man interpreted the fish as a great way to make everyone angry In two sentences Dowd said he explains to those wondering about the logo on his van that Science and religion are spurring each other to greatness They re in a love affair Since April 2002 the couple have been on the road moving across the United States staying in people s homes and preaching evolutionary theology which views science as sacred and the story of cosmic biological and human evolution It provides a way of thinking of what mainstream science is offering in ways that nourish our souls and in ways that call us to greater integrity authenticity responsibility basically a greater love said Dowd By understanding evolution we will better understand ourselves according to the minister His message rests in the belief that evolution has occurred with guidance from God or a higher power A handful of people gathered recently at the Umpqua Unitarian Universalist Church for a screening of Dowd s Evolutionary Christianity program The two hour DVD explored Dowd s approach to taking mainstream science and teaching it in a God glorifying way He uses a quote of St Thomas Aquinas to support his beliefs A mistake about creation will result in a mistake about God Jacie Pratt a member of the church was energized after watching Dowd s program He hit on so much complexity I was on the edge of my chair watching him show me the things I believe actually have a basis she said Pratt learned of Dowd s existence only days before the screening She found his

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/news/evolutionary-evangelist-to-speak-in-roseburg (2016-04-30)
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  • Minister has embraced sacred evolution | Thank God For Evolution
    and has earned kudos from scientists and religious thinkers alike for his work Raised a devout Roman Catholic Dowd became a born again Christian while serving in the U S Army in Berlin and came to believe evolution was the devil s lie Now he believes it s the honest to God truth Dowd 49 notes that he met a number of Christians on his spiritual journey who also believed in evolution and who changed his mind on the subject As he learned more about science and evolution he saw them as pointing toward God not away For me I wasn t giving up something I was gaining something he says during an interview regarding his upcoming appearances at three churches in the Portland Vancouver area next weekend see sidebar What I was gaining was a sense of divine revelation that wasn t going back a few thousand years but going back millions of years Science is showing us what God is revealing Dowd has become a zealot for his faith which reconciles evolution and religion and has written about it in his book Thank God for Evolution In his view God is the ultimate nest egg of all that is the Ultimate Reality so to speak out of which all other eggs are hatched namely all that is Evolution is not some meaningless random series of events but a meaningful march of the universe trying to come to know itself One reason people have rejected evolution he says is because it s taught as a coldhearted survival of the fittest when it should be more accurately described as survival of what fits On that note cooperation among living things to survive is as much a component of evolution as competition he says noting that humans can take charge of

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/news/minister-has-embraced-sacred-evolution (2016-04-30)
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  • Reconciling evolution and religion | Thank God For Evolution
    Universalist Church in San Mateo The Rev Vail Weller invited Dowd who visited the congregation last year to come back and speak He understands the new advances in science he really understands evolution and he really understands religion Weller said Thank God for Evolution emerged from years of speaking to audiences who fall within moderate to liberal Christian perspectives Visits to conservative groups are rare Dowd who grew up Roman Catholic struggled with drugs and alcohol as a teen At 19 he became a born again Christian He was taught that evolution was the product of the devil In 1982 Dowd attended Evangel University and was freaked out when he realized that the evangelical school taught evolution He said he eventually began to accept evolution kind of like the way you accept death and taxes However it wasn t until February 1988 when he heard cultural therapist Albert LaChance speak at a session called The New Catholic Mysticism that Dowd fully embraced evolution Dowd said LaChance described the scientific story of the universe as a sacred epic I had goose bumps and I started to cry Dowd said I knew I would spend the rest of my life talking about his message Because here was a deeply inspiring religious world view grounded in the sciences He later met Barlow an acclaimed science writer who was not particularly interested in religion They got married and both became involved in the movement while living in Rockland County New York Three weeks after the Sept 11 attacks they watched a PBS special that asked What About God The program included interviews with science majors grappling with trying to maintain their faith while studying evolution Connie looked at me and said I should be speaking to those students Dowd said I knew faith can

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/news/reconciling-evolution-and-religion (2016-04-30)
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  • Evangelist sees hand of God in evolution | Thank God For Evolution
    years ago he showed up to evolution talks to argue While a student at Evangel University in Springfield Mo Dowd stormed out of his biology class saying Satan had a foothold at the Christian academy Then he was born yet again For starters his professors at Evangel believed in evolution yet were devout He was introduced to a Buddhist Christian Monk whom he describes as the most Christ like man he had ever met My head said Get him saved but my heart said Get him to mentor you He discovered the works of Brian Swimme and Thomas Berry whose The Universe Story offers a view of the cosmos that embraces science and faith When he heard a talk on The Universe Story his reaction was immediate and visceral I had goose bumps up and down my arms and legs and I started to cry he said From then on I became very passionate about evolution He met Barlow at a New York City talk by mathematical cosmologist Swimme She was in the sciences communicating evolutionary sciences in the most soul nurturing ways possible he said In their travels Barlow puts on workshops for children at zoos arboretums Unitarian Universalist congregations Today he and Barlow have garnered plenty of media attention touring the country in an oversized 2003 white Dodge Sprinter with Jesus hearts Darwin emblazoned on the side and a license plate that says Ecozoic They stay in the homes of supporters and he speaks to groups of Unitarians Mennonites Buddhists Quakers and humanists He has not been invited to address fundamentalist congregations but he did meet with 125 moderate to liberal evangelicals at a conference in the Bahamas We re going to see this evolution theology movement come into the mainstream he said chatting over a Formica table

    Original URL path: http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/news/evangelist-sees-hand-of-God-in-evolution (2016-04-30)
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