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July 22-26 - 5:30-8pm - Dinner Included!

Vacation Bible School isn’t just for kids. Sign-up below and join Pastor Barrett as he leads a four-day study on the same theme for the kids’ VBS…but with a twist.

We'll be studying from scientist and theologian, Dr. Philip Clayton and his work on emergent evolution.

This is a great opportunity to invite friends to First Baptist. Childcare is available for infants if you participate in the adult study or as a volunteer for the kids' VBS. 


Register Here


Overview of Study

Part 1: Origins of the Universe

It used to be that science was thought to have nothing to do with us. In this first of five videos on “Emergent Evolution, Spirituality and God,” Philip Clayton explains how we are in fact part of the grander story of the universe. This brief history of the cosmos shows how we belong to the narrative of continual emergence that is the history of the cosmos. Understanding the physics of the universe’s birth helps one to see how humanity fits into the universal story. (And what about life on other planets?)

Part 2: Origins of Life

Is life the result of a miraculous divine intervention, or is it an inevitable byproduct of the laws of physics and chemistry or both? In this second video of the series “Emergent Evolution, Spirituality and God,” Philip Clayton describes current scientific thinking about the origins of life on earth. We see how life is influenced from the beginning by natural selection, which produces increasingly complex organisms over time. Can this process be seen as the means for generating increasing levels of spiritual possibility?

Part 3: Symbiosis vs. Competition

We are often taught that evolution requires the concept of “competition” to be at its very core. In this third video of the series “Emergent Evolution, Spirituality and God,” Philip Clayton talks about recent scientific discoveries that show how organisms work together symbiotically to create ever new forms of cooperation. More than just being “red in tooth and claw,” creation seems to act in powerful ways through cooperation across a vast variety of ecosystems. It appears that some scientists have projected their own (materialist, sexist, or atheist) values onto the data that they are seeking to interpret.

Part 4: Coevolution: Biology and Culture

Could it be that more than just biology is involved in the evolutionary process? In this fourth video of the series “Emergent Evolution, Spirituality and God,” Philip Clayton shares the concept of coevolution, the idea that cultural and biological forces both play a role in determining the broader trajectory of living organisms. Through the phenomenon of social learning—that is, being taught new skills by friends and relatives that are not genetically programmed—we begin to see that evolution includes social and cultural influences as well

Part 5: Spirit or Spirituality

In the centuries after Newton, science was held not only to exclude “spirit” but also to disprove its existence. In this final video of the series “Emergent Evolution, Spirituality and God,” Philip Clayton argues that recent changes in the interpretation of science actually invite the non-material back into the conversation. The question confronting us now becomes whether we think of the universe as functioning only reductively—with all true explanations lying ultimately at the level of physics—or as full of possibility, with newness emerging from sources all around us. If the universe is really “upwardly open” in this way, science and religion may serve as partners in addressing life’s deepest questions: what is the meaning of life? What matters; what is of value? And what does it all point to in the end?