The Sea Is Eating the Ground: A Theology of Sea Level Rise

Save this PDF as:
 WORD  PNG  TXT  JPG

Size: px
Start display at page:

Download "The Sea Is Eating the Ground: A Theology of Sea Level Rise"

Transcription

1 ATR/100.1 The Sea Is Eating the Ground: A Theology of Sea Level Rise Mick Pope* Sea level rise is a direct result of anthropogenic climate change, the disruption of the climate system by the burning of fossil fuels. Modern sea level rise can be understood through the functional ontology of the Old Testament. The creation account of Genesis 1 represents a demythologized account of God constraining chaos into an ordered system. The Noahic flood of Genesis 6 8 is the result of human sin releasing the forces of chaos to undo the ordering of creation. This language is taken up in the rest of the Old Testament to describe acts of judgment against Israel s covenant violations. Modern sea level rise may be understood as the release of chaos due to a violation of our role as image of God to represent the God of order to the rest of creation. The Sea Is Eating the Ground The title of this paper comes from a quote from thirteen-year-old Maria, a resident of the Carteret Islands, a group of coral atoll islands to the east of Papua New Guinea. 1 At their highest point, these islands are a mere one and a half meters above sea level. The people of the Carteret Islands are set to be among the world s first peoples to permanently lose their homes due to climate change. 2 For over twenty years, the Carteret Islanders have been fighting a losing battle against rising seas by building sea walls and planting mangroves. As sea level * Mick Pope is professor of environmental mission at Missional University, and a member of RASP, the Centre for Research in Religion and Social Policy at the University of Divinity, Australia. His most recent book, A Climate of Justice: Loving Your Neighbour in a Warming World, is available from Morning Star Publishing/Wipf and Stock. 1 Simon Nazer, The Last Islanders: Rising Sea Levels in Papua New Guinea, UN Children s Fund, March 22, 2017, /last-islanders-rising-sea-levels-papua-new-guinea. 2 Lauren Beldi, Carteret Climate Refugees Seek Home, ABC News, August 2, 2016, /

2 80 Anglican Theological Review rises, low-lying islands like the Carterets become more vulnerable to very high tides known as King tides, and storm surges, which are a rise in sea level due to strong low-pressure systems such as tropical cyclones. In 1995 a storm surge ate away most of the shorelines of Piul and Huene Islands, cutting Huene Island in half. 3 Han Island, the main island of the group, has been subject to inundations that have killed crops and left behind ponds of brackish water where mosquitos breed, leading to children becoming sick with malaria. 4 In 2006, a group known as Tulele Peisa was formed to plan the relocation of the Carteret people. The name means sailing the waves on our own, which reflects their desire to remain independent of handouts. Their plan is to relocate more than half of the Carteret population of about three thousand by A number of people have already relocated to Bougainville Island, and have settled on twenty-five hectares of land donated by the Catholic Church, which is enough for about one hundred people. A further sixty hectares has also been donated. Like many people suffering displacement from rising seas, the Carteret Islanders do not wish to leave, but are doing so out of necessity. As school teacher Jarreanne Prabon laments, It s hard to let go of your home... a place we have been for generations. 5 A similar sentiment can be found among the people of Tuvalu: Moving away from Tuvalu is not good for our culture and values. We want to live in our own land, our home and where our forefathers have lived. Tuvaluan people don t like to be called refugees. 6 While there is ample evidence of climate change and impacts like sea level rise, Christians sometimes reject the science on theological grounds. As one Tuvaluan man put it, Only the Creator can flood the world.... I believe in God I don t believe in scientists. 7 The key text is the Noahic flood of Genesis 6 8. In particular, Genesis 8: Ursula Rakova, Luis Patron, and Citt Williams, How-to Guide for Environmental Refugees, Our World, June 16, 2009, -guide-for-environmental-refugees. 4 UNUChannel, Sinking Paradise, Carteret Islands, PNG, filmed 2009, YouTube video, 10:09. Posted 28 May 28, /watch?v=hgw4httokgk. 5 Simon Nazer, The Last Islanders. 6 Friends of the Earth International, Climate Change: Voices from Communities Affected by Climate Change (Amsterdam, Netherlands: Friends of the Earth, 2007). 7 Mark Lynas, High Tide: News from a Warming Planet (London: Flamingo, 2004).

