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Thank God for Evolution: How the Marriage of Science and Religion Will Transform Your Life and Our World

Thank God for Evolution: How the Marriage of Science and Religion Will Transform Your Life and Our World Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Few issues have revealed deeper divisions in our society than the debate between creationism and evolution, between religion and science. Yet from the fray, Reverend Michael Dowd has emerged as a reconciler, finding faith strengthened by the power of reason.

With evidence from contemporary astrophysics, geology, biology, anthropology, and evolutionary psychology, Thank God for Evolution lays out a compelling argument for how religion and science can be mutually enriching forces in our lives.

Praised by Nobel laureates in the scientific community and religious leaders alike, Thank God for Evolution will expand the horizon of what is possible for self, for relationships, and for our world.


"Evolutionists Flock to Darwin-Shaped Wall Stain," ran a recent headline in the satirical newspaper the Onion. The picture showed breathless biologists worshipping a Shroud-of-Turin-like apparition of Charles Darwin's face on a concrete wall.

Darwinian fundamentalist mystics among us? Well ... probably not. All the same, it's getting hard to tell the players without a scorecard in... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

About the Author

The Reverend Michael Dowd is America’s evolutionary evangelist. He and his wife, Connie Barlow, an acclaimed science writer, have traveled the country sharing their sacred view of cosmic, biological, and human evolution. Equally at home in both conservative and liberal settings, and uniquely gifted at building bridges between religious and nonreligious people, Rev. Dowd is passionate about sharing the fourteen-billion-year epic of evolution in ways that uplift and expand heart, mind, and soul. During the 1980s and 90s, Dowd was pastor of three United Church of Christ congregations, and has worked with diverse religious leaders across the country on environmental initiatives, peace and justice issues, and social reform. He holds a Master of Divinity degree. Rev. Dowd has served on the boards of the North American Conference on Christianity and Ecology; the Ohio Conference United Church of Christ (UCC) Integrity of Creation, Justice, and Peace task force; and the Hudson Valley Sustainable Communities Network. He has also served on the steering committees of the International Network of Biblical Storytellers and the UCC Network for Environmental and Economic Responsibility.

Table of Contents

Thank God for Evolution Preface

Author's Promises

Prologue: Personal Journey

The Marriage of Science and Religion

Itinerant Evolutionary Evangelism


From "Adam and Eve" to Us—and Beyond

Science and Religion Spurring Each Other to Greatness

In Context


Part I. The Holy Trajectory Of Evolution

Chapter 1. Our Big Picture Understanding of Reality

Stories Within Stories

What Is the Great Story?

From Shape-Shifting Story to Unchanging Scripture

Meaning Making

Chapter 2. Evolution Is Not Meaningless Blind Chance

Interpreting Our Immense Journey

The Mythopoeic Drive

Time's Arrow, Time's Cycle

The Role of Strife

The Role of Cooperation

The Role of Initiative

Chapter 3. Evolution and the Revival of the Human Spirit

The Universe Can Be Trusted

You Are Part of the Universe

Accept What Is and Be in Integrity

Grow in Evolutionary Integrity

Trusting the Universe Means Welcoming Challenges

Part II. Reality Is Speaking

Chapter 4. Private and Public Revelation

Beyond Belief

The Birth and Maturation of Public Revelation

Flat-Earth Faith Versus Evolutionary Faith

Toward an Evolutionary Christianity

Facts Are God's Native Tongue

Religious Knowers

Chapter 5. The Nested Emergent Nature of Divine Creativity

Thank God for the Hubble Telescope!

We Are Made of Stardust

The Gifts of Death

Litany: "The Gifts of Death"

Chapter 6. Words Create Worlds

Experiencing God Versus Thinking About God

The Split Between Religion and Science

From Clockwork "It" to Creative "Thou"

Day and Night Language

Chapter 7. What Do We Mean by the Word "God"?

No Less Than a Holy Name for the Whole

Prayer in a Nestedly Creative Cosmos

A Personal, Undeniable God

God or the Universe: What's in a Name?


