As 2015 draws to an end, I’m in awe of the many ways God has blessed our ministry this year. We’re seeing a growing community, growing momentum, and growing impact as we build on our strengths. Here are five reasons why 2015 makes me excited for the future of BioLogos:
A sold-out public conference
When we first advertised our Evolution and Christian Faith (ECF) public conference early this year, we weren’t sure what to expect. By the time registration closed, we were sold out! Over 250 people pastors, scientists, scholars, and teachers traveled to Michigan in late June. This was the culmination of our ECF grants program, showcasing the great scholarship and helpful resources produced by 37 individuals and teams over the last three years. Beyond the numbers and the presentations, the week was filled with a sense that BioLogos had reached a new level. We had become an enthusiastic, growing community with a shared vision, a coherent message, and a grace-filled tone. I talked with an attendee months later, and he got choked up as he remembered our times of shared worship, when we sang the glory of our God displayed in the discoveries of modern science.
A new website
After months of hard work by staff behind the scenes, we launched our new website in September. Many of you have said how much you like the new look! Our rich library of resources is even more easy to navigate and readership on mobile devices is multiplying. As I write this, we’re about to hit 600,000 page views since the new site launched in September, from users representing almost every country on Earth! BioLogos is now the top hit on Google for phrases like “fossil record”, “what is evolution”, “death before the fall”, and “2nd law of thermodynamics and evolution”. Wow!
BioLogos in the media and public square
2015 saw a big jump forward in national media coverage of the positive relationship between great science and biblical faith, featuring BioLogos voices in publications like National Geographic, Fox News, Inside Higher Ed, Forbes, the Washington Post, and the journal Nature. More Christian publications are picking up the theme as well, with coverage in Christianity Today, Christian Post, and The Christian Century. BioLogos speakers appeared at several major universities. When an accomplished scientist speaks intelligently about their faith on campus, or a theologian writes thoughtfully on science in mainstream media, people see that they don’t have to turn off their brains to consider the gospel!
The BioLogos Forum
The “Forum” (as we call it) was launched early this year as a home for our comment and discussion boards. Since then, more than 500 people have signed up to be part of the discussions, representing every conceivable position on origins, from atheism to young-earth creationism. Here’s the amazing thing: Every single person and perspective is respected. Discussions are moderated so that the dialogue reflects the grace we are called to in Christ. Where else does that happen on the internet? And it’s also a place where anyone who is struggling to reconcile science and faith can get support and advice from the community. To me, it’s a perfect example of what BioLogos is all about.
It seems that a week never goes by without us getting a letter from someone whose life has been profoundly touched by BioLogos. Countless people still find themselves caught between science and faith, and when they find BioLogos, they discover a new vision of Christian faith in our scientific age. Just this year, we published the stories of Faith, Mario, Greg, Randy, Len, Dana, Connor, Garrett, Matt, Jonathan, Rich, and Hannah (as well as two anonymous stories). And they are just a small selection of the individuals we’ve heard from this year. If I ever have doubt about the impact of our work, I just read these stories and I’m filled with encouragement and inspiration.
BioLogos is at a “hinge point” in our history. We launched in 2009 with generous startup funds from the John Templeton Foundation and other supporters. The accomplishments of 2015 show how much we’ve grown since then! We are poised to get the word out to a large audience in 2016 and beyond. While we have wonderful grants for short-term projects (see 2013 and 2014 annual reports), those grants don’t last forever. The next few years will be critical as we build up a community of donors to support our online ministry for years to come.
Do you read the BioLogos blog regularly? Is this website your go-to resource for high-quality material on science and Christian faith? Do you recommend BioLogos to your friends? Then please consider a gift as 2016 comes to a close. Now is the perfect time to become a BioLogos supporter. Our goal is to raise $100,000 in the last 6 weeks of the year, and we need all of us working together to meet it. Just use the form below, or visit our Give page for more options.
I’m grateful to all of you who already support BioLogos, whether through gifts, prayers, thoughtful online comments, or recommending BioLogos to friends and family. Thank you for being part of this great community!
May God’s blessings be upon you this Christmas season and into the new year.