The Rev. Michael Dowd is a former pastor and sustainable communities organizer, bestselling eco-theologian, and pro-science evangelist whose work has been featured in The New York Times, LA Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Newsweek, Discover, and on television nationally. His book, Thank God for Evolution: How the Marriage of Science and Religion Will Transform Your Life and Our World, was endorsed by 6 Nobel Prize-winning scientists, noted skeptics, and by religious leaders across the spectrum. Michael and his science writer, evolutionary educator, and fellow climate activist wife, Connie Barlow, have spoken to more than 2,000 groups throughout North America since 2002.

Michael has delivered two TEDx talks and a program at the United Nations. He has also conducted two acclaimed online conversation series: "The Advent of Evolutionary Christianity" and "The Future Is Calling Us to Greatness". Dowd's passion for proclaiming a pro-science, nature-honoring message of inspiration — what he calls "the gospel of right relationship to Reality" — has earned him the moniker 'Rev. Reality', as he speaks prophetically in secular and religious settings about our sacred responsibility to future generations.

Dowd's credo (as explained in this 9 min video) is: "Reality is my God. Evidence is my scripture. Big History is my creation story. Ecology is my theology. Integrity is my spiritual path. And fostering a just and healthy future is my mission."

Celebrated by both liberals and conservatives and gifted at building bridges between secular and religious, Michael's great joy, as of 2016, is evangelizing the message of "Standing for the Future" and promoting "Reality's Rules: Ten Commandments to Avoid Extinction and Redeem Humanity".

Michael and Connie both see honoring "Grace Limits" as the key to success — individually and collectively.

"Evidential Medicine for Our Collective Soul: What's Inevitable? What's Redemptive?" is a 5-page essay (19-min audio) that expresses the heart of Rev. Dowd's pro-science prophetic message.

Wikipedia entry  ♦  'Standing for the Future' videos  ♦  'God in Big History' videos  ♦  'Grace Limits' audios  ♦  Personal/media site
 

  



17 Minute VIDEO: "Reality's Rules: Ten Commandments to Avoid Extinction"

    What Reality is telling us, through evidence, about how we must now collectively think and act if we hope to spare our grandchildren from hell and spare ourselves their condemnation. If you disagree, please let Michael know why and support your claim with evidence. Email: Michael(AT)ThankGodforEvolution.com

This 17 minute video is the culmination of decades of research and collaboration. It showcases today's divine/prophetic wisdom revealed via scientific, historic, and cross-cultural evidence. A 3-page companion document gives the full text of the commandments, with supporting links to online text, audio, and video resources.

VIDEO: 17 minutes




9 Minute VIDEO: Michael Dowd (Rev. Reality): "Sacred Realist / Religion 3.0 Credo"

    Michael Dowd spoke to the Sedona Integral Group on April 25, 2014. In this 9-minute excerpt, Dowd articulates what might be considered a "sacred realist statement of faith" ... 6 points of agreement upon which tens of millions of secular and religious people align — and through which we all might join together to foster a just, healthy, and ecologically sustainable future.

Religion 3.0 / Evidential Reformation / Sacred Realist CREDO: "Reality is our God. Evidence is our scripture. Big History is our creation story. Ecology is our theology. Integrity is our spiritual path; and Fostering a just and healthy future is our mission."



   
  • VIDEO INTERVIEW: "Pro-Future or Anti-Future?"
    In 2014, during his participation in The Great March for Climate Action, Michael donned a green clergy shirt and started speaking in churches and at climate rallies as "Reverend Reality". (See his Reverend Reality youtube channel.) The two most important videos on that channel launch a new playlist: "Pro-Future or Anti-Future?". Episode 1 is "Eco-Theology". Episode 2 is "Right Relationship to Reality." This is, by far, the best and most thorough articulation to-date of Dowd's core values, priorities, and commitments. Thanks to Rick Archer, of "Buddha at the Gas Pump", here's a 36 page transcript of the entire interview (both episodes).