The Role of Humanity in an Evolving Universe

Being "Faithful to God"

Part III. The Gospel According To Evolution

Chapter 8. Growing an Evolutionary Faith

Genesis in Context

Don't Throw Out the Apple

Chapter 9. REALizing "The Fall" and "Original Sin"

Lessons from Evolutionary Brain Science

Lessons from Evolutionary Psychology

Resurrecting "The Fall"

Your Brain's Creation Story

Reclaiming "Original Sin"

Chapter 10. REALizing "Personal Salvation"

The Challenges of Our Lizard Legacy

Furry Li'l Mammal to the Rescue

Thank God for Our Higher Porpoise!

Discerning Your Calling Exercise

Salvation Through Evolutionary Integrity

The DNA of Deep Integrity

Christ-like Evolutionary Integrity

REALizing "Saving Faith"

REALizing "the Gospel"

Part IV. Evolutionary Spirituality

Chapter 11. Evolutionary Integrity Practices

Taming Our Money Mind

Taming Our Lizard Legacy

Growing in Trust: Nurturing Humility and Faith

REALizing "Love Your Enemies"

Growing in Authenticity: REALizing "Remove the Plank"

Growing in Compassion/Responsibility: REALizing "Judge Not"

Growing in Gratitude: REALizing "Love God and Your Neighbor"

Chapter 12. Evolving Our Most Intimate Relationships

Touch and Tenderness

Respectful Communication

Playfulness and Humor

Meaningful Songs and Rituals

Synergy and Service

Chapter 13. Transformed by the Renewal of Your Mind

Deep Integrity Affirmations

Imagination Matters! Upgrading Your Mental Software

Part V. A "God-Glorifying" Future

Chapter 14. Collective Sin and Salvation

Wrongdoing in a Nestedly Emergent Universe

Collective Sin in an Age of Information

Cofronting Institutional Sin

Chapter 15. The Wisdom of Life's Collective Intelligence

On Earth As It Is in Heaven

Collective Deep Integrity

Conversation and Creative Emergence

Co-Intelligent Social Technologies

The Core Commons

Cultivating Discernment Within the Whole

Co-creating Our Evolutionary Spiritualities

Chapter 16. Knowing the Past Reveals Our Way Forward

The Cosmic Century Timeline

Aligning Self-Interest with the Well-being of the Whole

Who and What Are We, Really? And Why Are We Here?

Our Sense of Self and Our Role in the Body of Life

Evolutionary Revivals

Chapter 17. Beyond Sustainability: An Inspiring Vision

Major Challenges in the Next 250 Years

Wild Cards

Long-term and Short-term Positive Trends

Likely Good News in the Next 250 Years

Chapter 18. Our Evolving Understanding of "God's Will"

Responding to Critics Who Reject Religion Because of Scripture

Transcending Biblical Values and Scriptural Morality

REALizing "Holy Scripture" and "Divine Revelation"

Public Revelation: "The Ever-Renewing Testament"

REALizing Godly Morality and Ethics

Wider Critics of Care, Compassion, and Commitment

REALizing "Jesus as God's Way, Truth, and Life"





Appendix A. "Good and Bad Reasons for Believing" by Richard Dawkins

Appendix B. Realizing the Miraculous

Miracles Through the Ages

REALizing "the Virgin Birth"

REALizing "Christ's Resurrection and Ascension into Heaven"




Online Resources

Who's Who and Sources of Quotations


Product Details

How the Marriage of Science and Religion Will Transform Your Life and Our World
Dowd, Michael
Religion & Science
Life Sciences - Evolution
Sociology of Religion
Religion and science
Evolution (Biology) -- Religious aspects.
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 12
b/w illustrations throughout
8.52 x 5.56 x 1 in 0.81 lb
Age Level:
from 18

Related Subjects

Religion » Spirituality » Science and Religion
Religion » Western Religions » Creationism

Thank God for Evolution: How the Marriage of Science and Religion Will Transform Your Life and Our World
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Product details 448 pages Viking Books - English 9780670020454 Reviews:
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