Q Los Angeles 2013
Arts + Entertainment
Science + Tech
Green Like God
“God is green. The idea seems bizarre, almost trivial. Yet, I'm as sure of that statement as I am that two plus two is four and the mixing of red and yellow makes orange.”
Green Like God: Unlocking the Divine Plan for Our Planet
. Jonathan is a faith and culture writer who has published over 100 articles in respected national outlets such as USA Today, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Newsweek and Relevant magazine. He recently spoke at Q Chicago about his “green conversion” and we caught up with him to hear more about it.
You're not the first person to write a book on creation care. Is there really anything new to say?
The most unique thing about my book is the approach. It's important to begin by blowing the dust off the "forgotten truths of God's word." Only then can we survey the world's problems through that prism. Many other books about creation care build a sense of urgency by introducing an environmental "crisis." My hope is that we can root ourselves in the sacred Scripture's teachings in an effort to "unlock the divine plan for our planet." Rather than attempting to make God green like we are, I think we need to become green like God is.
Some Christians say that creation care distracts us from more important tasks, like evangelism. Is this a valid argument in your opinion?
I don't think so. The very fact that we are commanded to do both--care for creation and share our faith--means that both can be done well. The problem is that some people can't get past the gospel message to begin living the gospel itself. The gospel is the narrative that begins in a good garden where sin corrupted everything. Jesus came to begin turning back the hands of time and allows us to partner in his mission of restoring the whole world. Evangelism is a big part of this mission, but creation care is also.
You have critiqued the way that many churches have preached the gospel. How does this affect the creation care movement?
Christians recognize that three relationships were broken in the garden when Adam first sinned:
1) Our relationship with God
2) Our relationship with other humans
3) Our relationship with nature
The New Testament tells us that Christ was the “second Adam” who came to bring restoration to all of these things. Why is it, then, that most churches only preach a gospel that addresses one of these broken relationships: our relationship with God? As Paul tells us, the cross of Christ began a process of redemption and restoration of everything--including the earth. Because of the cross of Christ, we can experience conversion, communion, and creation restoration.
What is the biggest problem facing those like yourself who want to facilitate a Christian creation care movement?
Believe it or not, I'd say biblical illiteracy. Many Christians today don't know what the Bible actually says about the earth, revelation of God, the gospel, the cross, or the end times. Sadly, some Christians get more of their theology from TBN or the Left Behind series than the Bible itself. If the people of God would begin rediscovering the word of God, then I believe the kingdom of God would begin to explode. The Scriptures have so much to say about this issue. We only need to listen.
HI, I think there is a fourth type of relation. 4) (or 2) Our relationship with ourselves. Someone who does not have good relations with ourselves does not have good relationships with other humans.
Leave a Comment
Please keep me informed with the latest updates from Q
ALSO BY Q IDEAS
Where are the Christians in Academia?
TOMS AT&T Commercial
ALSO IN SOCIAL SECTOR
A Thousand Wells
by Jena Lee Nardella
A Comprehensive Approach to the Orphan Crisis
by Johnny Carr
by Antonio Carlos Costa
© 2013 Q |