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September 26, 2008

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So this new gospel seems to be

1. God created all things
2. He created man to take care of stuff
3. We have a large carbon footprint
4. Jesus came to reduce our carbon footprint

The author also claims in the intro page to have found wisdom in the pages of the Bhadvad Gita, the Hindu holy book...

Why no supplementary writings from Saint Gore ?

"The author also claims in the intro page to have found wisdom in the pages of the Bhadvad Gita, "

I must have missed the centrality of conservation as the subject of the bible. I must have been mislead by the passage that reads "I have written these things onto you so that you may know ye have eternal life."
What wisdom is there in missing the very purpose of the bible because of some conservationist agenda? What wise counsel could be gained from directing attention away from this central message? I am concerned about folks that have so much need for social approval that they are willing to throw away truth and the good sense it brings in order to gain it.

Looks like someone's finally identified the unifying thread that runs through all of Scripture.

"You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me."
--Mother Earth

It's unfortunate that we have Bibles with any colored lettering. We don't seem to have the time to carefully read the whole story, we want the CNN sound bite so we can get on with our busy, important lives.

To be sure, God's redemption plan (as traced through the whole Bible, and not just the "Roman's Road") is more robust than the popular soul-saving 'fire insurance' idea. Its time that Christians start realizing that their relationship with Christ means that all of their relationships with God's creation are transformed, not just the relationship between God and the individual.

"To be sure, God's redemption plan (as traced through the whole Bible, and not just the "Roman's Road") is more robust than the popular soul-saving 'fire insurance' idea."

Mijk V,

I think that this is the one example where more(in your "more robust") is less. It is far more than just "fire insurance", it brings glory to God. How can anyone trivialize something that brings glory to God or place something else above that?

We have customized bibles that emphasize all sorts of different virtues and aspects of life, so what's wrong with one on environmentalism? I highly doubt God's happy with our current treatment of His world.

"We have customized bibles that emphasize all sorts of different virtues and aspects of life, so what's wrong with one on environmentalism? I highly doubt God's happy with our current treatment of His world."

It is a question of value. What has greater value...the environment that you spend 70+ years in or one in which you will be spending the rest of eternity in? Placing the greater emphasis on the one that has the greater value is appropriate and does not exclude a properly weighed emphasis on the one of lesser value. To "slant" the bible into one direction or another for personal motivations is to lie about what is the true will of God for mankind and indeed all his creation. It is a violation of "Thou shalt not bear false witness."


So, our stewardship of the world is important, but for a God that can easily create a new world without the ecological ills that this one is suffering from, it is not that big a deal. What is a bigger deal is for us to come to an understanding of the pollution of our hearts and our neglect and outright rebellion against the one who created us and gave us all that we have. From God's perspective it is more important that we come to appreciate the one who generously gave us this world to live in and the joys as well as the sorrows that come with that life. Why appreciate only the creation when the creator is so much greater than that which he created?

Louis,

You've implicitly made a pretty big claim about the eschaton.

"What has greater value...the environment that you spend 70+ years in or one in which you will be spending the rest of eternity in?"

Are these two environments necessarily different? What would lead you think so?

Regards,
Mijk V

You're absolutely right Louis - we do need to keep our eyes focused on Christ and not get distracted by other goals, no matter how noble. If this "green Bible" is the only Bible someone is going to own and they will focus primarily on creation care while ignoring the heart of the gospel, that obviously is a problem.

But if it is instead used to isolate a problem that we've been ignoring, I think its perfectly appropriate to highlight particular verses. Of course God can create a new planet - He can do anything. He can wipe out hunger and poverty and will one day. But in the meantime its our job to alleviate suffering whenever we can.

Mijk V,

Here is the difference.

This world is cursed by sin. (Romans 5:12)
This world will pass away. (Rev 21:1)
This world will be destroyed. (2 Peter 3:10)
This world is deceived by Satan. (Rev 12:9)

The world to come is NOT any of those things.

Just a few differences.

Adam,

To restate what has already been said, placing ecological responsibility at the "core of our Christian walk" puts a spin on the Bible which is misleading and potentially disastrous. If someone already has an overall Biblical set of priorities (God, then other people, then self, then creation), then it is fine to discuss our lesser duties. But a Bible geared entirely toward environmental activism is using the text to support a particular social movement. To get to that point requires an unbalanced spinning of the Bible, using it against its orignial intent and contrary to its stated meaning. This is obviously a big no-no for any text, but most significantly for this text.

A list of proof texts...nice!

I'm not suggesting that this world in its current condition is going to be the eschaton.
I'll restate my question a little more directly... Why should we consider this physical creation separate from God's redemption plan?

If I may appeal to common opinion, most people who spend considerable time studying the Bible don't interpret the above verses as the destruction of the physical world--just pick up a commentary and check.

Peace,
Mijk V

Does it included "To minister to the needs of God’s creation is an act of worship. To ignore those needs is to dishonor the God who made us." Pelosi 1:1

A Bible focusing on the stewardship of the earth.

Maybe there are bigger and better focuses for a bible, but don't we have bigger fish to fry? Out of all of the problems in the world on October 6, 2008, was an eco-friendly Bible the problem we really need to focus on? I think there are far worse problems on the world.

Stephen said..

"A Bible focusing on the stewardship of the earth."

"Maybe there are bigger and better focuses for a bible, but don't we have bigger fish to fry? Out of all of the problems in the world on October 6, 2008, was an eco-friendly Bible the problem we really need to focus on? I think there are far worse problems on the world."

You are right Stephen, there are great problems in this world that we need to focus on. ALL of them. It's not an "either, or". We have been given dominion by God over His creation. Should we as believers in Christ use that dominion as an excuse to be careless and destructive?
I think if we all were spending more time working on those problems you mentioned, we would be too busy to criticize those we think are doing it "wrong."
The apostle Paul stresses finding common ground with everyone so that we can bring them to Christ.(1 Cor. 9:19-22)

Jesus gave His life for the souls of the environmentalists too.
Different kinds of "fish" respond different kinds of "bait." Let's not underestimate the saving power of the Holy Spirit. He can use anything, even a Green Bible..

Blessings.

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