3 The Sea Is Eating the Ground 81 reads, Nor will I ever again destroy every living creature as I have done. As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease (NRSV). Does this passage render it impossible from a theological perspective for the climate to be changing and sea level to be rising? Can Christians embrace climate science and therefore meet the ethical challenge it presents? In this paper I will examine these questions in the following way. First, I will examine the science of anthropogenic climate changes and associated sea level rise: what its causes are, what the uncertainties involved are, and how the globe will look in future. This will include a discussion of sea level rise and fall before human beings began disrupting the climate system. Second, I will discuss Genesis 6 8 in the context of the theology of creation in Genesis 1. In particular, I will show that the creation/flood pair can be understood through a functional/relational ontology. In creation, order is imposed upon chaos. In the Noahic flood, this chaos is released by human sin. This language is used repeatedly through the Old Testament. Finally, the paper demonstrates how the theme of human sinfulness releasing chaos can be applied to anthropogenic sea level rise. It calls upon the church to act in solidarity with those who suffering this chaos innocently, and to live hopefully that chaos will not prevail. The Rising Tide The fundamentals of climate change are relatively easy to understand in outline. Naturally occurring greenhouse gases trap heat like a blanket on a bed. More technically, greenhouse gases absorb and reemit infrared radiation, or heat energy, in both an upward and downward direction. The average temperature of the planet is the result of a balance between the energy coming in from the sun, and the amount of energy being leaked back into space. The burning of fossil fuels releases greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere. The carbon in these gases comes from the dead organic matter of fossil fuels long-dead plants. Methane also comes from the guts of sheep and cows, whose numbers have greatly increased. Nitrous oxide is a greenhouse gas that is produced as a byproduct of fertilizer use. As the concentration of greenhouse gases increases, the planet warms up in order to balance the energy received from the sun with the energy that escapes into space. This phenomenon is known

4 82 Anglican Theological Review as global warming. This warming is further exacerbated by various feedback mechanisms, like the evaporation of more water, which in its vapor form is a greenhouse gas. 8 Changes in global temperature lead to other changes in the climate system, including rainfall distribution and amount, pressure and wind patterns, and sea level rise. In order to understand sea level rise, its drivers, and impacts, we need to define mean sea level. 9 Mean sea level is a temporally averaged quantity, averaged over a sufficiently long time in order to remove fluctuations caused by tide and waves. This quantity varies around the globe due to factors like ocean currents and wind patterns. Hence, global mean sea level is mean sea level averaged over the global oceans. Sea level has risen and fallen over millennia before humans began interfering with the climate. During the last glacial maximum some 21,000 years ago, sea level was about 125 meters lower than present, with that water trapped in large continental ice sheets. 10 Large fluctuations in sea level have occurred due to the alternation between glacial and interglacial periods, which in turn depend on changes in ocean circulations, and changes in the Earth s orbit known as Milankovitch cycles. Reconstructions of paleo-sea level relies upon proxy datasets, including corals, speleothems (cave deposits), and ancient coastal marshes. 11 Modern sea level measures rely upon tidal gauges, and more recently, satellite data. Sea level rise is primarily driven by the warming-driven expansion of the oceans, and melting of land-based ice. The water stored in mountain glaciers could contribute up to half a meter of sea level rise, and increased melting and run-off is already being observed. The Greenland ice sheet is already contributing to sea level rise, and its total loss would mean a total rise of about seven meters. Warm waters 8 For a discussion of greenhouse gases both natural and anthropogenic and the role of feedbacks see G. Myhre et al., Anthropogenic and Natural Radiative Forcing, in T. F. Stocker et al., ed., Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis; Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013). 9 The discussion that follows is based on the review paper, Nobuo Mimura, Sea- Level Rise Caused by Climate Change and Its Implications for Society, Proceedings of the Japan Academy, Series B 89 (2013): USGS, Glaciers and Sea Level, May 30, 2011, landuse/glaciers/glaciers_sea_level.asp. 11 On coastal marshes, see E. Steponaitis, A. G. Yanchilina, and H. D. Bervid, Reconstructing Past Sea Level Change to Understand the Future, Eos 98 (2017),

