We are engaged in a great battle for ideas that Christians understand to be a battle for hearts, minds, and souls. Dowd and his fellow evangelists for evolution are certain that they own the future, and that biblical Christianity will simply fade and disappear. “Ours is a time of space telescopes, electron microscopes, supercomputers, and the worldwide web,” he asserts. His conclusion: “This is not a time for parsing the lessons given to a few goatherds, tentmakers, and camel drivers.”
Well, give Michael Dowd credit for reminding us where the rejection of biblical Christianity inevitably leads.
This is from a post by Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He gives a very accurate description of Michael Dowd’s views.
And I am also genuinely curious about the last sentence. For me, what comes up is compassion and relevance. I am pretty sure that’s not what Albert thinks of. He speaks to an audience where they must have a shared understanding of what he refers to, and I am not quite sure what it is.
If I imagine into it based on my very rudimentary knowledge of more fundamentalist views (I have never encountered them personally, nor did I grow up in a culture where these views existed), I can find something. I imagine he may refer to the “ills” of modern secular society, such as materialism, fragmentation of families and communities, alienation, misguided youth and so on. I share those same concerns.
But if that is true, there is an irony there. Michael Dowd shows how science can be a source of a deep sense of meaning, belonging, compassion, a widening circle of care, and ethical guidelines. He is pointing out the (quite obvious, to be honest) shortcomings of fundamentalism, and instead offers a profoundly meaningful worldview that can be adopted and shared by Christians, Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, Taoists, and atheists alike. What’s not to like about that?
It doesn’t tear something down or reduces possibilities. It offers something different that can enrich the views of people from any tradition and background.
The only thing it is exclusive of is a literal interpretation of ancient texts, and that is of course what doesn’t sit too well with fundamentalists.