I don’t have any particular insight to offer concerning the true significance or likely usefulness of the non-binding climate accord reached late last year in Paris. I do know, however, that Genesis 8:20-22 contradicts the worldview that underlies much of contemporary environmental and global warming activism. Don’t misunderstand me, I believe strongly that creation care is a divine mandate (see Gen. 1:28 and Gen. 2:15) and that we humans—perhaps especially we industrial moderns—have often failed to an appalling degree to fulfill this sacred responsibility. Considering examples in America, the Dust Bowl (check out Timothy Egan’s gripping chronicle, The Worst Hard Time), Three-Mile Island, and strip mining come to mind, just to name a few.
He’s got the whole world in His hands
That said, the idea that entropy and apocalypse are the inevitable result of environmental folly is impossible for me to reconcile with a theistic worldview and the Creator’s assurances offered in Genesis 9:22, While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night shall not cease. God has made it clear that the fate of our world is not in our hands, but in the hands of Christ the Creator by whom all things hold together (Col. 1:17). According to Present Shock author Douglas Rushkoff, apocalypse is a key element of the contemporary zeitgeist. Notwithstanding this likely fleeting obsession, however, eschatology is ultimately a matter of God’s timetable, not earth’s or humanity’s.
Avoiding environmental perversion
Biblically authentic creation stewardship is grounded in submission, acknowledging both our responsibilities and our accountability to the One who actively governs this world. As we repent of our personal and systemic environmental failures, we must beware lest the cause of environmental stewardship devolve into yet another declaration of human autonomy and usurpation of the Creator’s rule.
Fresh gleanings to fuel your leadership awareness, reflection, and conversations …
John Person is a voracious reader of books on management and leadership. Former Christian Management Association CEO and founder of the Willow Creek Association, John is the savviest Christian association expert I know. An avowed Peter Drucker fan, John devours, distills, and digests pretty much a book a week. I recommend you browse John’s 2015 best reads list—and consider becoming a subscriber to his Management Buckets blog.
Self-described “semiotics” practitioner [observer of signs], Leonard Sweet never fails to challenge my thinking. He rebukes the church for its “catch-up” or “put-down” cultural reflexes. He opines that, for the North American church, the 21st century will be more like the 1st. He calls us to become “scouts,” rather than “strategic planners.” This 20-minute video interview is well worth a listen!