5 The Sea Is Eating the Ground 83 below the surface are melting the ice shelf that holds back the West Antarctica ice sheet. Its loss would contribute three to five meters of sea level rise. A recent study has shown that mean sea level rise has accelerated from 2.2 ± 0.3 millimeters per year in 1993 to 3.3 ± 0.3 millimeters per year in Sea level rise means that low-lying coastal areas are more prone to inundation and flooding during high tides, tropical cyclones, and tsunamis. As noted earlier, King tides and storm surges have produced inundation in the Carteret Islands. Another risk is increased coastal erosion, which has resulted in at least one island in Tuvalu becoming uninhabitable. 12 Coastal ecosystems such as salt marsh, mangroves, and coral reefs can also be affected. Salt water intrusion into estuaries and aquifers pollutes fresh water supplies for drinking water and affects crops such as Tuvaluan taro. 13 The eventual impact of sea level rise is the permanent loss of land below sea level. So what is in store for future sea level rise? A recent paper by James Hansen and coauthors discusses the future impacts of ice melt, sea level rise, and the increase in intensity of mid-latitude storms, based on numerical models, modern observations, and paleo-data. 14 They demonstrate that the rapid melting of Greenland and Antarctic glaciers is plausible under current greenhouse gas emissions. This melt water can disrupt the oceans in a number of ways. Meltwater from Greenland and Antarctic adds to sea level rise, as has been already discussed. Furthermore, an injection of cold, fresh water can act to disrupt ocean and atmospheric circulations. Meltwater flowing out of Greenland can disrupt an ocean circulation known as the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. An equivalent of two and a half meters of sea level rise of fresh water injection is sufficient to shut down the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation in numerical simulations, stopping the poleward transport of heat, making northern latitudes colder. Disruption of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning 12 Curtis A. Moore, Awash in a Rising Sea How Global Warming Is Overwhelming the Islands of the Tropical Pacific, International Wildlife, Jan. Feb Department of Environment: Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment, Agriculture and Lands, Tuvalu s National Adaptation Programme of Action, May 2007, unfccc.int/resource/docs/napa/tuv01.pdf. 14 James Hansen et al,, Ice Melt, Sea Level Rise and Superstorms: Evidence from Paleoclimate Data, Climate Modeling, and Modern Observations That 2 C Global Warming Could Be Dangerous, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 16 (2016):

6 84 Anglican Theological Review Circulation will also result in warmer waters being trapped below the surface. This warm water flows at a level in the oceans that flows into the Southern Hemisphere and undercuts Antarctic ice, producing further melting. In the last interglacial period some 125,000 years before present, known as the Eemian, conditions were only slightly warmer than the present. However, global sea level was six to nine meters higher than present. This implies that current warming will deliver such rises over coming centuries, the exact timescale depending on as yet not fully understood dynamics of ice sheets. However, current satellite observations of mass loss from Greenland and Antarctica during the period show an increase of 25.4 ± 1.2 gigatons per year every year and 11 ± 4 gigatons per year every year, respectively. Another consequence of melting ice sheets is local cooling, which, combined with warming in the tropics, gives rise to a large temperature gradient, which in turn drives more intense mid-latitude storms. Hanson and coauthors suggest large boulders, often thought to be evidence of large paleo-tsunamis, are actually evidence of such superstorms during the Eemian. Sea level rise combined with superstorms is a deadly combination for coastal communities and ecosystems. Unleashing the Chaos Monsters As discussed earlier, a theological sticking point for anthropogenic climate change and associated sea level rise is found in Genesis 8:21 22, Nor will I ever again destroy every living creature as I have done. As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease. Does this text provide a stumbling block for Christians accepting the established science? The goal of this section is to establish a reading of the text such that it not only allows us to accept the science, but to understand it in a biblical ethical framework. In order to understand the flood narrative, we need to understand the creation narrative of Genesis 1, and its relationship to the flood. The first key is to recognize that Genesis 1 was not written in a cultural vacuum. The surrounding ancient Near Eastern (ANE) cultures had their own creation and flood stories, which bear some resemblance to the ones we find in scripture. 15 As Peter Enns observes, 15 Michael A. Grisanti, The Book of Genesis, in Eugene H. Merrill, Mark F. Rooker, and Michael A. Grisanti, ed., The Word and the World: An Introduction to the Old Testament (Nashville, Tenn.: B & H Academic, 2011), 10.

