BioLogos has announced that Darrel Falk, the current president (he’s served for 2.5 years after the exit of Francis Collins, who started the Foundation to bring Jesus-lovers to Darwin), is stepping down, and the organization is looking for a new president. This completes the trifecta of resignations, which includes to date co-president “Uncle” Karl Giberson as well as Biblical scholar Pete Enns.
I’m not sure whether this means anything at for the future of this accommodationist organization: in his statement of resignation, “The vision lives on. . . and on,” Falk makes the usual excuse:
At the end of this year, I will be stepping aside as leader of BioLogos. What I love to do most of all is to study, to write, and to teach. This has been my primary calling in life. Occasionally, I have been led down a different path that included some administrative responsibilities for short periods of time, but I know my primary calling and look forward to getting back to it.
Do have a look at Falk’s account of BioLogos‘s “accomplishments,” none of which actually include converting science-averse evangelical Christians to evolution. They’ve had workshops, meetings, and a big website for three years, as well as tons of funding from the Templeton Foundation and, I suspect, wealthy evangelicals. But they have no record of actually doing what they set out to do: reconciling science with evangelical Christianity.
The reason is palpably clear of course: those “ways of knowing” are incompatible. But Falk seems cluelessly puzzled by BioLogos‘s failure:
But as thankful as I am for that support, no straddling ought to be required. Science studies God’s creation, which places it on sacred ground, not foreign territory. And if it is sacred ground, then Christians ought to be right there providing tours of the landscape, not out on the fringes looking in. True, there are sections of the science landscape that need to be redeemed from the scientism Richard Dawkins and others use to surface-mine and subtly rearrange the terrain for their own philosophical purposes, but the fact that they have been able to do this may be partly due to our near-absence from the territory. We have been far too hesitant to enter this world, and sometimes it seems we have simply preferred to cast stones from the outside.
Elaine Eklund has shown that Evangelicals are fourteen-fold under-represented among the scientists at the nation’s leading universities. Is this a result of what Mark Noll (almost twenty years ago) described as a scandal—“the scandal of the evangelical mind?” Could it be that the territory seems foreign because we have stayed away and failed to adequately understand how science works and why it is such a dependable way of revealing truth about the physical and biological world that God has created?
Oh for crying out loud! Evangelicals and other hyper-religious people are underrepresented in science because it threatens their faith. It’s not an inadequate understanding of how science works, but a realization that the findings of science, if taken seriously, make the idea of a god superfluous. And, in the end, this is why all efforts like those of BioLogos will fail.
I can’t resist one dig at Falk’s boast about viewers of their site:
. . . our website has, according to Alexa, grown to become the most viewed web-site in the world for sites that focus on compatibility between mainstream science and the Christian faith. Over 750,000 people have visited the site and viewed an average of seven BioLogos pages.
Well, this site has been up only about six months longer than BioLogos‘s, and as of two minutes ago we had 14,115,529 views (I think that’s equivalent to their stats, though I don’t know how many pages my visitors have viewed.)
Nor can I resist reprising BioLogos‘s statement about the new president’s mission and qualifications:
The President is the public face of BioLogos, embodying the organization’s vision and implementing it by working with the staff, leading evangelicals and scientists and the general public. This person will have deep-seated appreciation of the current gulf between modern science, especially evolution, and conservative evangelical Christianity and be able to successfully convey the need to rectify this situation.
A spirit of graciousness and genuine interest in the views of others who see things differently is important. Since the position requires a component of spiritual leadership, a commitment to a growing and meaningful personal relationship with Jesus Christ is essential. . .
Personal qualifications sought in the next leader of BioLogos
- Exhibits a strong personal faith relationship with Jesus Christ.
- Identifies with a local community of Christians.
- Embraces a high view of Scripture.
- Shows a love and respect for the church and its people.
- Demonstrates high integrity and personal character.
- Seeks and affirms truth.
- Demonstrates self-knowledge of personal and professional strengths and weaknesses.
- Synthesizes complex information.
- Shows strong verbal and written communication skills.
- Understands the importance of a collegial and professional leadership presence.
- Has ability to travel by commercial airlines and by automobile.
- Models being a seasoned and mature leader.
- Holds the PhD or its equivalent.
I love the “has ability to travel by commercial airlines and by automobile.” But where, oh where, is the vitally important “love of and respect for the achievements of science”?