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The world uniting to save itself

the coming carbon race must be driven by a collaborative effort to achieve collective salvation.

From the Guardian editorial, today published on its front page and shared among 56 other international publications.

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0 thoughts on “The world uniting to save itself

  1. dave

    ...whether or not global warming is a real phenomenon and/or caused by us, it's this sense of self-salvation that is kind of disturbing. Nice idea though - "we mess the world up and we can fix it" - I can see how that's appealing.

  2. Heather

    Ever feel like we're watching the tower of Babel being rebuilt --- on a global scale?

    I'm thinking that the "human-centered collaborative " approach to salvation doesn't work so well.

    I used to get wound up in the idea that there is some sort of giant, underlying conspiracy theory that drives our leaders to do some of the things they do.

    God was so good to give me a thorough shaking about how silly I can be.

    http://onmysoapbox2.wordpress.com/2009/10/19/reconstructing-babylon/

    Sadly, the frantic motivation to preserve our planet comes largely from the belief that there is nothing beyond this life and that almighty Man is a supreme triumph of random cellular mutatation.
    Earth is "highly-evolved" man's kingdom, and the richest, most physically powerful are assumed to be the "fittest", smartest and most able to make clear decisions about what we (as a group) must do in order (for them) to remain in control.

    Reading stuff like this isn't as scary, anymore. It's heartbreaking to realize how many people are stubbornly refusing to get into the "ark" of salvation that has been sent by a merciful, patient Creator.

  3. theoldadam

    Carbon is an essential buliding block of life. CO2 is what makes trees and plants grow.

    It is absolutely diabolical that so much of the world has turned things so upside down, and are about to stiffle growth and economies and take away out freedoms and tax us to the hilt, over the biggest hoax that the world has ever known.

    That this fraud was recently exposed for what it is by the the revelation of scientists at East Anglia distoring data to reflect their agenda, ought tip us off to the religious fervor that grips many of these so-called "scientists" and their useful idiot collaborators.

  4. Heather

    Hey Old Adam,

    You may be spot on as to global warming stuff being a hoax. For a long time, I was trying to keep up with the train of information and misinformation. It made my head hurt and created a lot of anxiety.

    Through my husband, the Lord directed me to:

    " For so Jehovah spoke to me with a strong hand, and warned me against walking in the way of this people, saying,
    Do not say, A conspiracy! to everything of which this people says, A conspiracy! And do not fear their fear, nor be afraid.
    Sanctify Jehovah of Hosts Himself, and let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread.
    And He shall be a sanctuary for you, but for a stone of stumbling, and for a rock of falling to both the houses of Israel, for a trap and for a snare to the people of Jerusalem. "Isaiah 8:11-14

    I had no idea the specific answer to my problem was addressed in the OT prophetic books! I got my vision corrected and realized that I have to trust that this mess is still within the scope of God's overall plan.

    He knows what He's doing. And, I expect when man's rebelliousness has run it's full course, God will put an end to it for good.

  5. theoldadam

    Heather,

    "He knows what He’s doing. And, I expect when man’s rebelliousness has run it’s full course, God will put an end to it for good."

    Amen, Heather!

    The hubris of humanity knows no bounds!

    Come, Lord Jesus, come.

  6. Josh

    Thanks for the post - it would be great to see some more theological reflections on global warming issues (most Christian response seems to be limited to saying we have a duty to the environment, and then use this as an opportunity to build bridges and eventually get to Jesus).

    At heart the AGW gospel says that humanities biggest problem is climactic disaster and our saviour is our united effort and/or Government, therefore the worldview is utterly idolatrous (here I'm making no assessment on the science behind it, just on the worldview expressed).

    Given this idolatry, how do you think Christians should respond? I see three possible responses:
    a) Ignore it, simply preach the simple gospel.
    b) Preach against it (c.f. Doug Wilson, http://www.dougwils.com/index.asp?Action=ArchivesByTopic&TopicID=73)
    c) Affirm what's good in it and use it as a way to bridge the apologetics gap (c.f. http://content.yudu.com/Library/A1iegc/Christianitymagazine/resources/1.htm)

    (Actually c isn't an option. I just put the link there to illustrate how we shouldn't respond to the issue).

    Theologically I think I'm at b) but I wouldn't know where to start if I put it in practice. Any suggestions?

  7. pgjackson

    In my opinion if you want a false gospel/ idolatrous religion, then you need.

    a. A god or gods
    b. An eschatology/ a judgment day
    c. A salvation story or mission based on b.

    Secular humanism has always struggled with b. and c. For years it has had a. - the great god Demos, who is often considered to be most powerfully incarnate in the State. But b. and c., in such a way as to catch the imagination and unite people in mission? Not so easy.

    Until the whole global warming thing that is. Whether or not the science is correct, this is how the whole affair is being used. And it fits wonderfully because it serves the purposes of the gods of the whole system - we can save ourselves, the State can save us all.