7 The Sea Is Eating the Ground 85 we can address why the Old Testament in places looks very much like ANE literature without committing one of two errors. On the one hand, we don t have to capitulate to liberal thought by assuming the Bible is merely another piece of ANE literature, begged, borrowed, and stolen from Israel s neighbors. On the other hand, we do not have to follow the fundamentalist retreat from critical scholarship, as if history had nothing to teach us about scripture. 16 Instead, Enns claims that as Christ is both God and human, so is the Bible. 17 Hence the Bible was connected to and spoke to other ancient cultures as well as that of the Israelites. This connectedness is a necessary consequence of God incarnating himself, and it is essential to the very nature of revelation that the Bible is not unique to its environment. The human dimension of Scripture is essential to its being Scripture. 18 In understanding this historical situatedness, the similarities between the Babylonian Enuma Elish and Genesis 1 are understandable, but not to be overstated. Both authors breathe the same air of culture, but we need not assume that the author of Genesis 1 had the Enuma Elish in front of him. 19 Similar observations can be made between the Noahic flood and texts such as the Akkadian Atrahasis and Babylonian Gilgamesh sagas. The key then is not so much the similarities per se, but how this broader cultural backstory, as Gregory Mobley terms it, better informs our reading of the canonical text, and the unique theological points the author wants to make. The second key is to understand the ontology behind the text of Genesis 1. Ontology is the philosophical study of the nature of being. The modern scientific focus of ontology is on material processes, that is, how have things come to be the way they are, by what physical processes, and so on. John Walton maintains that the ontology of ANE texts, including Genesis 1, is functional. This means that the author was interested in relationships and teleology, not process. 20 Walton proposes that people in the ancient world believed that something existed not by virtue of its material properties, but by virtue of its having a function in an ordered system. 21 Hence, for example, the 16 Peter Enns, Inspiration and Incarnation (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Academic: 2005), Enns, Inspiration and Incarnation, Enns, Inspiration and Incarnation, Enns, Inspiration and Incarnation, John Walton, The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate (Downers Grove, Ill.: IVP, 2009). 21 Walton, The Lost World of Genesis One, 24.

8 86 Anglican Theological Review sun does not exist by virtue of its material properties, or even by its function as a burning ball of gas. Rather it exists by virtue of the order that it has in its sphere of existence, particularly in the way that it functions for humankind and human society. Likewise, Michael Welker claims that creation is the construction of associations of interdependent relations between different creaturely realms. 22 Walton demonstrates by examining other ANE accounts that the worldview of the time includes a functional ontology. 23 He catalogues the uses of the Hebrew verb bārā (create), a word only ever used with God as the subject or implied subject. 24 Bārā has a variety of objects in scripture such as the cosmos, people in general, or specific groups of people. Walton maintains that the list of objects for this verb are not easily identified in material terms, and that the materials are never mentioned. One of the key expressions that relates to the use of bārā is tōhû wābōhû, typically translated as formless and empty, or formless and void in Genesis 1:2. While tōhû and bōhû are found together on two other occasions in the Old Testament (Isa. 34:11; Jer. 4:23), bōhû is never found on its own. The word tōhû is used in a variety of ways, none of which means formless in a material sense. 25 In Deuteronomy 32:10, tōhû means waste or wilderness, a place of no agricultural value. In Psalm 107:40, tōhû is a wilderness or trackless waste (NRSV), where corrupt princes are cursed to wander. In Jeremiah 4:23, the land is void (tōhû) because a disaster has overtaken it and it has been laid waste (Jer. 4:20). In Isaiah 41:29, idols are wind and confusion (tōbû). To summarize then, Genesis 1:2 refers to a lack of order, on which order is imposed in a functional, not material sense. This imposition of function on waste occurs over six days. 26 Over the first three days there is an ordering of the major functions. On day one, light and dark are separated and named day and night, the origins of time. On day two, there is the separation of waters above (which sometimes falls from the sky) and from the waters below (from springs, and so on). This separation occurred by means of the rāqîa, 22 Michael Welker, Creation and Reality (Minneapolis, Minn.: Ausburg Fortress Press, 1999), Walton, The Lost World of Genesis One, Walton, The Lost World of Genesis One, John Walton, The Lost World of Adam and Eve: Genesis 2 3 and the Origins Debate (Downers Grove, Ill.: IVP, 2009). 26 Walton, The Lost World of Adam and Eve,

