Pastor J.D. talks about the need to care for the earth but also remember the purpose of God creating it, especially when it comes to matters like climate change.

A glimpse inside this episode:

Two Poles: 

  1. We are responsible to care for creation and … 
  2. The earth was created for the benefit of humans. We’re not a virus or a cancer.

These come from two mandates in Genesis 1:

  • Dominion mandate: earth was made for human
  • Stewardship mandate: we are to care for the heart like a garden

Any solution, therefore, must toggle between those poles. Some strategies for ‘creation care’ fail to take into account God created the earth for our benefit and we should use it accordingly, for example–they would harm the economy too much. 

There is room for disagreement. 

Undeniable: There has been some warming. 

Disagreement: For example, is it cyclical? Yes. Christians disagree. We can handle the disagreement, but insist upon the poles.

Russell Moore:

  • Scripture does not lay out for us a legislative blueprint for every possible environmental problem
  • And he points to two extremes: Some Christians shrug their shoulders, cite the dominion clause of the Genesis mandate, and then endorse the bumper-sticker slogan: “Earth First: We’ll Pave the Other Planets Later.” 
  • Other Christians, just as casually, wrinkle their brows, cite the stewardship clause of the Genesis mandate, and propose “What Would Jesus Drive?” anti-SUV campaigns.
  • Both extremes are wrong:  To use Jesus as a mascot for a specific a political program dilutes his witness.
  • Dr. Moore says another concern he has is an evangelical utopianism that believes, in the words of one evangelical leader, that we can “restore Eden” through legislative means. I am also deeply suspicious of the kind of doomsday scenarios laid out for us by Al Gore and others in a kind of secular Left Behind series.
    • We live in a cursed universe, and the universe groans under the burden of this curse (Romans 8:19-22). 
      • That doesn’t mean that we simply give the earth over to the ravages of its birth-pangs, anymore than we can cite the curse of literal human birth-pangs as reason not to comfort a mother in delivery
      • It does mean, though, that we understand the limits of “saving the world” in this time between the times. 
    • Dr. Moore says: The earth is longing for something, the apostle Paul tells us. But it’s not freedom from man, but the coming of the God-Man, the Lord Jesus…. The earth is groaning for us, “for the revealing of the sons of God” (Romans 8:19). 
    • That’s why gospel proclamation is the most farsighted form of environmental activism. The earth is delivered when her rulers are raised from the death curse, when all things once again are under their feet, in Christ.
  • The earth is created for humans. That’s where “Live Aid” was closer to the biblical truth than “Live Earth.” The Scriptures, from Genesis to Revelation, tell us something secular environmentalism and ideological Darwinism can never accept: “We are the world.”

What’s the Conclusion?

  • We ought to support reasonable laws that protect the earth and its resources. 
  • We should always make sure they are done under the idea that the world is created for humans, will support it, and any policies should not inhibit human flourishing. 
  • We should not attach the church’s name to specific policies. We’ll disagree often on how best to do that. But, in the meantime, we ought not to turn away from what we know to be true in order to support what we think seems to be true. Even if doing so wins us the applause of the rock stars.
  • Dr. Moore: Let’s take care of the earth, protect the natural order. But let’s remember that the world is not ultimately rescued by politicians or musicians or filmmakers or scientists. It’s saved by the Man, the Lord Jesus. Jesus’ blood, not Al Gore. Let’s preach him.

 

The sponsor for this week’s episode:

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