    For that reason alone we need to keep a level head about this and figure out how to communicate the gospel over against this idolatrous religion. This is still the case even if the science is true.

    Methinks.
    :)

  8. Josh

    Pgjackson, I'd agree with your assessment, but what do you do about it? Do you actively preach against this false god? If so how?

    Our society's biggest false god seems to be government (where do people turn to in disaster, or in the face of global warming?) Should we be preaching more against the idol of government then, say, the idol of greed?

    And why would doing this be so completely counter cultural in British Christianity?

    Sorry for the string of questions. There's so much theological wisdom here that I feel I need to tap into it!

  9. pgjackson

    Hi Josh,

    Are you UK based? If you are then you'll know what's involved in getting people to see this stuff- nothing short of a paradigm shift.

    Statism is a problem in the US, but at least over there it's expected that your Pastor will talk politics. Not so here in the UK, so we've along way to go. People need convincing that the bible even speaks to this kind of stuff, and that the realm of politics isn't some neutral realm.

    So, at the moment, some of the things I try and emphasise in my ministry are:

    a. The absolute Lordship of Jesus Christ over all things

    b. As part of a., the relationship between creation and redemption

    c. The comprehensive implications of being a follower of Jesus Christ, given a. and b.

    This at least lays the groundwork for helping people to look at things like politics from the perspective of the gospel.

    At the same time, I try to include appropriate socio-political applications in my sermons as exposition permits. It's possible to do this without being partisan, or without neglecting other things at the core of gospel ministry for the sake of politics.

    Plus, I do think that it is really possible to be straight up and preach against the state as an idol by saying things like 'politics can't save us,' or 'any institution, organisation or person that thinks and acts like they are Lord are stepping on ground that belongs exclusively to Jesus Christ.' We need to combine the straight up approach with doing the slower stuff of untangling people bit by bit from the complexity of our idolatry.

    But, I'm not an expert here. I'm still finding my own way personally through it all.

  10. pgjackson

    Oh, and we have to do things like

    a. Preach Revelation. ch13 is one of the greatest chapters against the idolatrous state in the scripture methinks

    b. Get 'idolatry' back on the agenda for gospel preaching to begin with.

    c. Talk conversationally about politics from a Christ-centred perspective without getting people irritated, bored, or thinking that we're angry arrogant know-it-alls and (in my neck of the woods anyway) covert Tory-boy toffs.

    Just some thoughts. Would love to know yours.

  11. Heather

    Secular humanism is a false religion and is squarely rooted in man's original sin. It is, very specifically, the spirit of antichrist, becoming unveiled for all to see:

    a. Every person is his own god.

    b. Not sure that's necessary--there is a conspicuous denial of accountability to anything but one's own ideology.

    c. Since the reality of eternity and a Creator to whom we are accountable is categorically denied, then "salvation" is defined as continuation of almighty mankind as a race. Of course, it is accompanied by the drive to figure out how to extend mortality for as long as possible, in hopes of never having to taste the sting of death.

    Survival of the fittest is believed to ensure that man will never have to relinquish this earthly kingdom and, hopefully, after culling out all the the "undesirables" he will eventually evolve into a more wise and responsible ruler.

    Make no mistake. Secular humanism is idolatrous religion in it's purest (most corrupt?) form.

  12. Heather

    "Statism is a problem in the US, but at least over there it’s expected that your Pastor will talk politics. Not so here in the UK, so we’ve along way to go."

    We're US and I will tell you straight up that vigorous preaching against worship of govt. can become just as much a problem as wholehearted worship of it. It is so, so easy for a "worthy cause" to become an idol.

    The political tug of war between American Christians and "everyone else" has become an embarrassing stain on our profession of faith, IMO.

    Word to the wise: If you Brits are just now setting foot on this path, keep Christ and His truth central at all times.
    Otherwise, you're going to get sucked into a never-ending battle that centers on peripheral issues which is only likely to disgrace the precious name of our Savior in the end.

    May God bless and strengthen you guys to do what needs to be done.

  13. Glen

    Good question Josh, good answer Pete.

    Oh, and let me introduce you two: Pete (Old Oak) meet Josh (current Oak, studying the missions course).

    And wise, wise words Heather.

    Thanks for that

  14. Josh

    Thanks for the intro Glen! And thanks for your comments Pete, laying the foundations first is so important.

    Do you know why we (at least the little circle I'm familiar with in the UK) are often afraid to address politics from the pulpit? Maybe if we knew what our presuppositions are, we could begin letting the gospel change our errors.

    And am I simply running with my hobby horse of politics, or am I right in thinking that this one of the key cultural idols that Christians need to engage with in this day and age?

  15. pgjackson

    Thanks Heather, good to hear things from your end of things. Our hearts are so prone to idolatry that even in the very process of trying to expose and shame one set of idols we'll be erecting a whole new set. Great words of warning from you.