  •    

    Michael Dowd and Katharine Hayhoe in CLIMATE ACTION VIDEO

    A powerful 4-minute video was published on youtube May 2015:

  • "ASK PHILANTHROPISTS: Climate Breakthrough Now! - #2"
  • Featured as "Reverend Reality", Dowd dons a green clergy shirt for this role, with video graphics that support Dowd's claim: "The most important distinction of our time isn't left or right. It's not liberal or conservative. It's pro-future or anti-future."



      
    Five-Part
    VIDEO series
    3 hrs and 15 mins

    with host
    MICHAEL DOWD


      
     
    NH Public Television Documentary
    "ONE-ON-ONE WITH MICHAEL DOWD"

    This 27-minute documentary on the "one-story faith" or "pro-future" gospel Dowd preaches, produced by New Hampshire Public Television, first aired in December 2010. The camera crew filmed Dowd at one of seven presentations he gave during November 2010 at United Church of Christ and Congregational churches in New Hampshire.

    The documentary centers on an interview with Dowd that was conducted by the television team just before an event. Interspersed are fragments of Dowd during his actual presentation, along with excerpts of a video made several years earlier and available on the Thank God for Evolution DVD sold on this website.

    The program, "Evolutionize Your Life," that Michael was presenting that day is now available in DVD or in narrated slide format.

     

        

     

      


        BEST 2014 SERMONS
    (YouTube - click on image)

    LEFT: Unitarian

    RIGHT: Christian (UCC)


    BEST 2015 SERMONS: Michael Dowd's 3-part guest sermon series at People's Church, Ludington MI

        Rev. Dowd presented a series of 3 Sunday sermons at the Unitarian Universalist church in Ludington MI, summer 2015. His presentations occurred during a 4-month period of sabbatical study on ecological and civilization history and the increasing toll of climate change on our hopes for the future. All sermons are now on youtube (VIDEOS):

  • Sermon 1: "When Religion Fails, Economics Becomes Demonic"
  • Sermon 2: "Embrace Death To Live Life Fully"
  • Sermon 3: "Inspired on Dark Mountain: The Big Picture"
    (His wife, Connie, says this is her favorite sermon...ever.)
  • 2016 SERMON VIDEO: "Ecological Wisdom for Chaotic, Challenging Times"



    The Skeptic Society lecture (below left), "Evolution and the Global Integrity Crisis", was also delivered in April 2009 at the United Nations.


      

    Thank God for Evolution
    How the Marriage of Science and Religion
    Will Transform Your Life and Our World

    2008: Viking / 2009: Plume

    Endorsed by 6 NOBEL LAUREATES and other
    science luminaries, including noted skeptics, and
    by dozens of widely diverse religious luminaries

    Visit the Thank God for Evolution website for

  • the full text of endorsements

  • Rev. Dowd's BLOG: "The Evolutionary Evangelist"

  • link for purchasing the book and related merchandise (tee-shirts, caps, bumper stickers)
  • Chapters 1 & 2
    Free Download


       

    My Best and Most-Cited SHORT WRITINGS - 2013-2016:

  • "Ecology Is the New Theology", with Connie Barlow (SpiritEarth, Spring 2013)

  • "Evidential Mysticism and the Future of Earth" (Oneing Magazine, Fall 2014)

  • "When Religion Fails, Economics Becomes Demonic" (HuffPost, May 2015)

  • "Evidential MEDICINE for Our Collective Soul" (Oneing Magazine, Fall 2016)

  •   

    ABOVE: Dowd and Barlow "Climate Resources" page
    of original videos and links.

      

    4-city "Climate Wake-Up" tour in Kentucky, May 2013
    sponsored by Kentucky Interfaith Power & Light
     

      

        
     
         

    Rev. Dowd delivered short climate-action talks in 2014 in cities along the route of The Great March for Climate Action.
    Click images above to watch his talk in Davenport Iowa (left), Albuquerque NM (middle), and Phoenix AZ (right).

    In an 8-minute 2014 religion and climate audio interview via the college radio station at Western Michigan University, Michael Dowd speaks boldly of human-caused climate change as "the great reckoning."
     

