The most sobering moment for attendees of the Biologos "Theology of Celebration" conference in New York City, March 20–22, came when David Kinnaman of Barna Research presented findings on what U.S. Protestant pastors believe about creation. More than half profess a 6-day, 24-hour creation of life. Fewer than one in five, on the other hand, follow Biologos in affirming an evolutionary process as God's method of creation.

Knowing that they are in a minority among Protestants did not limit the gathering's enthusiasm. About 60 participants came by special invitation, with the proviso that their names would not be publicized without permission. This was intended to encourage open conversation on sensitive topics. Attending were such luminaries as N. T. Wright, Alister McGrath, John Ortberg, Tim Keller, Scot McKnight, Os Guinness, Joel Hunter, and Andy Crouch. Prominent scientists included Ian Hutchinson of MIT and Jennifer Wiseman, senior project scientist for the Hubble Space Telescope. Forty-one pastors and parachurch leaders participated.

Two previous meetings had focused primarily on scientific evidence for the evolutionary process, and on interpretations of the biblical Adam. This year's program centered on concerns for the church—especially for young people who feel torn between science and the Bible.

Few Christian colleges or seminaries teach young earth creationism (YEC), participants noted during discussion groups. But less formal, grassroots educational initiatives, often centered on homeschooling, have won over the majority of evangelicals. "We have arguments, but they have a narrative," noted Tim Keller. Both young earth creationists and atheistic evolutionists tell a story tapping into an existing cultural ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

July/August
Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
Read These Next
Current IssueOur July/Aug Issue: The Upside of Disruption
Our July/Aug Issue: The Upside of Disruption
How unwelcome change can lead to a fuller life.
RecommendedMy Encounter with Ken Ham's Giant Ark
My Encounter with Ken Ham's Giant Ark
A four-hour visit to the massive replica of Noah's boat left me with a flood of questions.
TrendingKay Warren: 'We Were in Marital Hell'
Kay Warren: 'We Were in Marital Hell'
Through God's work in our lives, we've beaten the odds that divorce would be the outcome of our ill-advised union.
Editor's PickFinding My ‘True Self’ As a Same-Sex Attracted Woman
Finding My ‘True Self’ As a Same-Sex Attracted Woman
In my young-adult struggle with sexual identity, both legalistic condemnation and progressive license left me floundering.
Christianity Today
Evangelical Evolutionists Meet in New York
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

March 2012

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.