9 The Sea Is Eating the Ground 87 translated as vault, expanse, or firmament. While some believe rāqîa refers to the solid sky, Walton understands it as the space created in between the earth and the surface holding back the waters. This separating represents the ordering of space. On the third day, food is created by separating the waters into one place and the dry ground in another where vegetation can grow. Days four through six involve the installing of functionaries corresponding to the functions of days one through three: the lights to rule day and night and mark seasons, birds and sea monsters, and beasts of the earth and humans, respectively. So what has this to do with sea level rise and the flood? To answer this we must first address the idea of chaos, and the backstory to Genesis 1 from contemporary ANE myths. 27 As already discussed, the tōhû wābōhû implies preexistent material, over which order has to be imposed, not denying or even addressing creatio ex nihilo. 28 This preexisting material is brooded over by the Ruah Elohim, the breath of God, and is called the tehom or deep. The Akkadian cognate of tehom is ti amat (Tiamat). In the Babylonian story Enuma Elish, Tiamat is the personification of saltwater, who is killed by the storm god Marduk. Marduk creates order out Tiamat s body parts. In Genesis 1:2, the dragon Tiamat becomes the deep (tehom), and is demythologized, dedivinized. Yet the ordering of chaos in Genesis 1 remains in view. On day five, God creates the great sea monsters (verse 21), the tanninim. Again, the great sea monsters are demythologized, not the children of a god but the creations of Elohim representative of the ongoing presence of chaos, though under divine control. In the Enuma Elish, Tiamat has eleven such children. Marduk does not destroy Tiamat s children, but rather chains them up, sometimes serving Marduk. Mobley notes that the Psalms retain this cosmic battle between God and a dragon of chaos, Leviathan or Rahab. Psalm 74:14, says that day and night belong to God, and that he smashed the heads of Leviathan, recalling the forming of night and day on the first day of creation. It also speaks of the boundaries of the earth and the seasons, echoing day three Gregory Mobley, The Return of the Chaos Monsters and Other Backstories of the Bible (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans Publishing, 2012), chapter Mobley, The Return of the Chaos Monsters, Critiques of this strict ordering of chaos do exist. For example, Bradley Shavit Artson sees Tehom as the maternal waters, a womb from which order emerges. It is thus the muffled voice of the feminine. Such an idea deserves further attention,

10 88 Anglican Theological Review So what is the implication of this consideration for the flood account? If the first three days of creation represent the ordering of creation and giving it function for it to exist, then the flood undoes this as an act of uncreation and return to disorder. And these forces of chaos are released by human sin. The earth was corrupt and filled with violence (Gen. 6:11) and hence the great deep bursts open and the windows of heaven open, undoing the ordering of day two (Gen. 7:11). The waters do not subside until the divine ruaḥ blows over it (Gen. 8:1 3), echoing the original ordering act of Genesis 1:2. Mobley also sees an allusion to this in Psalm 104:30. Returning to Genesis 8:21 22, does the promise that God will not destroy all living creatures and that seasons will continue deny the possibility of climate change and sea level rise? Before we evaluate present day events in light of this text, it is worth noting that the chaos monsters or dragons appear in other parts of the Old Testament. In Job, his sufferings lead him to wish creation undone, for there to be darkness instead of light (Job 3:3 4a), and he seeks those who can rouse Leviathan to bring this chaos about (Job 3:8). Likewise, although the dragon is not in sight in Jeremiah 4, the poem of verses describes the Babylonian assault on Jerusalem as creation in reverse, with the earth returning to wild and waste (tōhû wābōhû), no light in the sky (day one reversed), mountains quaking, that is, the Earth s foundations shaking, no humanity (day six reversed), birds fleeing (day five reversed), the orchard made a desert (day three reversed), and cities in ruins (Genesis 4:17 reversed). All of this is because of the heat of divine anger. A similar story is found in Isaiah 24, where the earth dries and withers, that is, is useless for agriculture (verse 4), because like Genesis 6:11, the earth is polluted. This pollution is due to covenant violation (verse 5). The curse of verse 6 is that the inhabitants of the earth dwindle, an undoing of the blessing of Genesis 1:28. Finally, in case particularly given the imagery of the earth in Romans 8:19 23 as the eschatological womb of the new creation. See Bradley Shavit Artson, Vibrating over the Face of the Deep: God s Creating, and Ours, CCAR Journal: The Reform Jewish Quarterly (Winter, 2010). Likewise, Catherine Keller wants to give more prominence to Tehom. While one needn t follow her into rejecting creatio ex nihilo entirely, it is clear from Walton and others than this doctrine is not demanded by Gen. 1:1 in its own worldview. The result is that chaos needs greater attention in theology, with its resonances with modern science and its subjugating being a possible outworking of patriarchy. See Catherine Keller, Face of the Deep: A Theology of Becoming (New York: Routledge, 2003).

