The fourth and final part of a series on reasons to care for creation.
There is hope. As Christians we have been commissioned to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, to proclaim the gospel to all of creation, and to be salt and light in this world. Continue reading
I want us to humbly ask before God the question, should Christians go green? In other words, should we, both individually and collectively, express our love for God in a lifestyle that shares and sustains His creation instead of destroying it? The answer, I believe, is yes we should. And the reason I believe that we should is simple: that God, fundamentally, is ‘green’! Continue reading
Welcome to our vision for an inter-denominational creation care charity that inspires change. A brief summary of our ideas is set out below, based on a proposal written in August 2014. The full document can be accessed here. It’s a work in progress – already it’s clear that we’d like to be an all-Ireland charity as soon as is practical, and that we might also want to focus our work on counter-consumerism and/or animal welfare, in addition to ecology and agro-ecology. But it’s a start; a basis for dreaming, praying, planning and hoping. Please join us. Read all about it here.
In a few days the final installment of the Hobbit films will be coming to cinema screens across the UK. With dragons (well, just the one, but a big one at that), huge armies and a healthy dose of CGI (Computer-Generated Imagery) effects, the Hobbit films are quite an arresting spectacle, and in this respect they follow in the line of the Lord of the Rings films. The author of the works on which these films are based (in the Hobbit’s case, loosely), J.R.R. Tolkien, was a committed Christian, and hints of this can be seen from some of the themes in his stories, such as those of providence, forgiveness, sacrificial love, and so on. Continue reading
Three trees waymark the Christian story – and our own.
I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree…
Poems are made by fools like me, but only God can make a tree.
Trees are incredible. They are the pinnacles of creation, the tallest, largest and oldest living things. And while, strictly speaking, algal plants (phytoplankton) in the oceans produce more oxygen than them, it is trees – especially tropical rainforests – that have captured the public’s imagination as the ‘lungs of the planet’. We depend on them for many other practical things too, like timber, nuts and fruit. But we also depend on their beauty and magnificence to enchant and inspire us, to herald the passage of the seasons. A world without trees would be no world at all.
Biblical and biological inspiration for restoring a holistic understanding of business.
Stating that ‘Our God is a business God’ may seem a bit of a strange thing to say, especially on an environmental blog. But bear with me and let’s see if it merits being stated. I’ve attended three events in the past five weeks where organisations with a passion for mission helped us look at how business can be one major strategy or – in the case of one of these groups – the strategy, by which God’s love and truth, shown to us in Jesus, are made known. In contrast, business hardly gets a look in on most preaching and teaching schedules in our churches. And a theology of business is sadly lacking in Christian circles in the western ‘developed’ world. More generally, a theology of work, which can include how businesses treat their employees, has been developing in recent decades but even this gets little air time in sermons.
In about two weeks our first born is due. This fills me with a nervous excitement that I have also felt before rugby matches or when I’m about to explore a new trail on my bike (not to trivialise parenthood of course). However, it has also got me thinking about my beliefs and the beliefs that my wife and I want to model as parents.
Part of the reason I got involved in the conservation sector was because of an ideal – I believed and still believe that God created the universe, said that it was good, and placed humans in it to look after it. Adams first job, after all, was to tend the garden. While there will always be the need to use parts of creation to sustain human life, there will never be justification for the reckless destruction of the things that God has made, which are also a glimpse of his glory.
Holism, not dualism, should underpin our Christian faith, including in our relationships with nature.
Zombies stalk our churches. They shuffle down the aisles, present in body, absent in spirit. They have eyes but do not see and ears but do not hear. These zombie Christians sniff out any scent of abundant life in the church and devour it, intent on reducing the earthly kingdom of God to just a waiting room for eternity. Tackling poverty and injustice leaves a bitter taste in their mouth, caring for creation makes them choke.
Admittedly, there is such a thing as murdering a metaphor, even an undead one. But the purpose of this caricature is to point out the negative dualism that is at the root of some Christians’ engagement with the world around them, including hostile or ambivalent attitudes towards the environment, poverty alleviation and other aspects of our physical existence. This article will argue that not only is this zombie theology damaging and inconsistent in numerous ways, but that it is actually heavily influenced by ideas outside of the Christian worldview. It will also suggest that the positive biblical alternative is to look at life holistically, accepting and marveling at the interconnection and interdependence of all God’s created order. Continue reading