Christians are in “deep denial” over the continuous evolution of the Christian faith which allows the work of Charles Darwin to be celebrated and not feared, emerging church leader Brian McLaren has said.

McLaren, who argued for an overhaul of the Christian faith in his 2010 book A New Kind of Christianity, joined a recent panel discussion that addressed the evolution of the church and the Christian identity in postmodern or “post-postmodern” times.

The telecast discussion is part of “The Advent of Evolutionary Christianity,” a project that seeks to bring together a diverse panel of “evolution-celebrating” Christians who don’t believe one has to settle on either Jesus or Darwin. Michael Dowd, author of Thank God for Evolution, is host and moderator of the series.

“Evolutionary Christianity is a fact of history about which a lot of Christians are in deep denial,” said McLaren during a session entitled “Evolving Church.” “The fact is the church has constantly been evolving. So many Roman Catholics are shocked to learn that priestly celibacy wasn’t required for quite a while. It was several centuries ago that it became a universal requirement.”

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