Evolving or Not | ProgressiveChristianity

6

One of the things we have learned from the study of evolution is that species do not necessarily evolve unless threatened by extinction. When 90 percent of our world was covered with water, the early aquatic species of our planet had no need to change. However, as the water began to recede over a period of thousands of years, many of these species, in some unexplainable process, began to grow legs and lungs. Possibly more importantly, they had to give up their gills and fins. I find this both fascinating and telling.

I don’t think there were any meetings to discuss or vote on how these species were going to have to change. Nor do I believe there were consultants who offered their expertise about how they could save themselves by doing what they were doing, but to do it better.

As participation in our local churches continues to drop like a rock across the country more churches continue to close. One has to ask if there is future for the church in particular and for Christianity in general. There are plenty of commentators who are predicting total demise within the next few decades. Quite frankly it is hard to argue with them. The numbers offer no indication there will be a meaningful future for either, at least as we think of them today.

However, we do know human beings are social animals. We like to create communities. We like to have places where we can talk about deep and important things. I remember hearing a highly respected conference minister in the United Church of Christ say something during his retirement banquet that has stuck with me for nearly three decades.

He said, “I am no longer certain who and what Jesus was, and I have no idea if I believe in God or if life has a purpose. But I do know I want to be around people who are interested in these things.”

Written By: Fred Plumer
continue to source article at progressivechristianity.org

6 COMMENTS

  1. One of the things we have learned from the study of evolution is that species do not necessarily evolve unless threatened by extinction. When 90 percent of our world was covered with water, the early aquatic species of our planet had no need to change. However, as the water began to recede over a period of thousands of years, many of these species, in some unexplainable process, began to grow legs and lungs. Possibly more importantly, they had to give up their gills and fins. I find this both fascinating and telling.

    Clearly he is one of those who has studied (theistic???) evolution using “faith-thinking” rather than scientific study!!!!

    **I don’t think . . . . . . **

    He should have stopped there!!

    . . . . . . there were any meetings to discuss or vote on how these species were going to have to change. Nor do I believe there were consultants who offered their expertise about how they could save themselves by doing what they were doing, but to do it better.

    With preachers of this standard, I think this is a very good explanation of why churches are losing the educated membership!

    We like to have places where we can talk about deep and important things.

    Which is a great aspiration, – if only he had any idea how to find relevant competently researched information to bring to such a discussion!!

    After 25 years of visiting hundreds of churches, speaking at large conference gatherings, interviewing groups of students on campuses and corresponding with too many people to count, I must admit I am not necessarily an optimist.

    Oh dear!!! No wonder the intelligent are fed-up and leaving!!

  2. maybe if he understood evolution a little he’d realise that as far as “giving up” gills etc. there was no choice, only individuals on the right side of random mutation.

    his analogy could work though; replace “water” with “faith” and “air” with “reason” he’d realise what he’s trying to say is “how do we evolve to be able to continue to swim about breathing water on dry land?”

    the church is a social group. there are plenty of alternatives to ride out this extinction event

  3. I find this crock of drivel very encouraging.Apart from stating the obvious,that the evolution of land based creatures is eminently explainable,this is a ‘goodbye and thanks’ to xtianity as we know it.Turning from one sort of jesus myth to another shows the paucity of ideas these morons have.The rest of us have seen through the current bullshit so lets think up some different bullshit to keep the game going! We can still call it he word of doG! And turning to an ‘historical’ jesus plays right into our hands as there is no archeological evidence at all for the existence of a jesus, in fact very much the opposite.The focus is changing from belief to behaviour… why? because the belief is so fucking preposterous and you can’t get away with it any longer?We need more xtians like idiot to give us someone to wave to as they flush themselves down to toilet!!!!

  4. species do not necessarily evolve unless threatened by extinction

    Species are always evolving. An adaptation proliferates not because extinction would occur otherwise; extinctions are often not successfully avoided. Adaptations proliferate because of natural selection; once the right mutations occur, the rest is statistics.

    the early aquatic species of our planet had no need to change

    They changed a great deal; just look at the fossil record from the (pre)Cambrian.

    many of these species, in some unexplainable process, began to grow legs and lungs. Possibly more importantly, they had to give up their gills and fins

    Firstly, the process was explained decades ago. Secondly, neither gills nor fins were lost; they were modified.

    these meaningful and challenging topics

    They’re unevidenced speculative nonsense that often isn’t even internally consistent. In any case, “I believe X because book Y says X” isn’t a challenging way of thinking. Religious people don’t use all examples of that justification they could, but that doesn’t change the fact that the uses themselves are easy.

    They note how those countries have aggressively built public institutions for the support of their citizens in need. In some ways, one could argue they have become more Christian in their public actions than the United States.

    “Be nice to the needy” isn’t an idea Christianity invented, but Christianity did provide new pretexts to do something very different.

    I am not necessarily an optimist (about Christianity’s future)

    It would have been good to hear some words about why this author thinks the survival of Christianity would be a good thing.

    The emphasis here is not on saving souls or church growth. Rather it is on learning together how to follow a path that could change the way we relate to each other and the rest of the world.

    That doesn’t sound particularly religious.

    So will the church evolve or die? That just may be up to the courageous clergy and their dedicated communities.

    In what respect are they courageous? To me, they seem advantage-taking.

  5. “Some argue we need to get back to the basic—yes, the fundamentals like Salvation through Christ. Furthermore the data shows young people with college educations, particularly in the liberal arts, are simply not buying the old Jesus story. Frankly they have little interest in religion at all.”

    It’s not just young people with college educations who are not buying the old Jesus story!

    Anyone who can spot nonsense at a single glance wouldn’t buy the story, either. If there is no truth in the Jesus story, where does that leave Christianity? Without dogma or doctrine, and how does a religion without those things survive? It doesn’t.

    If you can no longer promise people that all their sins (which were invented by the church anyway) will be forgiven and that they will spend eternity in heaven with Jesus and God and a flock of loving angels if they bow down, grovel, worship and sing silly songs, because they don’t believe it, then surely Christianity is doomed?

    Christians just need to look around and see how many well-adjusted, wonderful, life-loving, family-loving, altruistic, generous, honest non-believers there are whose lives are not consumed with immortality in heaven or hell, to start to lose their “faith” in the supernatural 3-headed god.

Leave a Reply