      


       "Reality is my God, ecology is my theology, and fostering a just and healthy future is my mission. Scientific, historic, and cross-cultural evidence is where I go first for divine guidance — rather than ancient texts, mythic beliefs, or traditional dogma. My ultimate commitment is living in right relationship to God's Time and God's Nature and assisting others, and our species, in doing the same."

     
    Brief Biography for
    INTRODUCING MICHAEL DOWD

    at these venues:

    Unitarian Universalist

    Christian

    Unity / New Thought / Religious Science / Integral

    Secular and Other

    Publicity PHOTOS

    MORE EXTENSIVE BIO / BACKGROUND
     

      

      

        REV. DOWD ON NATIONAL TELEVISION . . .
  • on ABC National News (2009)

  • on Fox & Friends (2009)

  • on CNN Lou Dobbs (2008)
  •        

    New Dimensions
    Radio interview


        30-min SERMON VIDEO: "Ecology Is the New Theology"

    In February 2013, Rev. Dowd presented a guest sermon at the UU congregation in Santa Fe, NM. His opening line: "Ecology is the new theology; big history is the new Genesis. Those who fail to understand that evidence is modern-day scripture, and that the world we live in is an honorable world, betray God and humanity in the most egregious of ways." Dowd calls fellow baby boomers to attend to their legacy re: climate change and the enormous costs of medicalized death. Also available in audio format.

    See also Dowd's 2014 sermon at Granite Peak Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Prescott AZ: "Inspiring Science, Realistic Hope" and Dowd's 2014 sermon at Westminster Presbyterian of Gallup NM: "Reality Reconciles Science & Religion".


      

    30-min SERMON VIDEO: "God Rebukes the Religious Right: 'Repent or Face Hell and High Water'"

    Rev. Michael Dowd delivered an entirely new sermon on January 6, 2013 at the two Sunday morning services at Jefferson Unitarian Church in Golden, CO. Dowd presents "God" (Reality personified) as rebuking scriptural literalists for stalling collective action in response to climate change by engaging in denial or distortion of facts. (Dowd preached the same sermon a month later at a Baptist church in Houston, Texas. He received a standing ovation at both churches.)

    Listen to an AUDIO of the same sermon title delivered the following Sunday at Wellshire Presbyterian Church in Denver, Colorado.


        49-min VIDEO: "Climate Change & Intergenerational Evil"

    In December 2012, Michael Dowd (with wife, Connie Barlow) "woke up" to the magnitude and immediacy of rapid and profound climate shift already underway. In this video they embed clips of videos and talk about new developments that brought them to this awakening. Video clips include TED talks by James Hansen and David Roberts, and a 3-minute interview with Bill McKibben during his autumn 2012 "Do the Math" climate tour.

    Also posted on Michael's Huffington Post blog.


      
    Publicity PHOTOS


           
    "A Story Big Enough To Hold Us All"

    Michael Dowd's contributed chapter in...

    The Whole World Kin: Darwin and the Spirit of Liberal Religion, edited by Fredric Muir (Skinner House Books, 2009)

    6 questions for group discussion of chapter


    Religious & Educational Background
    and Work Experience

    Michael Dowd grew up Roman Catholic and attended Catholic school for eight years. At the age of 20, while serving in the U.S. Army in Berlin, Germany, he had a 'born-again' experience and began attending an Assemblies of God church. After leaving the military in 1981, he attended Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri (affiliated with the Assemblies of God), where he received a B.A. in biblical studies and philosophy, graduating with highest honors. He also graduated with honors in 1987 from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary (now Palmer Seminary) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (affiliated with the American Baptist Church), where he earned a Master of Divinity degree. From 1987 through 1995 Rev. Dowd served as a United Church of Christ minister, pastoring churches in Massachusetts, Ohio, and Michigan. He was disfellowshipped by the UCC in 1995, as he explains here.

    Michael's first book, EarthSpirit: A Handbook for Nurturing an Ecological Christianity (Twenty-Third Publications: 1991), inspired by the work of Thomas Berry, Brian Swimme, Miriam McGillis, and Joanna Macy, was one of the first attempts to look appreciatively at traditional, biblical Christianity from the perspective of a modern cosmology.

