Hell, check out the scripture readings for the day:
You don’t see that everyday…
You can read the full sermon here (PDF):
The New Atheists, by speaking boldly on behalf of our best collective intelligence about the nature of reality, and in condemning superstitious, otherworldly religiosity, are, paradoxically, fulfilling the traditional role of prophets. Historically, religious prophets were those on the leading edge — those who saw what was real, sensed what was emerging, and then spoke their truth — usually a word of warning. Their message typically went something like this: “Align with reality — or perish.” Prophets in this way facilitate cultural evolution. To use religious language, they do God’s work.
Thus my central point: Few things are more important at this time in history than for religious peoples of all backgrounds and orientations to heed what the New Atheists are saying. To be clear: I thank God for the New Atheists not because I want everyone to be like them or think like them, nor because I consider them perfect vessels of divine wisdom. Rather, I am grateful because of how they are prodding religion and humanity to mature and because of how they are goading religious people (like me!) to get real about God, guidance, and good news.
So let today’s collective wisdom revitalize our faith traditions! Let us rejoice in the discovery that the atoms of our bodies were forged inside supernovas, and let us celebrate this natural process as divine. Let the story of evolution be told in ways that engender familial love and gratitude that we are related to everything — not just monkeys, but jellyfish and flatworms too. Let us marvel at how rapidly our species has learned to care and cooperate in ever-widening circles: from family groups and tribes all the way to nation-states, and now globally.
I foresee a time when religious leaders get their guidance and inspiration from humanity’s common creation story and teach and preach the discoveries of science as God’s word. When that day comes, our faith traditions will thrive and many of us will look back and exclaim, “Thank God for the New Atheists!”
Ok, so Dowd is still religious, and his beliefs are foreign to most other Christians today. I think it’s intellectually dishonest what he’s doing, to combine science and religion like he does.
That said, isn’t this better than the alternatives?
(Side note: Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, is not happy at all with Dowd.)
(Thanks to Alex for the link!)