Free Money for Evolutionists

If you’re a scholarly type, and you’d like to get a project funded that will help Christians understand evolution, check this out:

A new funding opportunity for scholars and church/parachurch leaders. The BioLogos Foundation was recently awarded a large grant from The John Templeton Foundation to launch a subgrants program, Evolution and Christian Faith (ECF).  This $3.5 millionprogram will fund research and projects that address theological and philosophical concerns many Christians have about evolutionary creation.  We also invite proposals which explore how evolution as God’s tool enriches Christian faith and worship.

Grant amounts vary from $30,000 to $300,000 over 34 months. Young scholars are especially encouraged to apply. Proposals from teams—especially those which are inter-disciplinary in nature or focused on translation from the academy to the church and parachurch—are enthusiastically welcomed. We also invite proposals from well-established scholars who wish to explore a particular topic in depth (see example topics here).

We anticipate funding projects that explore consonance between evolution and Christian faith. Proposals will not be considered if they reject (or at least do not helpfully inform) historic, creedal Christianity (e.g. historical Resurrection, high view of Scripture, etc.) or if they reject the conclusions of mainstream science (e.g. old earth, common descent, etc.). Please note that this does not mean all grantees must be ardent supporters of evolutionary creation. Church leaders, for example, may be interested in exploring the ramifications for their tradition if evolution were true, even though they personally remain unsure. Also, teams may represent a variety of viewpoints.

One of the best things about the program is that ECF grantees won’t be working in separate little ivory towers.  It is important to build a collaborative network of scholars and church leaders who are interested in helping the church think about evolution in constructive ways.  To that end BioLogos will host three summer workshops for grantees to gather, share ideas, and learn together.

Time is short!  Pre-proposals are due June 15, 2012. Luckily, the application process is not too arduous: it consists mostly of a short (1,500 word) letter of intent describing the project along with a rough budget.  Successful applicants will be invited to submit full proposals at a later date.  Please direct folks to EvolutionChristianFaith.orgfor details about the program and how to apply.

Richard Beck Gets His Ass Kicked

Theoblogger Richard Beck has a beautiful post about his worship home, a small service called Freedom:

Another thing I like about Freedom: One of the church leaders and I have a running conversation (and he might have this conversation with more than just me). A few months ago he came up to me and asked, “Richard, do you know why we come to church?” “Why?” “So God can kick us in the ass.” Every week it’s a variation on that theme. “Richard, did God kick you in the ass today?”

I smile and say yes.

Read the rest: Experimental Theology: Freedom.

And if you haven’t yet read Richard’s book, Unclean, do yourself a favor and pick it up.

Update: Minnesota Governor Sides with the Lawyers (and Against Dads)

Minnesota Governor did the WRONG thing when he vetoed the Shared Custody Bill.

A while ago, I wrote about a bill making its way through the Minnesota legislature. At first, the bill was going to take the presumption of parenting in cases of divorce from 75%-25% to 45%-45%, with the remaining 10% to be worked out by the divorcing parties. Effectively, that means that dads would go from 25% to 45%.

In committee, the bill was gutted, merely raising the 25% that goes to dads to 35%, but it finally got out of committee, to the floors of the House and Senate, and passed both houses.

Yesterday, Governor Mark Dayton — a divorced father himself — sided with the divorce industry and vetoed the bill, defying the will of the people of the state and of our representatives. Yet he thought it wise to spend a bunch of his political capital embarrassingly cheerleading for public funds to build a billion-dollar Taj Mahal for the NFL.

In his explanation letter, he even admits to being swayed by lobbyists, rather than listening to the citizens of the state:

[Read more...]

An Evangelical Argues for Legal Same Sex Marriage

Out of Ur is the staunchly evangelical blog of the staunchly evangelical magazine Leadership, published by the staunchly evangelical Christianity Today International. Nevertheless, minority voices are sometimes heard there, and this is one of those times. Chad Hall prefaces his post by saying that he thinks homosexual practice is unbiblical and that he’s against same sex marriage. Yet, in an argument that resonates with my own ebook on the subject, he doesn’t think that evangelicals should fight the legalization of same sex marriage:

First, I see no biblical warrant for imposing our Christian standards for same-sex behavior on non-Christians. For the most part, our jurisdiction is within the church (where I see strong biblical mandate for not affirming homosexual practices, including cohabitation and marriage). When we see Muslim countries forcing non-Muslims (including Christians) to live according to strict Sharia law, we cringe. But we Christians are all-too-willing to force non-Christians to live according to our standards. In fact, there is history of us doing so, dating back to (but not before) Constantine.

Certainly there are times when Christians should seek to impose our Bible-based understanding of right and wrong on the society at large, but my reading of Scripture leads me to limit such attempts to issues of justice. We should strive to make the world a more just place, pushing for laws that protect victims of all kinds of injustice: abuse, slavery, trafficking, theft, rape, violence, oppression, and discrimination. We do this out of concern for the oppressed, a concern fueled by the indwelling Spirit of God. But even on issues of justice, a still more powerful witness than our efforts to pass justice-based laws are our efforts to eradicate injustice in our own communities. For instance, slavery in the United States would have ended centuries earlier if only Christians had promoted biblical justice among their own families and communities. Christians should strive to make the world a more just place, but passing laws that restrict whom sinners can marry does not make the world a more just place, and thus is none of our business.

Read the rest of his arguments: Out of Ur: Why Legalizing Gay Marriage May Be Good for the Church.