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Monday, March 14, 2011

The environment in Habakkuk

We had a talk the other day from Jeanette Mathews who has just finished writing a PHD on Habakkuk. Among many other interesting things, a couple of relations to the environment came up in what she told us:

The Earth is both a violated object (2:17) and a subject offering praise (2:14,20; 3:3) in the book. It, along with stones, rafters, the deep and the sun speak and act. Also natural (and military) imagery are used to portray God and His presence (sunlight, thunderstorm, lightning). Some of the natural elements are also used as deities (rivers, sea, sun, moon etc.).

Along with many of the prophets, Habakkuk obviously found the environment a useful source of inspiration and metaphor for his prophecy, and also saw the importance of the role the Earth plays as a subject of God and an actor in His drama.

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Important Lessons from the Bible

Why Jesus came:
"that the world might be saved through him"
John 3:17

Who Jesus is going to use to save the world:
"For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God."
Romans 8:19

Our role on earth:
"The LORD God put the man in the Garden of Eden to take care of it and to look after it."
Genesis 2:15

The Five Pillars of A Christian Theology of Sustainability

1. God is the creator, sustainer and redeemer of creation.

2. Covenantal Stewardship (we have a covenant with God as stewards of the earth).

3. The creation-fall-redemption paradigm (God made a good world; human failure broke the relationships between god, man and creation; Christ provides hope for all creation).

4.Bodily resurrection(we will rise with bodies, not as spirits)

5.New Creation (a new Heaven and new Earth refers to a renewal and an earthing of heaven, not starting over).

Adapted from When Enough is Enough: A Christian Framework for Environmental Sustainability, Edited by R.J. Berry, Published by Inter-Varsity Press, 2007, Nottingham p43+