I’m sayin’ something

On the Sola Panel

I’m with Tony. When it comes to telling you what to do in response to the issue of climate change, I’m sayin’ nuttin’. But I’m also with Carl Henry as quoted by Tony. So here’s some biblical truths that I am willing to say. Maybe they’ll help you to think more about climate change.

Creation matters to God. God reckons the world is good (Gen 1, 1 Tim 4:4-5).

Human consumption of things in the world is also good (Gen 1:29, 1 Tim 4:4-5).

The non-human part of creation matters to God, even when it’s got nothing to do with you (Job 39-40, Psalm 104).

People matter more to God than the rest of the creation (Gen 1:26-31). Strange, but true (Ps 8:3-8).

The big problem with our world is that human beings are sinners (Gen 3:17-19, Hos 4:1-3, Rom 8:20-21). God’s solution to this problem is the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Greed is close to the heart of sin, because it involves desiring the creation above the creator (Eph 5:3, Col 3:5). Mindless over-consumption is an instance of sin, and it is not good (Prov 25:16, 27).

The core business of Jesus’ death and resurrection is the salvation of sinners (Rom 3:21-26, 2 Cor 5:17-21).

The scope of Jesus’ death and resurrection is the cosmic reconciliation of the entire world (Rom 8:19-23, Col 1:20).

If you’re a climate change skeptic and a Christian, that’s no excuse to go on consuming more than you should. Put greed to death (Col 3:5). Be patient (Gal 5:22, Jas 5:7). Killing greed and practising patience will have good effects on our world, regardless of whether humans are causing climate change.

If you’re a climate change believer and a Christian, don’t allow your carbon-reduction ‘good deeds’ to be sullied with smug pride, self-righteous announcements, or condemnation of others who aren’t as green as you. Just do it, and praise God (Matt 6:1-4).

The gospel teaches us to love our neighbour (Luke 10:27, Rom 13:9-10, Gal 5:14, Jas 2:8).

“Love your neighbour” is not the great commission, nor is it the gospel.

In order to love your neighbour, you don’t need to be inspired with an extra economic or ecological mission or vision. You need to know God’s love in Christ, and prayerfully consider about how respond to this love given the relationships and situations you find yourself in.

If your response to people who say that we need to have a wider or global concern is to try to place limits on the command to “love your neighbour”, then you might be seeking to justify yourself (Luke 10:29).

When scientists collaborate, they will get things wrong, because they are sinners (Rom 1:21-23) and they are finite (Job 28).

When scientists collaborate, they will get lots of things right, because they are human beings made in God’s image. People who know stuff about ecology and economics will have some good advice about how to love your neighbour.

The entire world will be judged with fire by God (2 Pet 3:7-10).

The judgment of the world should lead us to positive ethical action, not to despair or complacency (2 Pet 3:11-14).

The entire world will be renewed by God (Rom 8:19-23, Rev 21-22).

The entire world will be not be renewed by you.

If you’re interested, I’ve said somethin’ about this elsewhere: Is God green? God, the world and us, Is God green? God, the world and Jesus and Is God green? God and the future of the world.

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