11 The Sea Is Eating the Ground 89 we miss the theme of uncreation, verse 18 tells us that windows of the rāqîa are opened, and the foundations of the earth shaken. Hence, acts of divine judgment throughout the Old Testament are envisioned using a similar vocabulary as the Noahic flood: that of uncreation reducing order to disorder and chaos. The link between human sin and a return of order into chaos suggests that global sea level rise due to climate change can be thought of in similar terms. This idea will be explored further below. A Moral Tide We have seen to this point that the burning of fossil fuels is producing heat-trapping greenhouse gases, raising global temperatures, and resulting in sea level rise. The impacts of sea level rise are already being felt by those who live near sea level, particularly in developing nations. We have also seen that the Noahic flood can be understood as an act of uncreation, the reversal of Genesis 1. The forces of chaos, albeit depersonalized in Hebrew thought, are released by human sin. In Genesis 6 human sin is the unfolding violence following on from the fratricide of Genesis 4. The language of chaos and uncreation continues through the prophets, so that covenant violation could lead to cursing described in a similar manner to the flood. So how do the people of the Pacific, or Oceania, understand sea level rise theologically? 30 Tafue Lusama, general secretary of Tuvalu s national church, states that we plant and depend on God to provide fruits. We go out fishing with faith that God will provide enough daily. The failure of these seems to indicate to the people that God s providence has failed them. Others, like ancient Israel, see a direct between link their relationship with God and blessing and cursing. 31 However, science points the finger of blame at developed nations. This implies that sea level rise is the chaos unleashed by the sin of these nations, not those who are currently suffering the worst of these impacts. As Michael Northcott observes, judgment on the sins of the rich is indiscriminate and falls disproportionately on the poor (Jer. 30 On Oceania as the preferred term over Pacific, see Winston Halapua, Oceans as a Tool in Theology: Moana Methodology, National Religious Coalition on Creation Care, 31 Ruth Moon, Teaching Natural Theology as Climate Changes Drown a Way of Life, Christianity Today, February 14, 2012, /ct/2012/february/natural-theology-climate-change.html.

12 90 Anglican Theological Review 2:34). 32 But how is this judgment on sin manifest, and what do we make of its indiscriminate nature? Northcott sees a link between idolatry, greed, empire, and ecological collapse in the Old Testament. There is a close connection between ecological disasters and covenant violation, such as in Jeremiah 5: In this passage, Jeremiah draws a connection between a lack of justice toward the poor and the pursuit of individual wealth (verses 26 28), with a turning away of the seasonal rains (verses 24 25). Again, this is an echo of the promise of Genesis 8 but in the negative; the seasons can still be disrupted in judgment. Here, Northcott sees the divine attribute set into the character and structure of creation. This means that the pursuit of wealth, encouraged by a setting aside of Yahweh, the one who set a boundary for the sea, for foreign gods (implied in verse 23), can be directly linked to ecological disruption. The worship of fertility deities and a focus on accumulation of wealth produces ecological collapse as an inevitable consequence of pushing the land beyond its ecological limits. Note that this does not mean we are to imagine God like the Gary Larson cartoon, where the divine finger is ready to press a button marked smite to drop a piano on a hapless victim. While there are clear direct examples of divine judgment on sin in scripture, as Northcott argues, there are also examples where human sin releases chaos, and that chaos is by its very nature hard to control. In the modern period, the parallel is clear. The pursuit of wealth begun in the Industrial Revolution in the West and continued through the so-called postwar Great Acceleration of the Anthropocene has led to the filling of the atmosphere with greenhouse gases, with all of the unavoidable consequences. Because many of those least responsible for these consequences live in places more readily affected, and sometimes with fewer resources to deal with the consequences, we can see this chaos released by the sins of the few producing suffering for the many. Theologically, we must recognize that natural disasters have always occurred, and that God has retained chaos, controlling it rather than destroying it entirely. God made a covenant with Leviathan, suggesting that chaos is part of the created order imposed by God, having 32 Michael Northcott, A Moral Climate: The Ethics of Global Warming (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 2007), Northcott, A Moral Climate,

