Tuesday, April 20, 2010
"Green Like God"
I first met Jonathan at my church when he came to speak about creation care. When I first heard that the topic of his sermon would be "God is green," I was skeptical. I thought it would be a theological extension of the green craze going on within our culture...a trendy "theological" discussion of sorts. However, I was plesantly surprised to find that what Jonathan had to say about environmentalism was not merely stemming from a worldly trend but a movement of God's hand. He was not only eloquent in speech but provided a wealth of scriptural references which support a convincing argument for the care of God's creation.
I received a copy of his book, Green Like God about a month and a half ago. I finally picked it up and finished it this week. I am glad I did.
Here are some of my thoughts...
I appreciate Jonathan's thoughtfulness and humility towards the subject. I appreciate the fact that he addressed my skepticisim about merely riding the wave of a trend. His approach to scripture is reverent. He offered fresh perspective of our roles as stewards of the earth. One simple but profound analogy which he gave in his sermon at 1027 was concerning the word 'dominion,' which is in the king james version of Genesis 1:28, in reference to our God-given roles on the earth. His analogy was that, as a boy, his parents gave him a bike. He was given dominion over his bike. If he left his bike out in the rain and it rusted or was stolen, his parents would not be responsible for replacing the bike. In other words, the bike was his responsibility. In the book, Jonathan talks about our responsibility towards the earth: "God has called us to be benevolent rulers, ruling the earth compassionately in obedience and worship" [pg. 54].
I was convicted of my own wasteful habits and my heart hurt for our world which is suffering so much by our own hands. "If everyone on Earth consumed resrouces the way Americans do, experts estimate that it would take several Planet Earths just to sustain life" [pg.125]. "The 'American way' of life is broken and needs to be reinvented. We have to have the best of everything in America, but we rarely consider how this affects our global neighbors" [pg.126].
On a similar note, one thing that struck me this past weekend was the love for animals displayed by the precious children I babysit for. The older two, aged 3 and 4, always ask to "pet the puppy" if they see anyone walking a dog, even if said dog is walking the opposite direction on the other side of the street. Most people willingly oblige, as the two are freakishly cute. This caused me to remember how, back in my camp counselor days, the younger kids would always want to pray for their sick dogs and cats. I never took these prayer requests seriously. Maybe I should have. [see Jesus' words on children- Matthew 18:3, 19:13-14, Mark 9:37, 10:13-14, Luke 10:21, 18:15-16]
Jonathan has caused me to remember that "The Bible doesn't teach the sanctity of human life, but the sanctity of all life" [pg 66].
I couldn't finish this post without offering up a resounding "Amen!" to Jonathan's comment about our environmentally friendly practices at 1027 church- "With regard to the divine plan, it is church at its finest."
I would definitely recommend picking up a copy.