  16. pgjackson

    Josh, (and thanks Glen for the intro) hope you're enjoying Oak Hill. My good mate Dave Crofts is in your year I think (that is if you're in the 1st?) though he's doing the TPS course as an indie.

    One of the problems we face in the UK is that we think we've 'been there before' on connecting politics and the gospel, and it didn't go well. The liberals of the late 19th and early 20th were all over it, and some think it is how the mainliners lost the gospel plot. This may well be true, of course, and those of us who feel strongly on these kind of issue need to be aware of the danger.

    Theologically speaking, we're by nature minimalists. Evangelicalism by its very nature is about majoring on the majors, sometimes with an almost psychopathic commitment to never going there at all on what may be considered 'secondary issues' into which most of us would definitely slot politics.

    We tend, in conjunction with this minimalism, to simply assume that the bible doesn't address these issues, and therefore they are essentially 'neutral' areas where, with a nod to the rough morality of the bible, christians can make up their own minds based on more pragmatic considerations.

    From a more complex point of view, I think this often stems from our failure to connect creation with redemption. We know they're connected because of our bible overviews, but we haven't yet seen how to let this figure itself out in our actual practice of following Christ. And no wonder, since the issues involved are many and varied and far from simple.

    This in turn feeds into our general ethos when it comes to eschatology, and in turn tends to make us feel that engaging with things like politics etc. is a distraction from emphasising more 'spiritual' issues, by which we mean the individual salvation of individual people. The problem with this of course, is that if the State is one of our big idols, then the issues are spiritual whether we realise it or not, and we can't separate it out from a concern over the salvation and maturation of individuals.

    Plus, we're british. And you're not supposed to talk about religion or politics. Surely talking religion AND politics together is the ultimate no-no?

    Just some thoughts.

    Any courses taught by Dan Strange afford great opportunity to think about some of these sort of issues, especially Public Theology in the 3rd year.

  17. Josh

    Thanks Pete, will say hi to Dave for you, and I have been enjoying Dan's lectures as well as Church History (fascinating seeing very different models of how church and state go together).

    I'd love to chat through the issue more - I think I agree with everything you've said. Seeing how it's been done badly in the past is helpful. Can you think of areas where it's being addressed well?

    After study, I'll be heading back to China where government is even more of an issue to think through (e.g. should Christians deliberately break the law and try to have a second child?)

    China's also a place where, according to some Christian scholars, if Christianity continues to grow, Christians could become a significant factor in shaping policy (could there be a new Edict of Milan?). There seems to be two responses to this: great excitement at what Christianity could do, or indifference because church and state are split. The first seems to make an idol out of government (as if Jesus was dependent on using the tools of the state) the second reduces Jesus to the role of a personal king in my heart. If I'm in China for the next 30 - 40 years it would be great to have my thinking on this issue a bit clearer.

  18. pgjackson

    Josh,

    Not sure I can think of examples in the UK of this sort of thing being done well. This doesn't mean they don't exist, they probably do, but I'm currently ignorant of them.

    In fact, one of the battles we fight in the UK is that it is often only in emergent type circles that attempts are made to hook the gospel up with these issues. And these are often circles that abound with confusion and fuzziness over the gospel in precisely the way that confirms the suspicions of the conservatives who instinctively stay away from politics and the like.

    I find Tim Keller and Doug Wilson providing differing but stimulating models of preaching the gospel to socio-cultural idolatry as well as the 'classics' of materialism, reputation, relationships etc. Keller is less obviously political, whereas Wilson deals much more directly with the whole issue of state and religion. I always eagerly read his politics blog posts.

    But, they're trying to be faithful in the US, and they can't therefore necessarily show us precisely how to be faithful in the UK. Though maybe china is more the issue for you anyway.

    One piece of advice would be to have a dig around on David Field's website:

    http://www.davidpfield.com

    Especially in the lecture materials on ethics you'll find some places to have a look at issues of state and government. And he'll give ideas/ bibliography there of where else to look too.

    The papers from the Oak Hill school of theology day on public theology contain some good stuff, it's called 'A higher throne' and is edited by Chris Green. Likewise I reckon something like Frame's 'Doctrine of the Christian Life' will have chapters on some of this stuff.

    If you're in China in the next 30-40 years then I think these issues will be unavoidable, as you suggest. I'm looking forward to seeing what develops there under God's providence. It will, no doubt, be faltering, with plenty of mistakes made along the way. But, under God, we could see an interesting 'second wave' of something not entirely unlike Christendom, with avoidance of some of the mistakes made the first time round. Who knows?

  19. Josh

    Hi Tim!

    it's nice being in a country where this blog isn't blocked.

    Glen, I'm not sure you've ever been overtly political on this blog (at least in the normal contemporary meaning of the word) but simply speaking of Christ has been enough to make the rulers of the most populous country the earth has ever known tremble, and therefore block access to the blog.

    Christ will always be the rock who destroys kingdoms.

    Now just need to go away and work out what that means...

    (BTW Thanks for your help Pete!)

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