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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Are Evangelicals Warming up to Global Warming?

Sunday, that bastion of liberal thought, The Boston Globe, featured a book review of Between God and Green: A look at the shifting attitude towards global warming by evangelicals, by Katherine K. Wilkinson.

. . .Wilkinson tells a vitally important, even subversive, story at the heart of this carefully researched book. Over the past 30 years or more, even as the culture wars raged, an honest-to-God “evangelical Center” came to life in the political no-man’s land between the old-guard religious right and the secular liberal establishment. And as Wilkinson shows, one of the most significant expressions of that increasingly assertive centeras it seeks to broaden the “evangelical agenda” beyond abortion and sexuality to include global poverty, health, and social-justice issuesis a far-reaching environmental movement, based on the theology ofcreation care,” and the effort by a new generation of moderate leaders to put climate change on the evangelical map. . .

Wow! Talk about some loaded vocabulary! Let's "unpack" the liberal/progressive mumbo jumbo just a bit.

In other words, some kind of "assertive evangelical center," that few of us even knew existed, decided to take on the "old-guard religious right," who obviously never gave a tinkers darn about global poverty, health, or anything else that the liberal-progressives try to own by renaming it "social justice."

Wait . . . Hold the phone . . . What about all those Christian missionaries that have been traipsing around the world for centuries building hospitals and schools, feeding the hungry, and spreading God's word? Well, to the unreasoned leftist, if it's not referred to by the code phrase, "social justice," it's just not!

Interestingly enough, this review implies that the "assertive evangelical center" didn't have anything to say to the secular liberal establishment . . . perhaps because they share the same agendas? Just saying . . . Who knows?

This invisible "assertive evangelical center" is made up of so-called "moderate leaders" who are somewhat un-enthused about the so-called "evangelical agenda."

So what is that "evangelical agenda?" Is the agenda "abortion and sexuality" as the reviewer would have us believe? Or is it even an agenda to be Biblically-based and thus to be Pro life, anti-abortion, and to promote the sanctity of traditional marriage between one man and one woman? 

It's quite obvious that when liberal-progressives call themselves or the people they like "moderate," you can see that those so-called "moderates" are anything but . 

Granted, it's been well over ten years since I earned my Masters in Theology, but back then there was no mention of a "Theology of Creation Care."

It's already pretty clear in the Bible that humans are to care for God's creation, which is called "stewardship." Here are some excellent stewardship verses: Genesis 1:26, Genesis 1:29, Genesis 2:15, Leviticus 25:23-24, Ezekial 34:2-4, Isaiah 24:4-6, Jeremiah 2:7, Revelation 11:18.

But is there even more? Is there something beyond the Bible . . . something beyond the New Testament? Where have I been? I thought I'd been an active member of a Biblically-based Evangelical Christian church, but apparently I missed out on the so-called "truth" of global warming. Did I miss out on a new theology that has elevated the earth above man - above God? Has the Bible been reinterpreted to show that man is here to serve the Earth, Mother Gaia, instead of serving the one true God?

You might like to read Santorum and Climate Change Theology in  Outside the Beltway.

When I was studying theology in seminary we were taught that Christian theology is based upon the analogy of the "three-legged stool" of scripture, reason, and tradition. If one of those elements is missing, it's likely that the theology is in error.

If it wasn't so sadly telling it would be amusing that the Theology of Creation Care is more concerned about fighting the non-existent demons of human-induced global warming rather than fighting for the protection of the human embryo from human-induced abortion!

It will take a tremendous lot of time to determine where the "Theology of Creation Care" is going, if not to an early grave, but it is important to remember that it was born out of the far left radical environmentalist movement. Will it be true to Biblical foundations? Radical Environmentalism is, for all intents and purposes, a religion that has no real need of the Bible or of Christianity, but it suits its purposes to gain converts by any means necessary.

Will the Theology of Creation Care be able to withstand new scientific revelations that discredit the notion of "human-induced" global warming? Or will it just progressively morph into yet another form of environmental warfare against the ill-defined "climate change" that denies it ever promoted human-induced global warming in the first place? 

Just as a little side-note, last week a team of German scientists published their study in Nature Climate Change. Tree-rings prove climate was WARMER in Roman and Medieval times than it is now - and world has been cooling for 2,000 years!

To learn more about the Theology of Creation Care go to the Evangelical Environmental Network or just Google it.

A few years ago in 2006 there was The Evangelical Climate Initiative that created a document called "Climate Change: An Evangelical Call to Action." The entire document can be found on the NPR website. Wouldn't ya know?

This "initiative" was hatched at Oxford University with the encouragement of the left-leaning, National Association of Evangelicals, and inspired by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Wilkinson admits that this initiative, which was turned into a "theology" has lost some of it's luster Really? Ya think???

