In “The Evangelical Rejection of Reason” (New York Times,October 17, 2011), Karl W. Giberson and Randall J. Stephens advise,
The Republican presidential field has become a showcase of evangelical anti-intellectualism. Herman Cain, Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann deny that climate change is real and caused by humans. Mr. Perry and Mrs. Bachmann dismiss evolution as an unproven theory. The two candidates who espouse the greatest support for science, Mitt Romney and Jon M. Huntsman Jr., happen to be Mormons, a faith regarded with mistrust by many Christians.
By “science,” they mean Darwin.
Like other evangelicals, we accept the centrality of faith in Jesus Christ and look to the Bible as our sacred book, though we find it hard to recognize our religious tradition in the mainstream evangelical conversation.
Actually, no one who is serious about being a Christian talks this way. First, I am a Catholic, so if anybody had trouble recognizing their religious tradition in the “mainstream evangelical conversation,” figures it’d be me. But I don’t. Not a bit. I know of no serious Catholic who does. Our disagreements with sincere evangelicals are doctrinal, and have little to do with culture. It’s the liberal churches with whose culture we find nothing in common.
I also have nothing in common with people who think they can tell God either what he is allowed to do with what’s his, or what level of involvement demeans him – the essential Christian Darwinist position.
Evangelicalism at its best seeks a biblically grounded expression of Christianity that is intellectually engaged, humble and forward-looking. In contrast, fundamentalism is literalistic, overconfident and reactionary.
Ah, so clear and simple. Everything that is good about the evangelical Protestant churches in the United States is “evangelicalism” and everything that is bad is “fundamentalism.” Never lived in a world so clear cut, myself.
I would counsel anyone, of whatever philosophy or religion, to steer past the rubbish heap of Darwinism, on lack of evidence alone. And avoid anything else that is as poorly supported in science (though well supported in certain types of washed-out religion and thug politics.)
But there is another factor I simply must bring up. I have been reading Goldman’s book, How Civilizations Die, which echoes Phillip Longman’s similar book a while back: Evangelicals are the future of the church in America, because they’re the ones who care to have children. The Darwin churches generally have small Sunday schools.
Imagine carefully honing a presentation that jams together “survival of the fittest” with “the Lamb of God, slain for sinners” – when the congregations have progressively decided that there will be few children to whom to tell the Bad News. Not an idle threat. Both Darwin-friendly churches in my neighbourhood are dead. The others aren’t. That is not a reason to doubt Darwin as such, but it offers hope that we are on the side of reality if we do.
Same goes for the laundry list of HuffPost causes Giberson and Stephens front. Once we know what they’re fronting, let’s keep looking.
Note: No, I don’t know the exact relationship between Darwinism and childlessness. Thoughts?
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