13 The Sea Is Eating the Ground 91 a role to play (Job 41). Science tells us that there is no order without chaos, that chaos in fact can be creative of new order. Like Job, we must ultimately be silent before God on this mystery. However, natural disasters are now made more frequent and more intense due to climate change. As discussed earlier, sea level rise makes inundation events, like storm surges from tropical cyclones or King tides, worse. As climatologist Kevin Trenberth states, The answer to the oft-asked question of whether an event is caused by climate change is that it is the wrong question. All weather events are affected by climate change because the environment in which they occur is warmer and moister than it used to be. 34 However, human sin has released chaos so that it is chafing against its divinely imposed bounds, and hence the chaos has a moral dimension to it. The Otin Taai Declaration is a statement by Oceania churches that seeks to articulate a theology that declares anthropogenic sea level rise not as an abrogation of the promise of Genesis 8, not an act of God in the sense of a judgment on Oceania peoples, but a result of human economic and consumer activities that pollute the atmosphere and lead to climate change. Most of these polluting emissions come from highly-industrialized countries. The Declaration is thus a call on our sisters and brothers in Christ throughout the world to act in solidarity with us to reduce the causes of human-induced climate change. We issue this call particularly to churches in the highly-industrialized nations whose societies are historically responsible for the majority of polluting emissions. We further urge these countries to take responsibility for the ecological damage that they have caused by paying for the costs of adaptation to the impacts that can be anticipated. 35 We then have a moral obligation. While the sea will not eat all of the land as in the Noahic flood, yet chaos has been released and threatens to engulf all of humanity. We are committed to sea level rise that will affect the Earth for millennia and threatens to displace 34 Kevin E. Trenberth, Framing the Way to Relate Climate Extremes to Climate Change, Climatic Change 115 (2012): Pacific Conference of Churches, Otin Tai Declaration, March 11, 2004, -and-responsibility-for-creation/climate-change-water/otin-tai-declaration.

14 92 Anglican Theological Review millions. In response, the church must lead the way in navigating the complex issues of human migration, creation care, resource management, and sustainable development. Ultimately, its mission is to preach repentance, which underlies all of these issues. It is also to courageously preach a message of hope that ultimately chaos will not prevail: For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens (he is God!), Who formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it a chaos, he formed it to be inhabited!): I am the Lord, and there is no other. (Isa. 45:18, NRSV)

Global warming: a Christian response. Bob White

Global warming: a Christian response. Bob White Global warming: a Christian response Bob White Global warming: a Christian response Creation very good Decreation spoilt by sin New Creation perfected Global warming: a Christian response Should Christians

More information

exploring my strange bible Interpreting the Bible s Creation Narratives

exploring my strange bible Interpreting the Bible s Creation Narratives exploring my strange bible with tim mackie Interpreting the Bible s Creation Narratives Scripture, Communication, Language and Culture 1. The Bible is an ancient text, but we don t treat it like one. 2.

More information

Interpreting the Bible s Creation Narratives

Interpreting the Bible s Creation Narratives 1 Interpreting the Bible s Creation Narratives Tim Mackie, Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible and Semitic languages from University of Wisconsin-Madison and Teaching Pastor at Door of Hope church in Portland, OR. I.

More information

Climate Change: Problem or Opportunity?

Climate Change: Problem or Opportunity? Climate Change: Problem or Opportunity? Understanding Climate Change in the Context of the Gospel This is the text of part of an address given to the Synod of The Anglican Church in Tasmania on 2 nd June,

More information

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning the sixth day.

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning the sixth day. Text 1:26 31 (NIV) 26 Then God said, Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,

More information

Genesis 1: Creation. Riverview Church Term 4, 2014 Page 1 of 6 Prepared by Graham Irvine

Genesis 1: Creation. Riverview Church Term 4, 2014 Page 1 of 6 Prepared by Graham Irvine Genesis 1: Creation Riverview Church Term 4, 2014 Page 1 of 6 Introduction: Throughout the book the themes of land and people are prominent. In fact the theme is often the struggle between Israel and God

More information

Could the reward of goodness be anything but goodness? (55:60) Do what is beautiful, as God has done what is beautiful to you.

Could the reward of goodness be anything but goodness? (55:60) Do what is beautiful, as God has done what is beautiful to you. Global Warming By Metwalli B. Amer, Ph.D Professor Emeritus at California State University, Sacramento Founder and Executive Director of Sacramento Area League of Associated Muslims Global warming is known

More information

275.1: Flood and Tower of Babel (OT Gospel Doctrine Lesson 6 Updated) Noah Prepared an Ark to the Saving of His House

275.1: Flood and Tower of Babel (OT Gospel Doctrine Lesson 6 Updated) Noah Prepared an Ark to the Saving of His House 275.1: Flood and Tower of Babel (OT Gospel Doctrine Lesson 6 Updated) Noah Prepared an Ark to the Saving of His House Framing As usual, I am going to encourage us to focus on the lessons from these stories.