From the vantage of 2012, and the near-complete disappearance of moderate evangelicals from the media spotlight, that 2006 initiative may look like a flash in the pan. But that would dismiss it too easily. Creation care has made real inroads, especially on evangelical college campuses. And as Wilkinson shows, the movement has faced real hurdles, from ideological and anti-science attacks by the industry-funded right to internal rifts among creation-care advocates (some of whom, afraid of rocking the conservative boat, prefer a slower, quieter approach on climate) to the failure of its leaders to mobilize the grassroots.

Here are the claims of The Evangelical Climate Initiative :

Claim 1: Human-Induced Climate Change is Real

Claim 2: The Consequences of Climate Change Will Be Significant, and Will Hit the Poor the Hardest

Claim 3: Christian Moral Convictions Demand Our Response to the Climate Change Problem

Claim 4: The need to act now is urgent. Governments, businesses, churches, and individuals all have a role to play in addressing climate change -- starting now.

Here are the SIGNATORIES of the The Evangelical Climate Initiative. Some, no doubt, have probably rethought the wisdom of putting their signatures on this document! Let us remember, however, that these (some quite famous) were the first to fall victim to the wolves of the religion of Environmentalism clothed in Evangelical speak.

*Institutional affiliation is given for identification purposes only. All signatories do so as individuals expressing their personal opinions and not as representatives of their organizations.
Rev. Dr. Leith Anderson, Former President, National Association of Evangelicals (NAE); Senior Pastor, Wooddale Church, Eden Prairie, MN
Robert Andringa, Ph.D., President, Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU), Vienna, VA
Rev. Jim Ball, Ph.D., Executive Director, Evangelical Environmental Network; Wynnewood, PA
Commissioner W. Todd Bassett, National Commander, The Salvation Army; Alexandria, VA
Dr. Jay A. Barber, Jr., President, Warner Pacific College, Portland, OR
Gary P. Bergel, President, Intercessors for America; Purcellville, VA
David Black, Ph.D., President, Eastern University, St. Davids, PA
Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr., West Angeles Church of God in Christ, Los Angeles, CA
Rev. Dr. Dan Boone, President, Trevecca Nazarene University, Nashville, TN
Bishop Wellington Boone, The Father’s House & Wellington Boone Ministries, Norcross, GA
Rev. Dr. Peter Borgdorff, Executive Director, Christian Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, MI
H. David Brandt, Ph.D., President, George Fox University, Newberg, OR
Rev. George K. Brushaber, Ph.D., President, Bethel University; Senior Advisor, Christianity Today; St. Paul, MN
Rev. Dwight Burchett, President, Northern California Association of Evangelicals; Sacramento, CA
Gaylen Byker, Ph.D., President, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI
Rev. Dr. Jerry B. Cain, President, Judson College, Elgin, IL
Rev. Dr. Clive Calver, Senior Pastor, Walnut Hill Community Church; Former President, World Relief; Bethel, CT
R. Judson Carlberg, Ph.D., President, Gordon College, Wenham, MA
Rev. Dr. Paul Cedar, Chair, Mission America Coalition; Palm Desert, CA
David Clark, Ph.D., President, Palm Beach Atlantic University; Former Chair/CEO, Nat. Rel. Broadcasters; Founding Dean, Regent University; West Palm Beach, FL
Rev. Luis Cortes, President & CEO, Esperanza USA; Host, National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast; Philadelphia, PA
Andy Crouch, Columnist, Christianity Today magazine; Swarthmore, PA
Rev. Paul de Vries, Ph.D., President, New York Divinity School; New York, NY
Rev. David S. Dockery, Ph.D., Chairman of the Board, Council for Christian Colleges and Universities; President, Union University, Jackson, TN
Larry R. Donnithorne, Ed.D., President, Colorado Christian University, Lakewood, CO
Blair Dowden, Ed.D., President, Huntington University, Huntington, IN
Rev. Robert P. Dugan, Jr., Former VP of Governmental Affairs, National Association of Evangelicals; Palm Desert, CA
Craig Hilton Dyer, President, Bright Hope International, Hoffman Estates, IL
D. Merrill Ewert, Ed.D., President, Fresno Pacific University, Fresno, CA
Rev. Dr. LeBron Fairbanks, President, Mount Vernon Nazarene University, Mount Vernon, OH
Rev. Myles Fish, President/CEO, International Aid, Spring Lake, MI
Rev. Dr. Floyd Flake, Senior Pastor, Greater Allen AME Cathedral; President, Wilberforce University; Jamaica, NY
