Shuck and Jive

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Not Your Usual Sunday School

But it is pretty usual for First Pres., Elizabethton. Over 60 showed for our adult forum and another 120 to worship, pretty darn good for our little tree-huggin' church in the woods. They came to see and hear Michael Dowd and were not disappointed. He is an awesome preacher and teacher who is excited about our cosmological story.

Then, this afternoon, his partner, science writer Connie Barlow, had children and adults at full attention for two hours as she told us through powerpoint, song, and dance, "The River of Life" based on Richard Dawkins' The Ancestor's Tale. It was awesome. It was inspiring. We truly are related to all of life on Earth.

Tomorrow night, Michael Dowd will lead a workshop on Thank God for Evolution! I was skeptical at first, but he really does succeed in helping us understand day language and night language and to understand our cosmological and evolutionary story in a meaningful way.

For instance, whenever you hear stories that feature talking snakes you are dealing with night language. The same for bodies rising from the dead and ascending to heaven. But that doesn't mean this night language isn't telling us something. Just the opposite. What is night language about? What it means to be human as only a poet and bard can tell us. Now we have microscopes, telescopes, and computers and we learning our human story as never ever before.

My favorite line from Michael this morning: I believe the Bible is inerrant. It was not in error as it described the early Hebrew understanding of cosmology. It is that we have a different cosmology.

What else? Why are we addicted to sex and sugar? Understanding our evolutionary history can help understand our proclivities or instincts. These instincts were understood in the Bible in the night language of original sin. Something we are born with but for which we are responsible.

See what he is doing? Need to see for yourself. And bring your bible-believing neighbor. Really. Michael will make an impression. And bring your atheist pal. Michael will make an impression there, too.

Tomorrow night 7 p.m.
Come early for homemade soup, bread, and dessert at 5.
Rev. Mark Koenig of the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program at 5:45.

Here are the details.

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