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If Darwin Prayed: Prayers for Evolutionary Mystics Paperback – November 1, 2010


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If Darwin Prayed: Prayers for Evolutionary Mystics + The Advance of Love: Reading the Bible with an Evolutionary Heart + Darwin, Divinity, and the Dance of the Cosmos: An Ecological Christianity
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: evans and sanguin publishing (November 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0986592404
  • ISBN-13: 978-0986592409
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #815,626 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Bruce Sanguin is a world leader in evolutionary Christian spirituality. 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, to liberal Christianity, to the total loss of conviction (they are connected), to evolutionary Christian mysticism. Bruce has been an ordained minister in the United Church of Canada for 26 years and is a clinical member of the American Association of Marriage and Family therapy. He is the author of five books, the latest of which is The Advance of Love: Reading Scripture with An Evolutionary Heart. Bruce is married to Ann Evans, and a father to Sarah, an actress and musician in LA, as well as grandfather to four. www.theadvanceoflove.com.

Customer Reviews

The writing style is refreshing and insightful.
Hildegard2002
This book is useful for pastors and for all who want to look at religion and evolution in a new way.
Linda Prendergast
I would attend church again if these kind of prayers were used each Sunday!
Don Smith

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 22, 2011
Format: Paperback
Bruce Sanguine's latest book is If Darwin Prayed: Prayers for Evolutionary Mystics. Sanguine, an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ and pastor of Vancouver's Canadian Memorial United Church, wanted "prayers for worship and spiritual practice that are written from the perspective of the great evolutionary story of the universe." But evolutionary thought is still in infant stages in both theology and liturgy. Sanguine wondered:

"What was born of necessity soon became a weekly discipline of joyful creative expression. I wondered what prayers in support of the new cosmology and evolutionary spirituality would look and feel like: How would we pray together if we took the science of evolution and the new cosmology seriously--if we saw the presence we call God intimately involved with the modern scientific realities of the universe, the planet, and human beings? How do we translate Paul's intuition of a Christ who is cosmic in scope and sovereignty into prayer form? How do we pray into the mission that emerges when we bring this lens to bear on the text? What fresh insights might emerge from the ancient biblical texts if we brought an evolutionary lens to the task?"

Sanguine decided to start writing his own prayers to fill this void in liturgy. The result is an incredible prayer book that challenges us to expand our understanding of who Godde is, who we are as individuals and the church, and how we are connected to, not only everything on earth, but everything in the universe. I have always been fascinated and awed that the human body is made of the same building blocks as stars.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Brian on May 28, 2011
Format: Paperback
Process theology and open theism both describe a life where God invites us on a holy adventure through our evolving, interdependent world. Instead of controlling everything/everyone through coercion, God beckons people through persuasive love. Instead of predetermining an end/plan for the world, God works with the changing world to bring forth God's vision of greater love, justice, and mutuality. Instead of hiding away in some heaven light-years away, God's abiding presence is with us - and all creation - along the journey of life every single day. Instead of acting once upon a time in the Bible, God continues to act in each new moment of life. The attributes of God based on process theology and open theism could go on and on. The point is this: it's pretty cool theology. One of the reasons that it's so cool is because it combines an understanding of the world that is evolving, an understanding of God as a Being that brings forth creativity in the evolutionary process, and a deep spirituality that invites us to experience God's abiding presence within all of life.

Sounds good. No problem, right? Well...not quite. The problem is that most hymns, liturgies, devotionals, etc. still use traditional language and imagery for God. It's rare to find practical resources for a spirituality that is based on process/open theology. In fact, I have heard a few colleagues say, "I like process theology better than any other theology, but I just don't know how to use it in a church." And that is a valid concern. It's hard to make the transition - especially without many useful resources. Another problem is that many people simply can't go to church if they hear nothing but an ancient worldview reflected. They want to connect their spirituality with the worldview they live in right now.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Don Smith on June 8, 2011
Format: Paperback
The Reverend Bruce Sanguin, an ordained minister in the United Church of Canada, currently serving with them at Canadian Memorial Church in Vancouver, British Columbia, has written one of the best and long overdue books of our time. The title "If Darwin Prayed" provocatively brings together two, apparently irreconcilable, forces: Darwin and Religion. Yet the author is able, in a series of prayers generally based on the Christian liturgical cycle and the profound couple of pages of prose found at the beginning of each chapter, to deeply and mystically show how Evolution and Spirituality can and MUST be intimately linked.

The subtitle of the book is "Prayers for Evolutionary Mystics" and this sounds "New Age" enough to scare the be-Jesus out of most fundamentalists. But this is the essence of what this work is all about - Sanguin cannot abandon either his deep mystical (Christian-centred, but non-exclusive) spirituality NOR his embrace of the the scientific reality of evolutionary cosmology. This is what the late Thomas Berry emphasized when he argued that we must tell "The New Story" (of the origins of Universe, Earth, Life and Human) in new, creative, and artistic yet sacred ways. Bruce Sanguin has done what has yet to be seriously attempted systematically - a FUSION of Christian spirituality and themes with modern cosmology. In these brief (usually one page) prayers, a well known Bible story (such as the Ascension, Jacob's wrestling with God, The Empty Tomb) is re-imagined within our contemporary worldview - not the three-tier ancient worldview (Heaven above - Hell below - us in between).

I have to applaud Bruce for doing a "new thing" with this book. This is always risky.
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