       In 1995 Rev. Dowd began working with Jewish, Roman Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical, and Unitarian Universalist leaders across America on social and environmental issues that were coming up for a vote in Congress, as Religious Organizer for the Washington D.C.-based National Environmental Trust. From 1997 to 2000 he headed the first government-funded program designed to produce large-scale voluntary citizen behavior change along stewardship lines in the United States: The Portland Sustainable Lifestyle Campaign, in Portland, Oregon. In 2000 and 2001 he served as Campaign Manager of Global Action Plan (now The Empowerment Institute's) EcoTeam and Livable Neighborhood programs in Rockland County, New York. Since April 2002 Michael and his science writer wife, Connie Barlow, have traveled North America and have addressed more than 2,000 secular and religious groups on the intersection of science, inspiration, and sustainability.

    Rev. Dowd has served on the boards of the North American Conference on Christianity and Ecology; the Ohio Conference United Church of Christ (UCC) Integrity of Creation, Justice, and Peace task force; and the Hudson Valley Sustainable Communities Network. He has also served on the steering committees of the Network of Biblical Storytellers International and the UCC Network for Environmental and Economic Responsibility. Michael's great joy in life is telling the history of everyone and everything in ways that inspire and empower people of all ages and theological orientations to know real freedom, to live in integrity, and to fulfill their evolutionary mission/calling.



    Click below for Michael's current BLOGS at . . . 

     

     

       SAMPLE BLOG ENTRIES:

  • God: 'Personification' Does NOT Mean 'Person'

  • Death: Sacred, Necessary, Real

  • Big History Hits the Big Time

  • The Evidential Reformation: Humanity Comes of Age

  • Is Scientific Evidence Modern-Day Scripture?

  • New Theists: Knowers, Not Believers

  • New Atheists Promote Bible Study?

  • Ecology Is the New Theology (Video)

  • Idolatry of the Written Word

  • Preaching on Climate Change



  •    Visit Michael Dowd's BLOG ARCHIVE:
    The Evolutionary Evangelist

    Titles include: "A Story of Awakening (Teen Boys)" ♦ "Evolve or Perish" ♦ "I'm a Human with Mismatched Instincts" ♦ "Making Death Right" ♦ "The Unnaturalist Fallacy" ♦ "Teach Both Sides of What Controversy?" ♦ "Sex and the Olympics" ♦ "Evolution Theology: Religiion 2.0" ♦ "Why I Thank God for Charles Darwin" ♦ "Why Evangelize Evolution?" ♦ "Lizard Legacy Bites Three More Alphas" ♦ "Evolutionary Morality and Ethics" ♦ "Clergy Letter / Emerging Churches" ♦ "Thank God for the New Atheists and Creationists!" ♦ "The Gospel of Evolution" ♦ "Evolutionary Christianity" and many more


       Publicity PHOTOS

    Listen to 6-minute AUDIO of Michael reading his PREFACE to the 2009 softcover edition of Thank God for Evolution.

    RIGHT: Watch a VIDEO of Rev. Dowd's 30-minute SERMON delivered at All Souls Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, "The Sacred Side of Science: Religious Naturalism".

       




  • "When Religion Fails, Economics Becomes Demonic" (Patheos blog, May 2015; reprinted in Huffington Post)

  • "Evidential Mysticism and the Future of Earth" 2014 (in Oneing magazine)

  • "Ecology Is the New Theology" 2013 (in SpiritEarth magazine)
        (with Connie Barlow) why the teachings of Thomas Berry are now even more urgent. (1 page in PDF)

  • "Living and Loving Panfaithfully": Creating a Life Full of Integrity, Passion, and Sustainable Loving Relationships.
    A 25-page essay written in 1998 that addresses three basic needs and challenges of modern-day living: (1) How to live a truly authentic, fully self-expressed life, (2) Experiencing love that is mutually satisfying, mutually empowering, and deepening over time, and (3) Our yearning to create a greater sense of community among our family and friends.

  • "An Evangelical Pentecostal Naturalist?!", invited post in Emergent Village Voice, 31 January 2012.

