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Tuesday, 13 May 2008

An Invitation to Contribute

If you are an Evangelical Christian, and accept the scientific consensus for biological evolution, then you too can contribute a post to this blog. I’m looking for a wide range of contributors, including academics (scientists, theologians, and biblical scholars), church and parachurch leaders (pastors, elders, mission leaders, and youth directors), as well as contributions from “ordinary Evangelicals” in the pew. It doesn’t matter if you describe yourself as an Evolutionary Creationist (EC), a Theistic Evolutionist (TE), or something else; the key point is that you believe your faith in the incarnate and risen Christ is compatible with your acceptance of the scientific evidence for biological evolution.

A) Criteria for Authors
1. You are an Evangelical Christian. The definition provided in my What is an Evangelical post is pretty broad so I think it should include just about everyone within the Evangelical tent. If you have some specific concerns about the definition that might exclude you, but you would also like to participate, please send me an email and we can discuss your concerns.
2. Based on the definitions provided by Allan Harvey (see my What does Evolution Mean post for details) you accept the evidence for evolution, at least definitions E2 (common descent), E3 (evolutionary mechanisms like genetic variation and natural selection) and preferably E4 (the ability for these mechanisms to account physically for common descent).
3. You should be willing to interact with readers via comments for a short period of time following your post (at least several days, preferably a week).
4. You will make a concerted effort to remain irenic in both your post and your comments.

B) Criteria for Posts
1. Posts should be on some aspect of the evolutionary science / Christian faith dialogue.
2. Posts should be a maximum of 1000 words in length. There is no minimum; shorter is often better.

C) Procedure for Posting
Send me an email with the subject “Proposal to post on the Evangelical Dialogue on Evolution Blog”. Your email should be very brief and include the following:

  • A short one-paragraph description of yourself including a statement that you meet the “Criteria for Authors” above. (If you have published elsewhere, you may want to point to that as well if it is relevant to the science-faith discussion).
  • A short one-paragraph summary of the post you plan to write

I promise to reply to all submissions. (If you haven’t received a reply within a week, something is wrong – maybe it got caught in my spam filter). I cannot promise to publish all submissions.

D) Guest-Post Series
A great way to contribute to this blog is by contributing to one of the Guest-Post Series. In these, a variety of contributors will write about a specific aspect of the evolutionary science / faith dialogue. I have confirmed contributors for two series: The “Evangelicals, Evolution, and Academics” series scheduled between mid-May and mid-June 2008, and the “Myths about Evolutionary Creationists” series in August 2008. However, I am currently looking for additional contributors for the following series:

1. Evangelicals and Evolution: A Student’s Perspective: It is often during the student years that the evolution /faith conflict first comes to a head. I’m looking for a wide variety of Evangelical students to recount their experiences and/or provide their perspectives.

2. Evangelicals, Evolution, and the Church: Given the backlash regarding evolution encountered in both local and denominational church structures, it might be very difficult to recruit contributors for this series, particularly those in official leadership positions. I would appreciate if readers could forward this invitation to church leaders who might be able to contribute here.

If you have any additional ideas for series or topics, or how I could make this process work better, please leave a comment on this post where others can see your input. If your comment involves a proposal that includes your own personal involvement (eg. a new series in which you could be one of the contributors), please send that to me in an email.


Bill Ather said...

I am not seeing how to email you. Please advise.

I am also wondering how rigid you are about the categories you stated in your criteria for submissions. I accept E1 and E3. I am fine with E2 with respect to all nonhuman organisms. I'm somewhat conflicted about E2 with respect to humans, though I recognize that the scientific evidence seems overwhelming.

I'd be interested in commenting from the standpoint of my role as an academic psychologist. I think I could provide some interesting insights from my disciplinary perspective, having to do with why these disputes so often seem unresolvable by ordinary means.

Any interest?

I'm using a pseudonym here. Do guest posters have to unmask and reveal their true, secret identity? This would render me vulnerable to Kryptonite.

Steve Martin said...

Hi Bill,
Re: email addresses. I've added email links to the OP.

Re: Using Pseudonym's to post. Yes, I think if the situation is appropriate that would be fine. I certainly understand. We can discuss that offline.

Re: Acceptance of the definition of evolution. That is a tougher one. I have already had email re: the fact that a dialogue should allow for a variety of opinions - and therefore I should allow those with differing opinions to post. I sympathize with this stance. However, given that the EC position within Evangelicalism enjoys such limited support, I think I want to hold the line on this one, at least for the time being. I'm not trying to stifle debate - there are lots of opportunities elsewhere (and in the comments here) to provide dissenting viewpoints. Its more along the lines of affirmative action.

That being said, I have appreciated your comments & approach to the discussion. So we can discuss what you had in mind offline.

Bill Ather said...

Okay, thanks. I sent you an email which you should have already received (I hope). I will look forward to your reply.