United Church of Canada minister Bruce Sanguin says it’s by being dedicated students of both. So this avid blogger and writer is making headway with evolutionary theology – an approach to Christianity that pays a lot of attention to evolution and world history.
Bruce says his church is now attracting the young and unchurched in ways it never has before. Open your mind to the wisdom and innovation of this dynamic thinker.
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If the universe is 13.7 billion years old, then Bruce Sanguin says many Christians have to take seriously the context in which our faith resides – and not shy away from all forms of learning to be faithful believers. Here are my notes from the interview:
Church Leaders Need to Be Intellectually Fed
Bruce says too many congregational leaders find it easy to slough off of the difficult work of continual educational rigor. In order to take the world seriously he says we need to read, read, read, and learn, learn, learn.
Leadership Is: Tending to the Interior Life
The deepest need of the church is for its ministers to have depth, authenticity, and awareness. Spiritual practices play a big role here – and develop an essential needed to build every healthy congregation: for leaders to deeply and truly love their people.
We Need a Curriculum
Bruce’s main frustration with evolutionary theology is that there are very few congregational resources available – which is why he is now taking time off from church work to write. Using the outline: waking up, growing up, and stepping up, he is designing an educational way forward that is faithful to both science and Christianity.
About Bruce Sanguin
Bruce grew up in Winnipeg and spent his teens and early twenties as a jock. He graduated from the University of Winnipeg without, as far as he can remember, having read a book. Except one, by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on Transcendental Meditation. This woke him up to a vocation that transcended the dream of dunking the b-ball and playing professional tennis. TM gave way to born-again Christianity, then to liberal Christianity, to the total loss of conviction (they are connected), to evolutionary Christian mysticism and the blessed return of enthusiasm. He spends most of his time these days trying to put the brakes on the sacred evolutionary impulse. Bruce has been an ordained minister in the United Church of Canada for 25 years, now serving a congregation in Vancouver, B.C. He is a clinical member of the American Association of Marriage and Family therapy. He’s also Ann’s husband (24 years and counting), a father to Sarah, an actress and musician in LA, a grandfather to four, and author of four books, all available in both digital and hard copy from his website: www.ifdarwinprayed.com.
Sponsors I Mentioned
Are you headed to the Wild Goose festival? Thousands of campers are headed to the beautiful hills of North Carolina June 21-24. Wild Goose is a festival at the intersection of justice, spirituality, and art. Some of this year’s guests are Jim Wallis, Brian McLaren, and Shane Claiborne. ChurchNext is a proud sponsor – find out more at wildgoosefestival.org
Virginia Theological Seminary is the largest Episcopal Seminary in the U.S., forming men and women for leadership in the church. In addition to the MDiv, Anglican Studies and DMin degrees are their Masters of Arts degrees with a fous on Theological Studies, Christian Formation, Religion & Culture, and Biblical Interpretation. Check them out at vts.edu.