I’m often asked, “Why do you evangelize evolution? What ‘good news’ does science offer?” The following response is my 2011 New Year’s gift to all.

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I used to be confused by many aspects of the world, including my inner world. Thanks to an embrace of big history as my creation story, I no longer am. I now have a depth of understanding that saints and sages down through the ages, including the biblical writers themselves, never imagined possible.

I used to struggle with temptations and what I considered “sinful habits” of thought and behavior, which often left me feeling guilty, resentful, or resigned. But since coming to appreciate the challenges of living with mismatched instincts in a world of supernormal stimuli, today I enjoy a freedom and peace and lightness of being that is unspeakably divine. For me, heaven isn’t something I’m holding out hope for after I die. It’s where you’ll find me 98% of the time, even in the midst of whatever happen to be the disruptions of the day.

When I was an idolater of the written word, I was filled with fear for family and friends—fear that they’d be tortured forever by an allegedly loving God for having the wrong beliefs. Later, my fear shifted to concern for the kind of world my grandchildren would inherit. Today, a joyful passion for life and a compulsion to leave a positive legacy have replaced fear. I’m now filled with easy acceptance and trust when I think about loved ones, expectant curiosity when I look to the future, and deep gratitude and peace when I think about my inevitable death and the death of those I care about.

When I was a Bible-centered Christian, I knew I had the right answers. If other people suffered, well…it was really their own fault. Today I feel compassion for those who struggle, and I am committed to doing everything I can to help bring about a just and healthy future for all. More, I’m motivated to do this not from a place of fear, but from a place of possibility and gladness that I’m related to everyone and everything and that I’m part of something emerging that is of planetary and cosmic significance.

All of this—gratitude, trust, and inspiration (replacing guilt, resentment, and fear)—all of this was made possible mostly just by having the eyes to see and ears to hear what God is revealing through science. It’s come from embracing the science-based history of physical evolution, biological evolution, and cultural evolution as my creation story, my sacred story—as The Great Story.

So the reason I evangelize evolution is twofold. I want others who are now confused or feeling guilt, resentment, resignation, or fear, to have for themselves the joy, peace, love, trust, and gratitude that comes from growing in right relationship to Reality, or “getting right with God.” And I want to spread the good news that billions of years of patterned cosmic and biological evolution (and cultural evolution) are on our side: propelling our species to move through this crisis of adolescence into maturity.

How inspiring to think that right now, through scientific and historical evidence, God is speaking volumes and is thereby intimately guiding humanity!

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

VIDEO: Evolutionize Your Life: Heaven Is Coming Home to Reality – This is the essence of the gospel I preach in all religious and non-religious settings. I delivered an early version of this program at the United Nations in April 2009. If you experience only one thing on this page beyond the above post, I recommend watching this 75-minute program when you can do so uninterrupted and without multitasking. :-)

Evolution Isn’t About Darwin—It’s About Salvation Before You Die

What Happens When We Die?

Evolutionary Spirituality: Coming Home to Reality

NHPTV Documentary: “One-on-one with Michael Dowd”

The Salvation of Religion: From Beliefs to Knowledge

The Trajectory of Human History: Ever-Expanding Cooperation and Compassion

Big History: The Teaching Company course by David Christian

The Empathic Civilization & Age of Empathy

Evolution and the Revival of the Human Spirit

Thank God for the New Atheists!

Your Brain’s Creation Story – podcast

Idolatry of the Written Word – podcast

A Deep-Time Model of Transformation – podcast

Three of My Best Sermons

Good and Bad Reasons for Believing – by Richard Dawkins

Doomsayers Beware, a Bright Future Beckons (I highly recommend Matt Ridley’s latest book, The Rational Optimist, which John Tierney writes about in this NY Times column.)

The Symbiotic Man: A New Understanding of the Organization of Life and a Vision of the Future – by Joel DeRosnay (One of the top 10 books I’ve ever read)

Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny – by Robert Wright (Another one of the top 10 books I’ve ever read)

Evolution’s Arrow: The Direction of Evolution and the Future of Humanity – by John Stewart (Still another “top 10″ book)

Is This The Meaning of Life? – John Stewart (make sure you see resources listed at the end of this post)

Sr. Miriam MacGillis’s 1986 “Fate of the Earth” presentation – This program has awakened thousands to a sacred view of cosmic, Earth, biological, and human history as humanity’s common creation story. Even today, more than two decades later, this talk by Sr. Miriam, along with Brian Swimme’s slender volumeThe Universe Is a Green Dragon, are considered by many to be the best introductions to “The Great Story” and the significance of Thomas Berry’s work.

Biblical Christianity Is Bankrupt - My public debate with Dr. Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, over the radical difference between traditional/biblical (belief-based) faith and evidential/evolutionary (knowledge-based) faith.

Evolution as Meaningful, Inspiring Fact – links to the best wiki pages and books

TheGreatStory.org – Leading Epic of Evolution educational website, managed by Connie Barlow

Epic of Evolution – Helpful educational website, managed by Cathy Russell

Cosmic Resources for Educators – Epic of Evolution resources, compiled by Ruth Rosenhek and John Seed