Vol 10 No. 6 The Earth is the Lord’s


Dear Friends,

        The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it.

Psalm 24:1

The above verse in it’s King James Version rendition appears in abbreviated form over the entrance to the old London Stock Exchange; one of the most successful money making ventures the world has ever known.  What does it say about those who placed that verse in its particular place?  Was it the first stab at “prosperity gospel” for an energy empire (just kidding…) Was it an attempt to say “Lord, whatever we do or love or are… whatever income we generate belongs to you,” Nice thought… maybe that was the intention; we will never know.

The point remains that while this verse has something to say about a lot of things…it is also a central comment on a balanced concern for God’s creation; stewarding the gift that God has given us.  John Stott puts it this way; (a paraphrase) “What God has created he has said is good.  He has given us dominion in the sense of stewardship over it.  It is a sense of stewardship not destruction because God gives us a great good gift intending that we would look after it.”

Why talk about this at all?  A Christian historian, Lynn White wrote an article in the American academic journal “Science” in 1967 that was considered by some to be a challenge to Christians to respond to the destruction of the environment. The article was considered by others to be a name and blame piece accusing Christians of being responsible for historic environmental ills. Setting aside the academic critique of White’s work (which is considerable) the effect of the article has been to crater popular opinion against the Christian faith and to create an inaccurate picture of Biblical intention, instruction and practise.  White has been misquoted and used as a club to beat up on the faith.  Make no mistake, Christians have not always been our best in creation care but it is a family of individuals and structures not the Scriptures or God’s intent.

More of this later… Especially a recounting of Christian voices for caring for God’s gift.

In the interim I commend some reading to you:

  • Google Peter and Miranda Harris; they are the founders of A Rocha, evangelicals and warm and great carers of others.
  • Available on February 15th, borrow Leah Kostamo’s book Planted; which is a brilliantly engaging book on Christian community, A Rocha itself and stewarding God’s creation.  Leah and her husband Markku are co-founders of A Rocha Canada and with their children are part of the CBWC Southpointe church in Surrey.  Markku is a friend, scientist, visionary and friend.
  • The television program, Context with Lorna Dueck, has a lively discussion with Leah, Margaret Atwood and Lorna on Christians and creation coming soon on Global TV.
  • Sojourners magazine this month has a very encouraging review of Leah’s book Planted by Margaret Atwood.  To read it is to see a thaw of some estrangement in the culture.
  • Finally, from Planted; two quotes:

“The real work of planet-saving will be small, humble, and humbling and (insofar as it involves love) pleasing and rewarding.  Its jobs will be too many to count, too many to report, too many to be publicly noticed or rewarded, too small to make anyone rich or famous. “ Wendell Berry

“I believe in my heart that faith in Jesus Christ can and will lead us beyond an exclusive concern for the well-being of other human beings to the broader concern for the well-being of the birds in our backyard, the fish in our rivers, and every living creature on the face of the earth.”      John Wesley


In Christ,