Monday, November 24, 2008

Rev. Michael Dowd: On the Road for God...and Evolution?

The Reverend Michael Dowd, who has a background as being a pastor for the United Church of Christ was interviewed in the Knoxville News Sentinel over the weekend. Dowd, who is on the road with his wife Connie to preach the cause of understanding God through science, wrote a book last year called Thank God for Evolution. He has this perspective:

"The primary way that reality is revealed is in facts - facts are God's native tongue. Now, when I see a new Hubble space photo or learn of a new fossil form, I don't think to myself as I used to, 'Oh no, how does this fit with Genesis?' I instead think, 'Look, how cool - look what God is revealing to us today."

Something rather striking is left out of the article on Rev. Dowd: he is a former young earth creationist. Something else has been left out: He has wandered rather far afield from that. From his book:

I cannot agree that “Jesus as God’s way, truth, and life” means that only those Christians who believe certain things about Jesus or the Bible get to go to a special otherworldly place called heaven when they die. I used to believe that, but I don’t anymore. In hindsight, I see that my old belief cheapened, belittled, and impoverished the universal glory of the Gospel. What Jesus’ life and ministry were actually about is far larger and more meaningful, and offers more this-world relevance, than my old clannish, contracted “we win, you lose” understanding. More, one need not be a Christian, nor ever have read the Bible, in order to walk what is, effectively, the same path we Christians aspire to—the same “one way”to a realized, redemptive life of fulfillment and service in this world, here and now, while simultaneously blessing future generations.

Funny, I don't remember reading that in the New Testament. Understanding and accepting evolution at the expense of your faith in Christ is no compromise. It is an abdication of one of the key principles of the Christian faith. Being inspired about science is great. Being uninspired about Jesus if you call yourself a Christian isn't. As Jonathan Dodson writes on his blog:

An essential claim of Christ is that the man and the world are broken because of sin, rebellion against God. Jesus seeks to redeem humanity and the world through his death and world-renewing return. However, he does not minimize his own sacrifice or teachings as optional. They are essential and joy-giving to those who embrace him.

Just because the biosphere has evolved over the course of the last 4.5 billion years does not mean that Jesus' teachings are not what they were or that He isn't what he is—the way, the truth and the life.


  1. Excellent! You usually don't comment too much on strictly religious ideas, but I love the points you make here about not compromising your faith to accept evolution. We must never allow science or philosophy diminish who Jesus Christ is and what he accomplished on the cross.

  2. I think I should comment more often. Sometimes I just run out of time. Thanks for the word of encouragement.

  3. Jimpithecus,

    I hardly have a low view of Christ! If you'd like, I'm happy to have my publisher send you a complementary copy of my book, Thank God for Evolution, so you can judge for yourself. Just send me an email and let me know where to have it sent.

    Until then, if you're interested, you can get a better sense of where I'm coming from here:

    May you and your family have a truly blessed Christmas season.

    In Christ,

    ~ Michael

  4. Dear Michael, if I have misjudged you, I am truly sorry. Please forgive me. Of course, I would absolutely love to read your book.

  5. Michael, I did not see an email address on your site. You can reach me at