Saturday, 22 March 2014

"In wisdom God made all things"

My photograph shows Bishop David Atkinson, of Southwark driving off from Cheltenham this morning after spending the night with us. David was here to talk to Christian Ecology Link yesterday evening: the title of this post is the one he took, leading into a meditation on Psalm 104 ("one of the great nature poems of the world"), used as a backdrop to some sobering reflections upon our present relationship with the created world.

"What is nature but the creation of God," he began; hence his astonishment that a journalist - seeing him at a presentation given by Al Gore some while back - should ask, "What possible interest could the Church have in the environment?"

But it's merely a measure of the general disconnect between our faith and our responsibility to bequeath a better world to future generations. As Professor Mary Grey commented on the Operation Noah Ash Wednesday Declaration: We will encounter [the issues raised by this Declaration] in the form of a question when we face God's judgement: "What did you do to cherish my creation in its hour of danger?"

We cannot continue to exceed the planet's boundaries and expect all humanity to flourish. Realising this means we need to address difficult questions: how are our pension funds invested? Should we fly? Ought we really to light up the church spire? Where is neo-liberal economic theory going?

As was clear from the wide-ranging discussion that followed, all of us can't answer all of these questions, but each of us can tackle some of them. There's a variety of gifts: we can bear the same witness in our different ways. And muddy carrots keep one earthed. What more natural for believers in an infinite God than to live with the understanding that resources are finite! We need to discover the possibility of living differently in a way which is joyous.

Altogether, an excellent evening, which encouraged all of us to follow David's example and accept, in our teaching, preaching and living, the challenge of integrating Christian belief with concern for our world and its future!


Martin Davis said...

Someone unable to be present at the meeting writes: "Yes we can 'light the church spire' by using LED lighting (80% less than incandescent floods) and based on cost savings from solar pv electricity."

Martin Davis said...

Someone who was present commented: "A most positive evening, excellent speaker.
Psalm 104 is certainly an anchor."

Martin Davis said...

Another attender wrote: "It was very good to be there and unusual - I've been involved with environmental groups since I was teenager but this is the first time in such a setting!"

Martin Davis said...

Another person present wrote: "I would have liked that the spiritual aspect of looking after our environment would have been developed during our discussion. I really do not understand that this aspect of our faith is never spoken of at weekend masses or by the hierarchy here in England; yet there are so many references to God’s love towards his creatures both in the New and Old Testaments."

Steve Finnell said...


According to a 2013 survey by the Pew Research Center 27% of white evangelical Protestants, 68% of white Catholics and 78% of white mainline Protestants believe that humans have evolved over time.

Is it possible to be a Christian evolutionist? How is that possible?

God is either the creator of all things or a human evolutionists. He is not both.

Genesis 1:26-27 Then God said , "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.......27 So God created man in His own image...(NKJV)

God did not say let man evolve into His own image.

Matthew 19:4 And He answered and said to them, "Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female." (NKJV)

Jesus said, male and female were made at the beginning. Male and female did not evolve, they were created.

Some who claim to be Christians, say that the Genesis account of creation is allegorical or mythical. Is Matthew 19:4 allegorical and mythical as well?

Others claim to believe in theistic evolution. God is either creator of all things or a humanist evolutionist, God is not both.