Consider the ant

The quote in my previous post was a positive one about the need to care for nature. Here’s a silly quote from a well-meaning environmentalist perspective:

The life of an ant and that of my child should be granted equal consideration.
— Michael W. Fox, Vice President, Humane Society of the United States

No, an ant is an ant, and a human is a human. There has to be a difference in value. If not, the ant is not lifted up to a high place; instead, the value of the human is lowered to that of the ant.

It is not that ants have no value, or that they shouldn’t be treated as an important part of the creation. It is not that humans are not part of the ecosystem as well. The difference is that humans are created in the image of God. We share creatureliness with the ants, and are therefore not divine. But we share things with God as well; things the ant doesn’t have, such as personality and the ability to relate to our Creator. When we lose sight of this we are well on the path to unspeakable barbarism.

Thanks to The Evangelical Ecologist.

Grace and Peace

Presidential quote on the environment

What American president said the following?

“Restoring nature to its natural state is a cause beyond party and beyond factions. It has become a common cause of all the people of this country. It is a cause of particular concern to young Americans, because they more than we will reap the grim consequences of our failure to act on programs which are needed now if we are to prevent disaster later.”

A. Lyndon Johnson
B. Richard Nixon
C. Jimmy Carter
D. Ronald Reagan
E. Bill Clinton

    Thanks to: The Evangelical Ecologist

    For the answer, keep on reading…

    Continue reading “Presidential quote on the environment”

    Is Your Church Green?

    World on the Web (World Magazine) asks Is Your Church Green? They aren’t asking if your church is showing “An Inconvenient Truth” or if your pastor is preaching a ten-week series on global warming. The primary focus of the article is about evaluating our church buildings in terms of five environmental factors:

    • sustainable site development
    • water savings
    • energy efficiency
    • materials selection
    • indoor environmental quality

    I would add a sixth: aesthetics. Are the building and grounds beautiful, or are they a scar on the landscape?

    Beauty doesn’t have to be expensive.

    Grace and Peace

    27 Storms — hurricanes of 2005

    I’m beginning a unit on weather and climate in high school Earth Science tomorrow, and am scouring Google videos for movies depicting weather patterns from space. One excellent video I came across is 27 Storms: Arlene to Zeta, which shows relationships between ocean surface temperatures and storm tracks. It was produced by NASA and NOAA, and it is very well done.

    27storms.png

    It is also available for download directly from NASA.

    Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio.

    Grace and Peace

    White Horse Inn 2008

    whi.jpgThe White Horse Inn weekly radio program has begun a year-long series on “Christless Christianity.” I listened to the program on Joel Osteen, author of the best-selling “Christian” book Your Best Life Now last night and just cringed at the distortions of the gospel that he proclaims. If you want Christ-centered Christianity that focuses rightly on all that God has done for you in Christ then listen to the White Horse Inn.

    Here is part of the description of the White Horse Inn from their about us page:

    Though the hosts have different denominational and ethnic backgrounds, the White Horse Inn unites itself on the principle slogans of the Protestant Reformation, such as the sufficiency of Scripture, salvation by grace alone through faith alone by Christ alone, and the importance of a God-centered, rather than human-centered outlook. By renewed attention to these classic and central themes on a weekly basis, it is the aim of the White Horse Inn to bring health and vigor to a church that appears to have in some ways lost its sense of missions.

    Here are the first four programs for 2008:

    Christless Christianity part 1 (1/6/2008) — Countless sermons in churches across the country focus on moralistic concerns and personal transformation. But has Christ gotten lost in the shuffle? Have we inverted Paul’s warnings by intentionally preaching ourselves, and not Christ crucified? On this edition of the White Horse Inn, the hosts introduce the new theme for 2008: Christless Christianity!

    Christless Christianity part 2 (1/13/2008) — Many Christian leaders today point to Jesus as a good moral guide (WWJD), an inspirational figure of self-sacrifice, or one who resolves our problem with loneliness. And in doing so, these shepherds have managed to avoid one of the most central teachings of the entire Bible; namely Jesus’ atoning sacrifice for sinners.

    Joel Osteen: A Case Study in American Religion (1/20/2008) — Why is Joel Osteen so popular? Is he a faithful representative of the Christian faith, or is his message more about self-help and personal motivation? On this edition of the White Horse Inn, the hosts will examine the theology of this bestselling author as they continue their series “Christless Christianity.”

    Political Temptation (1/27/2008) — 2008 is an election year and many churches will be distracted from their focus on the city of God, to the governments of men. What is the business of the church? Should it play a political role? On this edition of the White Horse Inn the hosts discuss the proper biblical relationship between church and state.

    Web site: www.whitehorseinn.org

    Archive of downloadable MP3 files: OnePlace.com

    You can subscribe to the White Horse Inn podcast through iTunes.

    Grace and Peace

    Planet Earth — Caves

    Living in Romania, I didn’t see the “Planet Earth” series on television. It may have been on TV here, but if so I missed it.

    I am doing a unit on groundwater in Earth science, and was looking for video clips to show in class. I found the introductory scene of the Planet Earth episode “Caves.” Watch for the fastest way to enter the Cave of the Swallows in Mexico.

    The two-minute intro to the episode is here: Planet Earth — Caves

    Grace and Peace

    Presidential science debate?

    The editorial column of the February 2008 issue of Scientific American includes a call for the presidential candidates to have a debate over issues of science and technology.

    Consider this partial list of issues that the next president of the U.S. will need to address: reducing greenhouse gas emissions; ensuring freshwater supplies; encouraging reliance on renewable energy sources; preparing for pandemics; developing stem cell technologies; improving science education; stimulating technological innovation. How many of the current candidates for the presidency have stated clear positions on those subjects?

    Do any of the presidential candidates have a clue when it comes to science? Should they? Or can they get by by relying on advisers? (My answer is that I’d prefer a scientifically-literate president, but I’m not sure who that would be).

    Grace and Peace