Yes, one could list other human qualities, qualities that would fall in the
category of "common grace." I would agree that life in the past may have
been "short, brutish and nasty," to quote somebody whose name escapes me.
And I don't deny that we can learn from other religions. However, what I
see happening now is a general casting adrift from religious tenets without
replacement by a new set of religious views.
Maybe we should ask ourselves what currently drives political decisions and
what drives personal decisions, to get some inkling of what we may be in
for. What set of values drove the participants in the recent Gulf War? How
far are we willing to go to get our oil? We full well know that continued
consumption of fossil fuels leads to elevated [CO2] in the atmosphere. Yet,
your president has decided that ratifying the Kyoto Protocol is not in the
I'm not saying that increased [CO2] will necessarily lead to global warming,
but it may lead to more severe weather before a new equilibrium is
established. Neither am I suggesting that the Kyoto Protocol will solve all
problems. I'm simply citing it as one example where a well-educated
individual, George W. Bush, leader of a well-developed nation, and a
Christian to boot, makes a decision in light of what we know. Not to pick
on either the US or Dubya, Canada is not doing much better in that respect.
I fully agree with your caution about "leaving this all to the Lord." He
works through us. My point was that, if humankind refuses to do His
bidding, He may intervene.
From: Howard J. Van Till [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Saturday April 14, 2001 3:11 PM
To: Vandergraaf, Chuck; firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Re: The Future of Evolution
OK, perhaps it will take more than merely "sound moral principles and
appropriate science/technology" to avoid a "short but violent ride" into the
future. We could list other human qualities that would be helpful, and we
could add something regarding the human response to our awareness of divine
expectations. We could also, of course, say something about the benefits of
divine guidance and grace, although we had better be prepared to be
authentically respectful of the way in which that guidance and grace is
experienced by religions other than Christianity.
But I submit that relying on the expectation that "the Lord will intervene
in time, before we descend too far into the abyss" could easily serve as an
excuse for human sloth and failure to act responsibly.
If that's the way evolution is to proceed, we can expect a short, but
violent ride, I'm afraid. Relying on "sound moral principle and appropriate
science/technology" is, IMHO, wishful thinking. With increased competition
for diminishing resources, moral principles will be flying out of the
window, if they have not already done so. I agree that the human race will
be able to evaluate the effects of its behaviour, but the time delays of
natural systems is such that there may not be enough time to respond. I'm
not as pessimistic as Richard Duncan, and don't expect that humankind will
regress into an Olduvai-type society, but it won't be pretty. Hopefully, the
Lord will intervene in time, before we descend too far into the abyss.
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