  • "Why Understanding Our Instincts Is Vital for Living in Integrity and Unleashing Our Greatness"
         Dowd interviewed by Craig Hamilton for The Way of the Evolutionary Man audio series, June 2011. AUDIO.

  • "Thank God for the New Atheists", in Skeptic Magazine Vol 16 No.2, 2011.

  • "Is Biblicist Christianity Bankrupt?", online debate with Al Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (2011).

  • "Thank God for the New Atheists", in Australasian Science Magazine December 2010.

  • "Thank God for the New Atheists" sermon delivered by Dowd at Mayflower UCC, Cathedral of Hope, and St. Paul's Episcopal
         in Oklahoma City, OK (Aug 1-8, 2010); 5 pages in PDF.

  • "Evolutionary Spirituality: Coming Home to Reality", essay published in Michael Dowd's blog of 20 January 2010. 8 pages in PDF.
    1:15 hr AUDIO of Michael speaking about these concepts with Craig Hamilton, as part of the "Awakening to the Impulse to Evolve" series on the website: EvolutionarySpirituality.com.

  • "Thomas: My Great Red Oak" chapter contributed by Dowd to The Thomas Berry Tribute of Ecozoic Reader, 2009. 2 pages in PDF.

  • "Giving God Glory in Evolution", Lent 2004 issue of Benedictine Bridge.

  • "4 Reasons Why Nothing Matters More Than What We Think About Evolution" - 2008
    This is a blogpost that is now available in PDF on this website.

  • "Evolutionary Evangelism" - 2005
    This is a contributed entry for the Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature, edited by Bron Taylor, Dept. Religion, University of Florida, Gainesville.

  • "My Road To Damascus" - 2003 (5 pages)
    First published in the Spring 2003 issue of EarthLight: The Magazine of Spiritual Ecology, this essay explores Michael's personal journey from a worldview that did not accept evolution to one that completely embraces it, without diminishing his faith. PDF.

  • "A Great Story Perspective on the UCC Statement of Faith" - 1990 (8 pages)
    An interpretation of the United Church of Christ Statement of Faith, in light of the epic of evolution, biblical revelation, tradition, and personal life experience. It was originally Michael's ordination paper. webpage

  • "Ecozoic Activism" EarthLight, 2001 - (2 pages)
    The inner work that will guide environmental activism toward, what Thomas Berry calls, the Ecozoic Era (co-written with Connie Barlow). PDF

  • "The New Cosmology: Understanding the Gaia Hypothesis" - 1998 (2 pages)
    published in the June/July issue of Simply Living; available online in PDF

  • "Earth or 'the earth': What's in a Name?" - 1991 (2 pages)
    Have you ever heard anyone refer to our celestial neighbors as "the mars", "the jupiter", or "the venus,"? Of course not. Why, then, refer to the physical ground of our being as "the earth"? This short essay suggests that how we refer to our home planet is far more than a matter of semantics. It is ultimately a question of honor, which, as Thomas Berry argues, may be the most important issue before us as we enter the twenty-first century. webpage


     DVDs 


      
    Visit Michael Dowd's BOOK website

    ThankGodforEvolution.com

      


        LEFT: Michael Dowd in 2011 leading the 5-minute "Story for All Ages" at Sunday morning service of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Venice, Florida. The kids with the puppets are assisting with the story, "Who's Proud to Be Related to an Iguana?"

    IF BOTH OF US ARE AVAILABLE TO COME TO YOUR CHURCH SUNDAY MORNING, we suggest that Michael do the guest sermon and Connie be invited to serve as guest teacher in an R.E. class. Upper elementary is her favorite, but lower elementary or middle school are also possible. Please check our ITINERARY to see if we are double-booked on Sunday morning at another church, or whether both of us will be coming to your Sunday service. For any classroom R.E. program, please know that Connie needs to talk with the teacher or R.E. Director in advance of its being scheduled. Another possibility is to schedule Connie to do her hour-long "River of Life" program for families after Sunday lunch at the church. (This has worked very well in both Christian and UU churches.)

    Please visit the webpage description of Connie's R.E. programs for KIDS.



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