Re: The greatest challenge facing mankind

From: Robert Schneider <rjschn39@bellsouth.net>
Date: Mon Sep 26 2005 - 16:34:27 EDT

Re: The greatest challenge facing mankindBy "integrity" I mean something like, let coastal wetlands and marshlands remain as such instead of mucking them up, as has happened along the Gulf Coast, at a terrible cost to the lands and their inhabitants (human and otherwise), and to the Gulf itself.. I don't think there is anything theological about the term. Theology sets out the framework; science provides us with the information to make sensible decisions on how to care for the creation. The phrase "caring for creation" is theologically meaningless if we don't have the kind of information our scientific disciplines can provide for us to decide how best to care for it.

Bob
  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Michael Roberts
  To: Robert Schneider ; Mccarrick, Alan D CIV NSWCCD Philadelphia, 9212 ; asa@calvin.edu
  Sent: Monday, September 26, 2005 12:15 PM
  Subject: Re: The greatest challenge facing mankind

  Yeah, I totally agree.

  But what does the INTEGRITY of the environment mean? To me it is just theological newspeak and meaningless. What is the integrity of a wetland or mountain peak?

  Michael
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Robert Schneider
    To: Mccarrick, Alan D CIV NSWCCD Philadelphia, 9212 ; asa@calvin.edu
    Sent: Monday, September 26, 2005 3:23 PM
    Subject: Re: The greatest challenge facing mankind

    Alan,

    In the new "Catechism of Creation" created by the Episcopal Church's Committee on Science, Technology and Faith, we included this Q&A:

    "Many Christians are suspicious of environmentalists and oppose activities to preserve the earth. What can we say to them?
    We can invite them to study with us the biblical principles that show that caring for the environment is God's will. We can ask them to think of those who are not Christians but are working to preserve the environment as also caring for creation, whatever their reasons, and to work with them to carry out God's charge to the whole human family."

    Bob's comment: since the charge from God to care for God's creation was given to the entire human family, then cooperation among those who are working to preserve the integrity of the environment is essential, whatever their perspectives, religious or non religious. Caring for the earth is really our primary ministry, the first ministry that God gave to humankind.

    Bob

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Mccarrick, Alan D CIV NSWCCD Philadelphia, 9212
      To: asa@calvin.edu
      Cc: George Murphy ; janice matchett
      Sent: Monday, September 26, 2005 9:08 AM
      Subject: Re: The greatest challenge facing mankind

      Janice,

      I thought Crichton's comments were arguing against a environmental straw man - that nature is so pretty and gentle. I call that the Walt Disney version of nature. Christians too sometimes fall into that categories when we say the "beauty, orderliness and creativity of the world" shows us God's handiwork. We forget the destructiveness, death that is also a real part of the physical world. That also shows of something of God. Of course, some would characterize those items as purely the result of sin in the world. I have my doubt that volcanoes are the result of sin.

      I do not know how many thinking environmentalists really ignore the harsher side of natural processes, but there must be some.

      Christians sometimes discount any environmental concern because we might be siding with others whose theology we don't like. Schaeffer called them co-belligerents. I do not think that Christians can be "hands-off" deep ecologists. We are commanded to "tend" the garden as it were - to use wisely with the future generations in mind. Natural systems do have carrying capacities for utilization, it is over utilization that leads to destruction.

      I'm sure my thoughts are not novel at all.

      In my Environmental Science course, the students study the kind of "rulers" that God expects us to be in the form of rules and regulations God gave to kings, masters, and husbands. In each case, God's instructions are for the kind of ruler very different than we actually see.

      Alan McCarrick
Received on Mon Sep 26 16:35:37 2005

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