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~ the ramblings of a perambulent and often distracted sojourner
Evolving Prayer

Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — If Darwin Prayed by bruce g. Prayers for Evolutionary Mystics by bruce g. These prayers spark the spiritual imagination back to life and reorient us to a mystical unity with the universe, Spirit, and all of creation.

Emerging out of the conversation between the science of evolution and spirituality, these prayers continually surprise with their earthy wisdom and a profound celebration of life. They awaken in us a sacred impulse to evolve in and These prayers spark the spiritual imagination back to life and reorient us to a mystical unity with the universe, Spirit, and all of creation. They awaken in us a sacred impulse to evolve in and toward the heart of the divine. For worship leaders, the prayers follow the season of the Christian year. You'll find prayers for every season of the year as well as for special occasions.

As an aid to private devotional practice, they stir the soul to awaken to a cosmic identity - being the presence of the evolving universe in human form. The prayers are also being used as devotions to open sacred gatherings and meetings. A collection of prayers like If Darwin Prayed comes along once in a very long time. Paperback , pages. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

To ask other readers questions about If Darwin Prayed , please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Jan 08, Hansen Wendlandt rated it really liked it. The prayers seemed formulaic and awkward on my first glance maybe my own expectations , but read aloud, they are poetic and occasionally beautiful. Feb 19, Ian rated it it was amazing. Who says a belief in evolution is incompatible with Christianity? Bruce Sanguin proves in this marvellous collection of prayers and reflections that it is anything but - indeed evolution is the very mechanism of divine creativity and we can reflect on this process to discover deeper and more creative ways in which to express our own spirituality.

The book is divided up into sections appropriate for the different seasons of the liturgical calendar so it can be taken in small chunks as you go throu Who says a belief in evolution is incompatible with Christianity? The book is divided up into sections appropriate for the different seasons of the liturgical calendar so it can be taken in small chunks as you go through the year.

Definitely one of the best - and most original - works of Christian spirituality I've read in a very long time.

If Darwin Prayed: Prayers for Evolutionary Mystics by bruce g. sanguin

Feb 01, Rick rated it it was ok. If Darwin Prayed appears to be a resource book.

I'm not sure it's one I will use. Bruce offers prayers for every season in Church life. Are you looking for something that hasn't been overused for Christmas, Easter and everything in between? You'll find that here. But you may not like what you find. Bruce begins by offering an explanation for what he has offered. He's just a pastor trying to ensure that prayers and liturgy If Darwin Prayed appears to be a resource book.

He's just a pastor trying to ensure that prayers and liturgy offered up match what he believes to be true. But he's done a lot more than change 'thee' and 'thou' to 'you'. Convinced that Darwin was on to something and offered theology a gift when he made Christians consider how science and theology match up, Bruce decries that it's taken too long for our worship to catch up. Thus, the new prayers. I'm sensing that my own bias is starting to come through.

Yes, I believe I may have to differ with Bruce on his conclusions for what Darwin has offered as well as the veracity of evolution. But that's not my problem with this book. The idea that other Christians may not believe exactly as I believe or live exactly as I live is not a scary thought. After all, if God can be creative enough to make all this diversity, I am small enough to celebrate it and not decry it.

My problem is that the focus of these prayers may not be on God. It would seem that a resource like this that offers itself as beneficial to evolutionary mystics is more focused on the evolutionists and the mystics than it is God. What I mean is that, when we pray, if our prayers only remind us of what we already believe to be true, then it makes me wonder if that prayer is really a prayer. But maybe it is another manifesto of what we think.

It might be like the Calvinist who thanks God for being predestined or the Wesleyan who thanks God for potlucks. Darwin himself delayed publishing his research, knowing that his findings would threaten the very foundations of Christianity. Which is exactly what happened with the publication of The Origin of Species. The first shock for many Christians was that nature actually evolves.

The previously predominant view was that God had created a giraffe six thousand years ago with its long neck, spots, two knobs on top of its head, and splaying legs, all fully formed right out of the shoot. Some of his readers took this to mean that humans are linked with apes and this was disturbing to say the least.