Rev. Timothy George, Ph.D., Founding Dean, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University, Executive Editor, Christianity Today; Birmingham, AL
Rev. Michael J. Glodo, Stated Clerk, Evangelical Presbyterian Church , Livonia , MI
Rev. James M. Grant, Ph.D., President, Simpson University, Redding, CA
Rev. Dr. Jeffrey E. Greenway, President, Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, KY
Rev. David Gushee, Professor of Moral Philosophy, Union University; columnist, Religion News Service; Jackson, TN
Gregory V. Hall, President, Warner Southern College, Lake Wales, FL
Brent Hample, Executive Director, India Partners, Eugene OR
Rev. Dr. Jack Hayford, President, International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, Los Angeles, CA
Rev. Steve Hayner, Ph.D., Former President, InterVarsity; Prof. of Evangelism, Columbia Theological Sem., Decatur, GA
E. Douglas Hodo, Ph.D., President, Houston Baptist University, Houston, TX
Ben Homan, President, Food for the Hungry; President, Association of Evangelical Relief and Development Organizations (AERDO); Phoenix, AZ
Rev. Dr. Joel Hunter, Senior Pastor, Northland, A Church Distributed; Longwood, FL
Bryce Jessup, President, William Jessup University, Rocklin, CA
Ronald G. Johnson, Ph.D., President, Malone College, Canton, OH
Rev. Dr. Phillip Charles Joubert, Sr., Pastor, Community Baptist Church, Bayside, NY
Jennifer Jukanovich, Founder, The Vine, Seattle, WA
Rev. Brian Kluth, Senior Pastor, First Evangelical Free Church; Founder, MAXIMUM Generosity; Colorado Springs, CO
Bishop James D. Leggett, General Superintendent, International Pentecostal Holiness Church; Chair, Pentecostal World Fellowship; Oklahoma City, OK
Duane Litfin, Ph.D., President, Wheaton College, Wheaton IL
Rev. Dr. Larry Lloyd, President, Crichton College, Memphis, TN
Rev. Dr. Jo Anne Lyon, Executive Director, World Hope; Alexandria, VA
Sammy Mah, President and CEO, World Relief; Baltimore, MD
Jim Mannoia, Ph.D., President, Greenville College, Greenville, IL
Bishop George D. McKinney, Ph.D., D.D., St. Stephens Church Of God In Christ, San Diego, CA
Rev. Brian McLaren, Senior Pastor, Cedar Ridge Community Church; Emergent leader; Spencerville, MD
Rev. Dr. Daniel Mercaldo, Senior Pastor & Founder, Gateway Cathedral; Staten Island, NY
Rev. Dr. Jesse Miranda, President, AMEN, Costa Mesa, CA
Royce Money, Ph.D., President, Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX
Dr. Bruce Murphy, President, Northwestern University, Orange City, IA
Rev. George W. Murray, D.Miss., President, Columbia International University, Columbia SC
David Neff, Editor, Christianity Today; Carol Stream, IL
Larry Nikkel, President, Tabor College, Hillsboro, KS
Michael Nyenhuis, President, MAP International; Brunswick, GA
Brian O’Connell, President, REACT Services; Founder and Former Executive Director, Religious Liberty Commission, World Evangelical Alliance; Mill Creek, WA
Roger Parrott, Ph.D., President, Belhaven College, Jackson, MS
Charles W. Pollard, Ph.D., J.D., President, John Brown University, Siloam Springs, AR
Paul A. Rader, D.Miss., President, Asbury College, Wilmore, KY
Rev. Edwin H. Robinson, Ph.D., President, MidAmerica Nazarene University, Olathe , KS
William P. Robinson, Ph.D., President, Whitworth College, Spokane, WA
Lee Royce, Ph.D., President, Mississippi College, Clinton, MS
Andy Ryskamp, Executive Director, Christian Reformed World Relief Committee, Grand Rapids, MI
Rev. Ron Sider, Ph.D., President, Evangelicals for Social Action, Philadelphia, PA
Richard Stearns, President, World Vision, Federal Way, WA
Rev. Jewelle Stewart, Ex. Dir., Women’s Ministries, International Pentecostal Holiness Church; Oklahoma City, OK
Rev. Dr. Loren Swartzendruber, President, Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg VA
C. Pat Taylor, Ph.D., President, Southwest Baptist University, Bolivar, MO
Rev. Berten A. Waggoner, National Director, Vineyard, USA; Sugar Land, TX
Jon R. Wallace, DBA, President, Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, CA
Rev. Dr. Thomas Yung-Hsin Wang, former International Director of Lausanne II, Sunnyvale, CA
Rev. Dr. Rick Warren, Senior Pastor, Saddleback Church; author of The Purpose Driven Life; Lake Forest, CA
John Warton, President, Business Professional Network, Portland, OR
Robert W. Yarbrough, Ph.D., New Testament Dept. Chair, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, IL
John D. Yordy, Ph. D., Interim President, Goshen College, Goshen, IN
Adm. Tim Ziemer, Director of Programs, World Relief, Baltimore, MD