Bob Cornwall‘s new book, Worshiping With Charles Darwin, offers a compelling account of one Christian and clergymember’s attempt to not let go of either science or faith. Explaining why he thinks Darwin could have sat quite happily alongside him in church (however much he may have had doubts or changed his mind about many point of Christian doctrine), and why he finds pseudoscience like young-earth creationism an unsatisfactory approach, and the voices from opposite poles of atheism and young-earth creationism claiming that they are the only options to offer a false antithesis, the rest of the book consists largely of sermons, some of which were delivered on past Evolution Sundays/Weekends connected with the Clergy Letter Project. There are also “essays” which might sound likely to be a less enthralling section of the book, but these include op-ed pieces, blog posts, and other such offerings, and so, while they are not “sermons,” neither are they inaccessible pieces of highly technical writing.
While many of the chapters focus on science in general and evolution in particular, the theme of creation extends to concern for the environment as well.
The entire book is written at the level of a general audience, and would make a fantastic contribution to a church library. It also includes at the very end some liturgical resources, consisting of prayers and responsive litanies that can be used by congregations to celebrate creation without rejecting science.
We live in an era when much harm has been done to not only the public understanding of science, but also to religious traditions themselves, by proponents of misinformation about topics like evolution. It is a sheer delight to have such an accessible collection of what a well-informed member of the clergy has written and spoken on the subject, as evidence that the wedge some drive between religion and science is not only unnecessary, but easily removed, leading to a more vibrant, compelling, and meaningful worldview.
I trust that Christians interested in the intersection of religion and their own faith will find the volume not only interesting, but personally helpful and inspiring.