That first Christmas was a precursor to the science-fiction convention used over and over again in Doctor Who, Star Trek and every "galaxy far, far away" -- a "rip in the time-space continuum" -- as infinity takes on finitude, as the creator of the stars embraces a body made of stardust. Flesh and blood, this earthy God.
My assumptions about history began to change 13 years ago. I was teaching a class called Media, Stereotyping and Violence when the tragic events of 9/11 overtook our lives. In the days that followed, my students and I confronted a question: Is all this violence inevitable?
Big History is humanity's first and only creation story derived from global collective learning. While secular, it nevertheless reveals a way of thinking and speaking about God that is undeniably and inescapably real.
Reality is my God and evidence is my scripture. Big history is my creation story and ecology is my theology. Integrity is my salvation and ensuring a just and healthy future, not just for humanity but for the entire body of life, is my mission.
Every religion, every ideology and every construct of self implies a perspective on what constitutes the good life, as well as some kind of critique of the bad. But what are we to do when our ideals are in conflict?
We are in the early stages of what I think historians will one day call religion's Evidential Reformation. Increasingly, most of us relate to scientific, historic and cross-cultural evidence as more authoritative than a literalist reading of Scripture.
Religionists who deny certain facts of this Big History, who don't understand or accept the scope of the important details of this new unity of knowledge, do great damage.