Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Why Jesus cares more about global warming than you do and what he’s doing about it

This Thursday evening, I'll be addressing this topic at a public seminar held by and at St John's Ashfield from 7.45-9.15 pm. I have a few ideas of how I might approach the evening, but any suggestions are welcome. Hecklers, less so.


Flint Cowboy said...

I have written a few posts on similar themes, for example this one:
Keep up the good work.

byron smith said...

Thanks for the link. Nice post.

The Borg said...

Hello Byron,

I'm interested to know what you think Jesus is doing about global warming. If Jesus is Lord of the Cosmos, then surely it's within his power to clear up the paper thin layer of atmosphere? If not asking this question to disrespect you at all or be facetious. It's just what Christians have been saying about God and the environment lately is confusing me. How do you think God's sovereignty and ultimate purposes for mankind square with environmentalism?

Keen to hear your thoughts,

Flint Cowboy said...

Hello Borg,

I will try to give a respectful and nonfacetious reply. I am puzzled that on this issue alone so many people appeal to the sovereignty of God.

The sovereignty of God is a factor in everything, but it is not an excuse for indifference in ethical matters. I could point a gun at someone, pull the trigger, and say, "Well, if in the sovereignty of God it is his time to go, nothing I can do will change that."

Or we could say that God ordains both the means and the ends. For example, if God chooses to heal someone in answer to my prayers, it is also true that God was the one who prompted me to pray.

My answer to your question about what Jesus is doing about the atmosphere, is that he is prompting Christians to take seriously their responsibility as stewards of the earth's resources.

Environmentalism is a religion to some people, and that form of environmentalism could be idolatrous. But it is not idolatrous to say that God entrusted us with the care of his creation and holds us accountable for the wise use of it.

Looney said...

I suspect that what God will do about global warming is this:

"But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare." - 2 Peter 3:10.

The other thing I suspect is that Australia will be mining at least as much coal four years from now as it does today. The new PM will strive for friendly conversations in Chinese!

byron smith said...

Looney - I agree (NB I have posted on that verse back here), but think we need to say much more than simply this. I've been thinking about what I might say if the topic were something like "Why Jesus cares more about cancer/substance abuse/oppression/etc than you do and what he's doing about it". I think I would give similar answers.

byron smith said...

Shiloh: thanks for your question. I think Mark makes a good point that whatever we say here must also have an eye on other problems in the world. Since I'm writing my seminar for tomorrow night, if I'm happy with it, I most post or all of it in coming days/weeks.

Bruce Yabsley said...

I seem to have missed out on the news about this seminar --- and I go to St John's Ashfield. What gives?

byron smith said...

Bruce - not sure. Perhaps something to take up with whomever has been responsible for organising the NTE team from your end?

byron smith said...

NB NTE = National Training Event organised by the Australian Fellowship of Evangelical Students (AFES) at which members of the Sydney University Evangelical Union (SUEU or just EU) partner with local churches (including this year, St John's) for about five days of outreach. Sorry for the jargon and unnecessary TLA's (Three Letter Acronyms).

byron smith said...

Oops - just to clarify, hundreds of uni students from all over the country take part in NTE. I mentioned Sydney Uni EU because they were the ones visiting St John's.