Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Here We Go Again - Again

The cry that population control is the only thing that can "save the planet" is getting old - and increasingly non-prophetic. After all, Erlichman told us inthe late 60's that we were going to reach the level of unsustainability somewhere inthe 80's/ Opps- here we are, better than ever.

Well, according to Al Mohler its back and this time it's about 'carbon legacy.' Mohler's conclusion is both right and wrong.
Anti-natalist philosophies have been around even longer than arguments over ecology and sustainability. Given our biblical responsibility for environmental stewardship, Christians should indeed be thoughtfully engaged with the entire nexus of questions related to carbon emissions, climate change, and respect for the Earth. Nevertheless, when we begin to measure babies in terms of a "carbon legacy" and a projected threat to the environment, we abandon the biblical worldview. Human beings cannot be reduced to a "carbon legacy" and the gift of children must never be seen as an assault upon the earth.
What's right? - we cannot reduce human life to a carbon legacy or any other mechanistic valuation. We are more than the sum total of our parts, on a physical and a spiritual level. The dehumanization of humanity is an awful thing. The space between reproductive choices and 'selective harvesting' is not a large one. There are few, if any, intellectual barriers between not having children due to environmental concerns and eliminating existing people for the same reason. Once reduce personhood to value in such terms, such actions become almost inevitable.

What's wrong? - Well this - "Christians should indeed be thoughtfully engaged with the entire nexus of questions related to carbon emissions, climate change, and respect for the Earth..." I think Christian should have a somewhat different approach.

Why have we survived way beyond the sustainability projections of the '60's? The models were not that flawed - rather they could not account for that thing that makes us so much more than merely mechanical. They could not account for our creativity. We have, in the interim, discovered so many new ways to care for ourselves with the available resources that what appeared unsustainable then is abundance now.

Creativity may be the biggest reflection of God in our lives, and when we exercise it, we can accomplish so much. Jesus says we are not to worry about tomorrow. This is a classic example of why. The center of the modern environmental debate os one of worrying about tomorrow - a tomorrow we cannot fully predict. As Christians we are called to live in the here and now. Yes, be a good steward, but do so now, with what you know for certain. God has equipped us and tomorrow to care for itself.

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