RE: Environment?? (fwd)

Sweitzer, Dennis (
Fri, 28 Jun 96 08:24:00 EST

Jan wrote>>>
>> It is true that helping widows and orphans and taking care of poor
must be done. Still, to do it at the cost of the environment goes against
direct commandment God gave humanity in Genesis. WE must take care of
creation. Let it not be said that Christians ruin creation. It is is not
either this or
that. Note that pollution is mentioned by James too.

Since I have been taking initiative on this environmental thread, and
prehaps haven't anticipated how my messages would be interpreted, I feel I
owe (at least to Jan) some clarification.

First, in the spectrum between practice and pondering, my opinion is that
good-earth keeping is part of the practice end of spectrum, along with
helping widows and orphans (although of a different quality). After all,
there is a very true sense that taking care of the earth today may not
greatly help the widows and orphans of today, but it will help those of

Second, my criticism of "pondering" (instead of "practicing") is more of
criticism of myself than of anyone on the ASA list server. By nature, I
ponder more than I practice. Not that pondering is without value, but that
there needs to be a balence. And rarely do I have unique
struggles/problems/questions/doubts --generally there are others who have
the same struggles/problems/questions/doubts which can benefit from my
insights & from whom I can benefit.

>> It may be true that some scientists have the same attitude as the
Gnostics in the first century. No doubt. There are some non-scientists
the same attitude. Before you start to judge that, you should really know
what the Gnostics are like. What I don't like is the either, or attitude.
you take care of widows or you do science. Isa.5:13 tells us that a people
that has no knowledge is lost, dying of hunger, parched with thirst. In
order to
be an effective witness, one has to know not only the bible, but also what
going on in the world around us. There our scientists have to help us,
without making
fools of themselves or their hearers. History has shown time and again that
Christianity which loses knowledge will disappear, until God sends
These reformers are usually studied people.

Amen. I assume Jan is responding to my statement that, "I suspect that many
devotees of science do so with the same heart attitude as the Gnostics did
1800 yrs ago. If so, how do we guard our hearts against that attitude?"

By devotees of science, I included non-scientists as well. Seems to me that
some of the most extravagent claims for science (or shall I say, scientism)
are made by non-scientists who treat it somewhat like a religion. (Can I
call them science groupies?). And it seems to me that most scientists are
well aware of their own limitations in their own fields of research (though
not necessarily their limitations in other people's fields of research).

As an "either, or attitude", I hope that I am not the inspiration for Jan's
comment, but I did say "It is great fun to probe the mysteries of the
Universe, but there is that gulf between pondering and practicing", and in
retrospect, "gulf" is a poor choice of word. I personally like to keep my
feet on both sides of the gulf, and, by default, I use "or" in the inclusive
sense, not the exclusive ("either/or, but not both") sense.

Unfortunately, I find it far too easy to spend my time on the pondering side
of the gulf, instead of getting out & practicing (or even just calling my
Mother who went for surgery yesterday!)

Grace & peace,

Dennis Sweitzer