Christians can accept evolution without dumping God. Worshiping with Charles Darwin: Sermons and Essays Touching on Matters of Faith and Science, shows why and how we can logically and religiously embrace both. Dr. Robert D. Cornwall uses mind and heart, empirical evidence and Scripture to cogently guide pastors, theologians, lay leaders, and congregants through the troubling waters of one of the most controversial topics plaguing Christianity today.
When this dreaded topic is broached, emotions often run high and Christian charity is frequently absent. Bob Cornwall explores with courage and insight, here and in the pulpit, as pastor of Central Woodward Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Troy, Michigan. He takes on the evolution/faith quandary openly and regularly through his sermons, his commemoration of Evolution Sunday (on the Sunday nearest Charles Darwin’s February birthday), and his columns in the local newspaper, The Troy Patch.
Worshiping with Charles Darwin will help you meaningfully consider related issues. Sample sermons, liturgical aids, and tips for engaging community discussion provide practical assistance.
Among Cornwall’s many books--Ultimate Allegiance: The Subversive Nature of the Lord's Prayer asks us to give our primary allegiance to Jesus and to his kingdom; Faith in the Public Square urges us to make our faith a real civic force--while remaining neighborly and Christ-like; Unfettered Spirit: Spiritual Gifts for the New Great Awakening implores Christians of all traditions to be led by the Spirit toward God-sized goals.
Now he calls on us to bridge the gap between science and faith. Failure to do so could threaten the future of Christianity.
By combining sermons, blog posts and newspaper pieces, Bob Cornwall makes an accessible and compelling case for the compatibility of religion and science. He succeeds in accomplishing his goal of demonstrating that there is an intellectually and spiritually satisfying middle-ground between the extreme positions espoused by fundamentalist Christians and fundamentalist atheists. Contrary to what many creationists seem to believe, Cornwall argues convincingly that adopting bad science does not make for good theology. His is a powerful and persuasive voice for the goals of The Clergy Letter Project and Evolution Weekend. If you ever had any doubt that religion and science could coexist, Cornwall will set your mind at ease.
Founder and Executive Director, The Clergy Letter Project
Bob Cornwall’s sermons read like a great conversation with an articulate and well-read friend. The prose is lively! And the perspectives he offers on creation, science, Scripture, and God are greatly needed in an age of confusion over issues in science and theology. This book is an outstanding contribution to a better way!
Thomas Jay Oord
Northwest Nazarene University
Author, The Nature of Love and other books
Bob Cornwall’s book, Worshiping With Charles Darwin, offers a compelling account of one Christian and clergy member’s attempt to not let go of either science or faith. We live in an era when much harm has been done to not only the public understanding of science, but also to religious traditions themselves, by proponents of misinformation about topics like evolution. It is a sheer delight to have such an accessible collection of what a well-informed member of the clergy has written and spoken on the subject, as evidence that the wedge some drive between religion and science is not only unnecessary, but easily removed, leading to a more vibrant, compelling, and meaningful worldview.
I trust that Christians interested in the intersection of religion and their own faith will find the volume not only interesting, but personally helpful and inspiring.
Dr. James F. McGrath
Clarence L. Goodwin Chair in New Testament Language and Literature
Department of Philosophy & Religion
At the National Center for Science Education we frequently receive inquiries from members of the clergy seeking information about evolution and climate change. Often they seek a perspective on particular issues at the interface between religious belief and the world of science, or a recommendation of resources that can be used in a homiletical or liturgical setting. Robert Cornwall’s Worshiping with Charles Darwin is precisely the sort of book to which I can now happily direct pastors looking for such perspectives. This excellent collection of sermons and essays addresses the question of why Christians (and people of other faiths) should embrace the evolutionary perspectives. Rejecting both atheistic scientism and the god-of-the-gaps theology of the “intelligent design” movement, Cornwall cogently defends the theological perspective of a God who acts in, with, and under the cosmic and biological evolutionary processes we observe. The author also makes a powerful case for it being of crucial importance for religious communities to come to understand the human responsibility for climate change, resource depletion, and habitat destruction. I highly recommend this collection for pastors in any denomination who would like to draw their congregations into a vigorous engagement between the realms of scientific discovery and religious belief.
Peter M. J. Hess, Ph.D.
Director of Outreach to Religious Communities
National Center for Science Education, Oakland, CA