RE: Jerry Falwell -- global warming is "junk science"

From: Tjalle T Vandergraaf <ttveiv@mts.net>
Date: Mon Feb 13 2006 - 21:50:22 EST

In commenting on Jerry Farwell's quote of Alan Wisdom, "Churches should be
reluctant to attach the name of the Gospel of Christ to contemporary
political agendas that lack a clear scriptural mandate and consensus among
the faithful," Burgy writes, "Individuals ought to speak up on these issues.
But I'm not keen on organizations doing so."

I agree with Alan in that Churches, i.e., organized denominations and
individual congregations should not be very careful to make pronouncements
on topics that lie outside their area of expertise. I say this for the
following reasons:
1) denominations should focus their attention to finding new and novel ways
to bring the Evangel or Good News (and, looking at the direction society is
heading, that's quite a full plate!)
2) denominations don't generally have the expertise to dele into the fine
details and nuances of various views
3) as Alan hints, it may drive a wedge between adherents of opposing
viewpoints in a congregation or denomination. I have earlier mentioned the
decision by a Canadian denomination to make their church buildings "nuclear
free zones" and speaking out against nuclear power. This raised the
question whether such a denomination has room for nuclear scientists.

I disagree with Burgy when he writes that "[i]ndividuals ought to speak up
on these issues. But I'm not keen on organizations doing so." I think it is
the role of organizations of like-minded people to speak out on issues where
the organized church lacks the expertise. Thus, I can see Christian
environmentalist, ethicists, engineers, biologists, etc., band together in
appropriate organizations and speak out. But, maybe, that's what he had in
mind?

Chuck Vandergraaf

-----Original Message-----
From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On
Behalf Of Carol or John Burgeson
Sent: Monday, February 13, 2006 5:45 PM
To: asa@calvin.edu
Subject: Jerry Falwell -- global warming is "junk science"

The letter below is from one of us who does more to embarrass
Christianity than just about anyone. OK -- maybe not as much as Pat
Robertson and certainly not as much as Fred Phelps.

Yet, in this case I find myself in substantial agreement. The Rick Warren
group simply does not have the expertise to make this recommendation.

Of course, Jerry also lacks the expertise to declare global warming as
"junk."

Note the Alan Wisdom quote Jerry uses. "Churches should be reluctant to
attach the name of the Gospel of Christ to contemporary political agendas
that lack a clear scriptural mandate and consensus among the faithful."
There are a number of such issues Jerry is not at all reluctant to speak
up on. Gun control, euthanasia, stem cell research, capital punishment,
civil rights for gays and lesbians, etc. Not to mention the questions of
origins and evolution.

Individuals ought to speak up on these issues. But I'm not keen on
organizations doing so. But the masses that receive the Falwell emails
and treat them as prophetic truth will no doubt reinforce their existing
prejudices against science. One more "brick" in the YEC message.

Burgy
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Received on Mon Feb 13 21:51:43 2006

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