Posted by: carlsafina | Monday, February 23 09

Somebody Say Amen

Something that seems new and unusual is suddenly going on. Evangelical Christians in some significant quarters are putting aside their weapons and defenses regarding science, quite publicly. And not just about climate but about evolution and the scientific enterprise itself.

As I mentioned last week, a prominent evangelical pastor whom I’ve become friends with, Ken Wilson, has posted an “Apology to Darwin,” and taken evangelicals to task over the “culture wars.” See his site, especially:

He is getting dozens and dozens of comments such as:
New comment on your post #373 “apologies to the memory of Charles Darwin ”

I am sorry for being mean and not always giving science the chance to speak and tell the story the way science tells the story… As an evangelical I want to learn more about our mother earth and care for it scientifically and spiritually. It matters. It is part of the story. I am listening…

To see this discussed as a larger movement, see: 

To learn of a new dialogue-oriented project Blue Ocean Institute and Rev. Wilson have initiated, see:

—  Carl



  1. An observation: a close relation of mine is a born-again Christian who once believed in creationism. She seemed to only became interested in learning about evolution after she heard (from me mostly) that there were creationist Hindus and Muslims as well, and that they had published books to support their views. Could it be that there is a bit of better-than-thou-ism going on here? I think it may be a bit painful for some fundamentalist Christians to see they have similar beliefs to the other religions they condemn.

  2. Amen Carl! Sorry I missed you at church today; fortunately I’ll be out at sea with two of your books diving deep into the soul of the planet in hopes to lose myself and gain wisdom.

    I think all humanity is awe struck by the natural world we live in and there’s no doubt that it is a special gift that can be taken away. Hopefully we can learn from you Carl in how to take part in the discussion so all walks of life can learn to be hands of healing and protecting, not destruction. I have joined the conversation and I am listening…filled with hope. -Phil from the Ann Arbor Vineyard

    • Thanks Phil,

      It was great meeting so many nice people who so warmly welcomed me and listened thoughtfully to my message. Regardless of what we believe about origins and destinies, we’re all here together now, science shows us some of the problems we all face together, and we have a profound moral responsibility to be good stewards. I must say, I was nervous about how I’d be received. But I never thought that I could come as a secular speaker and get a standing ovation in an evangelical church. Miracles never cease. It was great meeting you. –Carl

  3. You continue to hit the nail on the head in my mind. I think if we can come together with open arms rather than pointing arms at one another, we may one day see our hope realized, or at least have a hell of time working together for a better future that our kids and kids’ kids can be proud of. ‘Cause like you said, we are all in this together whether we want to realize that fact or not. Our environment doesn’t see color, race, religion or income levels. If only humanity could share the same eyes. Keep being a blessing Carl….you are truly gifted!

  4. Carl,

    Thanks for you willingness to come and speak at our church. Given the often well deserved reputation evangelicals have, I admire your courage. I was challenged by and enjoyed your talk and also enjoyed playing with you (I’m the bass player).

    By Vineyard standards I would be considered a right wing fundamentalist. I am a creationist, but I love science and love nature. I never lost my childhood love of frogs. I have identified two species of toads and two species of frogs (not counting spring peepers, which I’ve never actually *seen*) living in my back yard. I still get excited when I hear the call of the gray tree frog from out back!

    Anyway, your approach of saying “Regardless of where we think we came from, we’re all in the same boat” was very meaningful to me because I felt a measure of respect not usually afforded to evangelicals by scientists. You’re not likely to convince me on evolution or global warming, but appealing to my love of God’s creation and my desire follow His command to care for it, will go a long way to building a bridge strong and wide enough for us both to cross. Thanks again.


  5. Dear Carl,
    Wanted to take a moment to thank you for your presentation at Ann Arbor Vineyard. Lots of good stuff to chew on. It is a wonderful thing to see leading experts taking a humble, thoughtful road in educating people about a better path. The irony of a secularist doing it for a church service is not lost on me.

    I know you wanted to inspire a congregation to embrace the moral obligation of environmental stewardship, but I also wanted to give you a shout for encouraging my stressed-out seventeen old who is panicking about his future. Your brief telling of your teenage/college years and fear of growing up hit close to home. It was so good for him to hear that an office can be the sea shore and office mates, terns. We should all be so lucky. Keep having fun and spreading the good word. Peace.

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