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CRUNCH POINTS: How far can we go with scientists on global warming?

CRUNCH POINTS: How far can we go with scientists on global warming?
Jeremy Walker
Jeremy Walker Jeremy is the pastor of Maidenbower Baptist Church in Crawley.
29 March, 2022 3 min read

We all value biblical advice from our elders, the first ones to whom we turn for counsel. Jeremy Walker outlines the kind of answer he might give to a question received at the chapel door.

I respond as a Christian pastor in a particular place and time, not as a scientist or a prophet. We therefore deal primarily with theology, not science or politics.

The popular media present us with a widespread scientific consensus that there is such a thing as global warming. The popular media has little or no grasp of theology. The consensus is not absolute, and there are many names, rarely brought to our attention, who dissent from the popular consensus.

The opinions of scientists who credibly profess faith in Christ differ, sometimes significantly. For those of us who are not scientists working in a relevant field, the presentation can seem overwhelming and the data bewildering.

The Bible is not, and does not pretend to be, a scientific textbook. However, being God-breathed, those same Scriptures are infallible and inerrant in all their parts and are, therefore, trustworthy and authoritative in all that they affirm concerning humanity, history, science, doctrine, ethics, religious practice, or any other topic.

So as Christians living in our particular time, place, and sphere, what do we believe and how should we live? Let’s get back to basics. Christians embrace a personal responsibility as stewards of creation, having dominion over the creatures (Genesis 1:26-31). That does not turn you into a modern environmental crusader, nor does it legitimise a greedy drain on natural resources.

Remember that the world is subject to the devastating effects of the Fall (Genesis 3:17-19): while God still shows his goodness here, this world possesses at best a broken beauty, and at worst reveals the most horrific consequences of sin. This creation eagerly waits for the return of Christ and the revealing of the sons of God, suffering ‘cosmic contractions’ with a hopeful eye to the coming liberty and glory (Romans 8:18-25).

We need to understand the Bible’s view of the world and of humanity. This includes creation, the Fall, redemption, and judgment and glory. Modern pagan thinking denies this utterly. Climate activism idolises the present creation, complete with the religious fervour of those whose god is this passing world.

Man is hopelessly responsible and struggling for power – sacrifices are needed to appease the wrath of a wounded planet. As Christians we certainly want to be good stewards, but we know that this world will both come to an end and be renewed by God (2 Peter 3:10-13).

If it seems undeniable that the world is warmer than it once was, let us recall that there is good evidence, over the centuries, of a great variety of global weather patterns. These are hard for us to trace and interpret, no matter how arrogantly we assert our present understanding.

What we do know is that God has promised that, ‘while the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease’ (Genesis 8:21-22). Human beings will not destroy the planet ahead of divine schedule nor prolong it beyond its divinely-appointed end.

That doesn’t mean that we therefore act carelessly with regard to the world God has made: we have a duty of care where God has put us. For most of us, those decisions lie on a personal, at most local, rather than national or global scale. Most of us operate within parameters established for us by civil authorities.

So serve God as a steward of his creation where you are, doing the best you can to take care of all that he has given you. If you want to go for a walk with a scientist, work out your direction and distance in dependence on God’s Word; let them get on with their job, and you get on with yours.

If you would like an answer to a crunch question, please email crunchpoints@evangelical-times.org. We cannot guarantee an answer to every question.

Jeremy Walker, pastor of Maidenbower Baptist Church in Crawley.

Jeremy Walker
Jeremy is the pastor of Maidenbower Baptist Church in Crawley.
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