Nobody then imagined that our lineage extends back even further, to three-billion year- old prokaryotic bacteria. To acknowledge that the human being emerged out of the adaptive resilience and struggle of all of the creatures that came before us is to assume a more humble place in the scheme of life. Gratitude replaces arrogance as we realize that our challenge is not to have dominion over creation but rather to assume our proper place in our one Earth community.

An evolutionary worldview implies an underlying shift in identity that can be perceived as a threat to those who cling to biblical literalism. This attempt to turn premodern creation stories into factual, scientific accounts of reality betrays the original intent of the writers of these ancient texts: These results are strongly correlated to Christian beliefs.

My concern, however, is not with the fundamentalist strain of Christianity. We, who accept—and even celebrate—the scientific method and its findings, have been slow to incorporate the evolutionary nature of reality into our theology and liturgy. We do not know conclusively if Darwin lost his faith because of his discovery.

We do know that the theological models available to him were limited. There is no reason for the science of evolution and the theology of Christianity to occupy separate domains. We do not need to choose between the two, as recent scientific materialists like Richard Dawkins claim we must.

If Darwin Prayed: Prayers for Evolutionary Mystics

Science and theology represent two different ways of knowing—one focussed on the exterior dimensions of reality and one that includes the physical world but also validates, celebrates, and develops the interior, nonmaterial realm of human experience. An ancient Talmudic saying goes: Almost twenty years ago, on a silent retreat, I had an experience in which I understood myself to be the presence of the universe in human form. The dualistic separation between myself and the universe collapsed.

I realized that, after I was a product of the evolutionary process of the cosmos. More than that, the universe was continuing its evolutionary unfolding in and through me. My identity shifted from a very small and buffered sense of myself to a self-image as large and unified as the universe itself. At this point in the story, my wife always reminds me that this kind of talk sounds outrageously narcissistic unless I point out that this universal identity is also true of every reader of this sentence!

Interestingly, though, it was this experience of realizing my larger cosmic identity that was the surest remedy for my narcissism. My little self ego was swallowed up by a more expansive identity: I awoke to a universe that was alive in me and animated by Spirit. When we pay close attention to this cosmic impulse to evolve, and consciously consent to its influence and power, we awaken to a dimension of ourselves that the ancients called our soul.

We discover our intrinsic purpose, one that is soul-sized, and we gain the desire and capacity to be centres of a sacred evolutionary impulse to create the future that Jesus called the kin g dom of God. Our creative self-expression becomes a moral imperative from the perspective of this big self. In and through this self-expression we discover that the future is within us. Within the miracle of a living and evolving universe, our understanding evolves regarding God, the Christ, Jesus of Nazareth, what it means to be a faith community, and what it means to be human.

There is no final, unchanging form of Christianity.

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The failure to update our theological and liturgical models has resulted in modes of worship, spiritual practice, and images of God, that are out of sync with reality and Reality as we know it to be. Updating Our Image of God. God comes to you in whatever image you have been able to form of. The wiser and broader and more gorgeous the image, the. What if our images of God were informed by evolution as both a biological and spiritual impulse? The great story of the universe reveals that there is no disconnection anywhere in the universe.

We are cousins with stars, giraffes, amoebas, bananas—let alone monkeys! We share an unbroken lineage with all of life. This is a stunning revelation. Mystics have intuited it, but now science has revealed it to be fact. We share a single energy with every form and every mode of consciousness in the universe. This knowledge should be the cause for great celebration in our churches every Sunday and in our prayer life throughout the week.

The illusion of separateness is just that—an illusion reinforced by a modernist ideology of materialism. The congregation I have been serving in Vancouver has been encouraging. This collection is my way of listening to the whispering of the angels of Canadian Memorial United Church in Vancouver , British Columbia. Evolution is all about adapting to changing life conditions. And conditions have indeed changed in our neck of the woods.

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Our church is located in a neighbourhood that boasts the highest percentage of people in the world who claim no religious affiliation. Mention the word Christ out loud in a local Starbucks and watch it empty. Part of this aversion to Christianity is due, of course, to a checkered history with violence and rigid belief systems.