Armchair philosophy

The third part in our series on biblical eco-warriors of the faith looks at Solomon, and living well on planet earth.

God gave Solomon wisdom – the broadest of minds and the largest of hearts – like the grains of sand upon the seashore. 1 Kings 4:29

Solomon was the wisest person who has ever lived. 1 Kings 4 tells us that he was a king whose very words brought ‘men of all nations’ to listen to him, whose learning surpassed all of the other Einsteins of his era, and even the vast accumulated knowledge of ancient Egypt. He was a wordsmith, a poet and a minstrel. And Solomon was also a keen observer of the world around him, effectively a botanist and a zoologist: ‘He described plant life, from the cedar of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of the wall. He also taught about animals and birds, reptiles and fish’. Continue reading

Wildly wonderful world

The first part in our series on biblical eco-warriors of the faith looks at Adam.

I was a precocious child. When I was about ten, I wrote in to an agricultural magazine I subscribed to at the time about a glaring error in one of their articles. On a tour of the Netherlands one of their contributors – a poultry expert – had misidentified a breed of cattle he had encountered on his travels. It was not, I informed him in my letter, a belted galloway, as he had assumed. Rather, it was, in fact, a lakenvelder, or Dutch belted.

I didn’t realise it at the time but what I was doing was exactly what our forefather Adam did in the very beginning: observing God’s creation and applying that knowledge. I was also doing two other things just like Adam. I was reflecting the heart of the good, good Father, a wild God who knows and delights in His ‘wildly wonderful world’ (Psalm 104:24, The Message). What’s more, I was taking my place as part of the community of creation, an interconnected part of the Creator’s universe like any other, albeit with a special divine hallmark. These three aspects of Adam’s life tell us much about living well today on planet earth. Continue reading