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Michael Dowd to Christian Church: New Atheists are God’s Prophets

Michael Dowd to Christian Church: New Atheists are God’s Prophets

Bestselling author launches radical new sermon series in Oklahoma

Rev. Michael Dowd, controversial author of the bestselling book Thank God for Evolution, is bringing a radical new sermon series to pulpits across America in what may be his boldest message yet to fellow Christians: “The New Atheists are God’s prophets, and believers need to listen up.”

Dowd will deliver the first of his new sermons at some of the largest liberal Christian churches in Oklahoma in early August. He and his wife Connie Barlow, an accomplished science writer, have spoken in hundreds of American churches of nearly every denomination since hitting the road in 2002 with their unorthodox ministry of calling believers “home to Reality.”

According to Dowd, God is speaking pointedly to Christians today through some very unlikely messengers outside the church—namely New Atheists, such as Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and Christopher Hitchens. These bestselling authors mock the biblical view of a God who, according to the U.S. Department of Defense’s definition of terrorism, is a cosmic terrorist.

“The God that Richard Dawkins says is a delusion is a delusion!” asserts Dowd. “That way of thinking about God reflects an outdated, Bronze Age worldview that we have blindly believed for generations simply because someone said so and because our traditions taught us to. Biblical literalists are driving thinking Christians out of the church.”

Dowd claims that the central religious issue of our time is where people go for guidance and inspiration to deal with “this-world issues,” such as addictions and collapsing economies, not what might happen in “an imaginary, unnatural afterlife.”

“The information generation requires a real God,” preaches Dowd. “We live in a new era when the Hubble Space Telescope lets us see the farthest reaches of the early Universe on an iPhone. In this kind of a world, a cosmic warlord imagined by goat herders who wrote their insights on animals skins is hardly a compelling source of guidance and inspiration. Thankfully, that view of God is no more real than Santa Claus. No matter what the Bible says, God is not a supernatural terrorist.”

Dowd, whose work has garnered notable support on both sides of the science–religion divide, sees that the Christian church today is entering a transformation far greater than the Protestant Reformation and Catholic Counter-Reformation of the 16th and 17th centuries. He calls this shift the “Evidential Reformation.”

“From supernovas to plate tectonics to brain scans, science has given us belief-busting revelations about how we got here and why we are the way we are,” preaches Dowd.

In Dowd’s theology, science is revelatory and must be taken seriously by anyone seeking truth—religious or nonreligious.

“When we Christians interpret scripture literally, we belittle the Bible and dishonor God,” Dowd says. “Our best moral guidance comes from what God is revealing today through evidence, not from tradition or authority or old mythic stories.”

His spirited sermons make the case that scientific and historical evidence is the main way God is communicating with humanity today.

“God is still speaking,” exclaims Dowd, “and facts are God’s native tongue—not Hebrew or Greek or King James English. Valuing what was revealed millennia ago, to people believed the world was flat, over what God is revealing today, to people who know it’s not, is a prescription for disaster.”

Dowd maintains that if billions of Christians, Muslims, Jews, and others influential religions continue trying to chart a course for humanity with “outdated maps of reality,” not only churches and mosques and synagogues, but our species may perish.

His passionate presentations call on people of all faiths to “get right with Reality” and start taking seriously scientists’ prophetic warnings about issues such as climate change and the overall health of our world and life on Earth.

“Like everything else under the sun, religions will either evolve or go extinct,” warns Dowd in Sunday sermons. “Getting right with God means coming into right relationship with our planet and all its gloriously diverse species and cultures.”

In Dowd’s view, there will come a time "when religious leaders get their guidance and inspiration from humanity’s common creation story and teach and preach the discoveries of science as God's word.”

He suggests that when that day comes, it will spark a worldwide religious revival that will lead many to exclaim, “Thank God for the New Atheists!”

» Click here for a copy of Rev. Dowd’s sermon and to hear him speak on the subject

» Click here for Rev. Dowd’s complete speaking schedule

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