Richard Colling is in big trouble. He’s a biology instructor who is getting slapped down by his college and his community.
Colling is prohibited from teaching the general biology class, a version of which he had taught since 1991, and college president John Bowling has banned professors from assigning his book. At least one local Nazarene church called for Colling to be fired and threatened to withhold financial support from the college. In a letter to Bowling, ministers in Caro, Mo., expressed “deep concern regarding the teaching of evolutionary theory as a scientifically proven fact,” calling it “a philosophy that is godless, contrary to scripture and scientifically unverifiable.” Irate parents, pastors and others complained to Bowling, while a meeting between church leaders and Colling “led to some tension and misunderstanding,” Bowling said in a letter to trustees.
He must have done something truly horrible! Why, he sounds like some kind of godless atheist who is trying to pry his students away from the loving embrace of the church. Here’s a little more about his unconscionable religious leanings:
A professor at Olivet Nazarene University in Illinois and a lifelong member of the evangelical Church of the Nazarene, Colling wrote a 2004 book called “Random Designer” because–as he said in a letter to students and colleagues this year–“I want you to know the truth that God is bigger, far more profound and vastly more creative than you may have known.” Moreover, he said, God “cares enough about creation to harness even the forces of [Darwinian] randomness.”
What? He’s some kind of devout Christian who has an argument (that I won’t believe for a moment) that evolution is the mechanism his god used to create life on earth. That’s fairly standard theistic evolutionism, I would think.
But it’s not good enough for his area of Illinois. The rest of the article describes a few other attempts to reconcile Christianity with science, all futile, all buried in the noise of the fundamentalists.
The lesson is clear. You aren’t going to be loved for trying to accommodate science in religion, so you might as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb.