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Nazarenes Exploring Evolution Book Available

The provocative book, Nazarenes Exploring Evolution, is now published! For the first time, a large number of leaders in the Church of the Nazarene weigh in on whether it makes sense to believe God creates through evolution.

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Dec

13

Nazarenes Exploring Evolution Book Available

The provocative book, Nazarenes Exploring Evolution, is now published! For the first time, a large number of leaders in the Church of the Nazarene weigh in on whether it makes sense to believe God creates through evolution.

The Nazarenes Exploring Evolution book is co-edited by Sherri Walker and me. It presents more than 60 essays on scripture, science, theology, evolution, and pastoral reflection. The table of contents – showing essay titles and contributor names -- should itself excite potential readers!  

Here’s the amazon link to the book.

Jesse C. Middendorf, General Superintendent Emeritus of the Church of the Nazarene, says this about the book:

     "What a timely conversation! And what a crucial investigation into the various perspectives good Nazarenes bring to the discussion about Creation and Evolution.  The passion for integrity reoccurs throughout the essays, and I am happy to see the desire to find common ground in speaking to the current generation about the origin of all things. This should provide us good space for meaningful and grace-filled conversations into the future."

Darrel Falk, professor of biology at Point Loma Nazarene University, says:

     "This is likely the finest collection of short essays on pastoral, scientific, theological, biblical, and denominational considerations for the evolutionary creation process that I have ever read.  It explains why the issue is so important to many Nazarene scholars, summarizes why they have come to believe that evolution strengthens a Wesleyan/Holiness perspective on the gospel, and emphasizes why it is so important to approach the issue with an ongoing respect and persevering love for those who see it differently."

This book is part of the larger Nazarenes Exploring Evolution project, which began earlier this year. And January 23-25, 2014, I am co-directing with Mark Mann a companion conference called “Exploring Origins: Nazarenes in Dialogue.” The conference is at Point Loma Nazarene University and many contributors to this newly released book will participate.

Here’s the conference website link.

Please consider buying a copy of the Nazarenes Exploring Evolution book and attending the upcoming conference!

Posted in 2013 under Theology and Science

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Wes Baldassare

01.08.2014
5:33pm

Dear Dr Oord,
I am a concerned parent and retired pastor.
I graduated from NNU in 1974, and from NTS in 1984. I have appreciated some of your past books - especially “Relational Holiness.” I am concerned however about your latest book on Evolution I have never seen a conflict between objective Science and the Bible, and my faith. Since God created the world, he also is the source of all truth.

When I was in high school I came to the conclusion that evolution was evidently the
process God used in creating the world. I came to that conclusion because it seemed as though the overwhelming scientific evidence, at least according to my teachers, was that evolution was a Scientifically proven fact. And what did I know?  I was just a kid and did not know much about Scientific investigation, and had no college degrees.  I did know God however and knew he was real - so I reconciled my faith by simply believing that if evolution were true - then that must be how God did it.
But as I begin to study evolution from a scientific point of view. i.e. looking at the evidence, and reading Christian Scholars who were also Scientist and who questioned Evolution, I found there didn’t seem to be much real evidence that could be found - at least not for the evolution I had been taught (what has been called macro evolution) . When I asked my teachers questions like: “Where is the evidence in the fossil record?. They could give me no real evidence. And they couldn’t explain the lack of evidence in the fossil record when it would seem logical that there should have been an abundance of evidence in the fossil record if evolution were true. It seemed evident that my teachers really did not know all the answers and were less concerned about the facts then they were about indoctrinating their students into evolutionary thinking.
Since that time, in my college and graduate school years, I have had a keen interest in studying about evolution. And how it relates to the Christian faith. In recent years I have been fascinated with the findings discovered from the study of molecular biology, and astronomy. We have learned much from the super magnification of the Hubble telescope, and the electron microscopes. This new knowledge has only affirmed to me that all truth is God’s truth.  It is clear that the immense complexity of both the inner world - containing the basic building blocks of life - and the outer world of our universe had to come into existence suddenly at the hands of a creator God.
It makes no sense to me to say that evolution is true (or at least the best explanation of the facts”)  and that God used an evolutionary process. The facts don’t support this - so why should we as Evangelicals look back to this outdated evolutionary theory, pat ourselves on the back that we are open minded, and try to make it the new theology of the day. . Why not rather, as you say Tom, welcome science and look at all the facts. Let’s have a conference on”intelligent design“. In my estimation, and that of many scientist and critical thinkers, that is much more scientific than the outdated Darwinian evolution propaganda that many of us have had to endure all through our public school education. How ironic that evolution has now been brought in the back door of theology into our Nazarene colleges.

 

Thomas Jay Oord

01.08.2014
9:01pm

Wes,

Thanks for your comments. As you might guess, I have a different opinion on this. But I respect you.

If you’re willing to read the book with an open heart and mind, I’d be willing to send you a complimentary copy. Just let me know.

In friendship,

Tom

 

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Thomas Jay Oord is a professor, author, and theologian from the Northwest. Read more