I’ve just started reading Wilson’s The Creation(amzn/b&n/abe/pwll), and I’m enjoying it—my wife read it first and recommends it, too—and I wish it would help. I’m a bit cynical, though, especially since I just mentioned the sad affair of Joel Hunter (certain evangelical Christians refuse to consider any issues beyond the gay and the fetus), and now I caught (via the Friendly Atheist) an episode of This American Life on Carlton Pearson, an evangelical preacher in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He had a thriving church with tens of thousands of members, when he had an insight: there was no hell. No eternal torment for damned souls. Jesus came to earth to save everyone, not just the few, not just the true believers. He called this the “gospel of inclusion”. You can guess what happened.
The church collapsed. People stopped attending with no hellfire to goad them on.
It’s acutely depressing, if you want to listen.
So far, Wilson is only telling us about the wonders and importance of biodiversity, without one word about being cast into the abyss if you step on an ant, or if you dare to engage in any sexual practices the Cosmic Superbeing dislikes. I wonder if it will resonate with his intended audience.