Now’s the Time to Defend Science Against Fundamentalism

Column by Rev. David M. Felten on 1 February 2024 0 Comments

What better time than February 12th and Charles Darwin’s birthday (by rights, one of the most important days on your Liturgical Calendar) to turn our thoughts once again to the critical role Progressive Christians have as a defense against those who think subverting science somehow promotes their religion.

Please login with your account to read this essay.


Why did Jesus come to earth? Who was/is he, and is he the only way to Heaven as mentioned in the Bible?


Dear Joshua

Nothing like an easy question, much less three! As I try to unravel the mysteries your questions point to, I like to pretend that I am one of the soon-to-be disciples. Perhaps Matthew or Andrew or Mary from Magdala. Yes, there were women disciples as well as men! So there I am, standing next to my nets on the shoreline, and this man from Nazareth walks up to me. There’s something different about him, but I’m not sure what it is. After a bit, I sense the peace and love that emanates from him, his total lack of self-centeredness, his focus on me, and an aura that rings true. He presented to me the person I knew I was and wanted to be, and at his invitation, or command was it?, I went with him and joined others who had also experienced his charisma.

After meeting Jesus, many who had been broken both financially and spiritually by the greedy money lenders and land owners regained a sense of what it meant to be human, and they told of this man and his followers. It didn’t take long for the power structure to recognize the threat he posed, and so they had him crucified. The amazing thing is that his death did not stop the movement. It only grew. And it did so because the disciples, women and men, felt in their hearts that this Jesus who had given them new life, still lived on even though he had been crucified. They had no understanding of how that continued life could be true, but they knew it was so.

As the years moved along, and then the decades, others who had never known Jesus joined the movement, and they started to wonder: who was this man? How does he live on? Did God send him? Was he God? This kind of speculation was probably inevitable, inquisitive as we are. Paul thought it was the crucifixion that made the difference. John thought Jesus to be the Eternal Word, with God, but also God, made flesh. Such questions and answers continued for hundreds of years, confusing minds and creating controversy. For some, the most important part of being a follower became, not whether you experienced the new life offered in Jesus, but what you believed about him. Even today, there are those who think that what matters is that you have the correct belief, not whether you feel the fullness of your humanity the way that Andrew did, and Mary, and Peter, and…

So Joshua, ask your questions, for they are good ones. Also realize that there is great mystery involved. The disciples lived with that mystery, and so must we as well.

By the way, I think we all go back to God [heaven], but we’ll save that for another time.

~ Carl Krieg, Ph.D.




Leave a Reply