Even in 2014, many religious groups reject the theory of evolution, claiming that a literal and inerrant reading of the Bible requires them to reject both reason and science. But there are also those who find there to be no conflict between the theory of evolution and a vital Christianity.
Sunday, Feb 9th, marks the 9th annual celebration of Evolution Sunday sponsored by “The Clergy Letter Project.” In Fountain Hills, you’ll find the opportunity to celebrate Evolution Sunday at The Fountains at both the 9am and 11:15 services. More than 500 congregations across the country andaround the world are marking this date closest to the anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin (February 12th, 1809) with time set aside to reflect on what it means to balance a religious world view with the knowledge gained from scientific investigations.
While there are still those who demand that their religion trumps scientific knowledge, Pastor David Felten says, “Of course Christian faith can accommodate acceptance of Darwin’s theory. Denying evolution demands the rejection of both reason and experience — two important guidelines our founder, John Wesley, urged all Methodists to bring to bear in both their faith and life. Plus, trying to pit creationism against evolution reveals a very narrow reading of the Bible that shows disrespect to both the Bible and science.”
Not only does the United Methodist Church officially endorse evolution in its Book of Discipline, stating that “science’s descriptions of cosmological, geological and biological evolution are not in conflict with theology,” it has resolved to work to oppose “faith based theories such as creationism or intelligent design” in public school science curriculums.
As a recent Barna Group study on young adults who stopped attending church revealed, one in four young adults surveyed consider Christianity to be “anti-science.” Evolution Sunday is an expression of the sincere desire of those who seek to correct that impression, moving forward with an alternative to those who continue to attack science in the name of religion.
Every day, new scientific discoveries are creating amazing opportunities to learn and grow and be amazed. Evolution Sunday is a day to affirm the work of the Spirit in the process of evolution and embrace the diversity and complexity of life as a gift of God.
NOTE: The celebration of “Evolution Sunday” will continue in March when special guest, Rev. Roger Wolsey, author of “Kissing Fish: Christianity for People Who Don’t Like Christianity,” will speak at The Fountains on March 30th.