More information

Walton, John H. Ancient Near Eastern Thought and the Old Testament: Introducing the

Walton, John H. Ancient Near Eastern Thought and the Old Testament: Introducing the Walton, John H. Ancient Near Eastern Thought and the Old Testament: Introducing the Conceptual World of the Hebrew Bible. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2006. 368 pp. $27.99. Open any hermeneutics textbook,

More information

Rainbows, Rivers and Continuing Creation Gen St. Stephens Lutheran Church, Adelaide River Sunday, 2004 Norman Habel

Rainbows, Rivers and Continuing Creation Gen St. Stephens Lutheran Church, Adelaide River Sunday, 2004 Norman Habel Rainbows, Rivers and Continuing Creation Gen. 9.12-17 St. Stephens Lutheran Church, Adelaide River Sunday, 2004 Norman Habel About 15 years ago I lived in Largs Bay and would drive to work to the Underdale

More information

Knowledge Organiser: Religion and Life

Knowledge Organiser: Religion and Life Knowledge Organiser: Religion and Life Type of Truth Definition Example Historical Truth Religious Truth Scientific Truth The Big Bang Theory: Break the theory down into 4 key points: Evidence for the

More information

Celebrate Life: Care for Creation

Celebrate Life: Care for Creation Celebrate Life: Care for Creation The Alberta bishops' letter on ecology for October 4, 1998 Last year, in our Easter message, we spoke of the necessity of choosing life in a society where too often human

More information

The Island President Discussion Guide

The Island President Discussion Guide Director: John Shenk Year: 2011 Time: 101 min You might know this director from: Lost Boys of Sudan (2003) FILM SUMMARY THE ISLAND PRESIDENT presents Mohamed Nasheed, who for 20 years led a pro-democracy

More information

The Theology of Genesis One

The Theology of Genesis One The Theology of Genesis One Colossian 1:15-17 Christ is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible,

More information

b602 revision guide GCSE RELIGIOUS STUDIES

b602 revision guide GCSE RELIGIOUS STUDIES b602 revision guide GCSE RELIGIOUS STUDIES How to answer the questions Table of Contents Religion and Science Christianity Good and Evil Christianity What does science teach about the origins of the world

More information

Genesis Chapter 1 Continued

Genesis Chapter 1 Continued Genesis Chapter 1 Continued Genesis 1:6 "And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters." Firmament or expanse is the portion of God s creation

More information

Trinity College Cambridge 24 May 2015 CHRISTIANITY AND GLOBAL WARMING. Job 38: 1 3, Colossians 1: Hilary Marlow

Trinity College Cambridge 24 May 2015 CHRISTIANITY AND GLOBAL WARMING. Job 38: 1 3, Colossians 1: Hilary Marlow Trinity College Cambridge 24 May 2015 CHRISTIANITY AND GLOBAL WARMING Job 38: 1 3, 25 38 Colossians 1:12 20 Hilary Marlow Introduction Global climate change is unequivocal and unprecedented according to

More information

Genesis 1:3-2:3 The Days of Creation

Genesis 1:3-2:3 The Days of Creation Genesis 1:3-2:3 The Days of Creation Having looked at the beginning of God s creative process, and determined that God created everything, from nothing, many thousands (not millions or billions) of years

More information

Following Christ in a Scientific World

Following Christ in a Scientific World Following Christ in a Scientific World Week 4: Scripture and Science, I:Nonconcordist Approaches October 7, 2012 Sarah Wolinski with Steve Schaffner Disclaimer This series represents the personal views

More information

Olle Häggström, Mathematical Sciences, Chalmers University of Technology.

Olle Häggström, Mathematical Sciences, Chalmers University of Technology. Who can we trust? Is it true, as is often claimed, that science is united around the theory that global warming is man made? In order to answer this question, we need to specify what is meant both by the

More information

Creation and Blessing: An Expositional Study of the Book of Genesis. July, 2011

Creation and Blessing: An Expositional Study of the Book of Genesis. July, 2011 Creation and Blessing: An Expositional Study of the Book of Genesis The Story of the Creation July, 2011 Key Observation: As we study the book of Genesis, we must remember that no one witnessed the creation.

More information

Creation. What Does it Mean to Say that God Created All Things Visible and Invisible?

Creation. What Does it Mean to Say that God Created All Things Visible and Invisible? Creation What Does it Mean to Say that God Created All Things Visible and Invisible? Overview In this PowerPoint we will look at God as Creator Creation as different from God Analogy of an Artist to art

More information

WHY ARE WE ON THE EARTH? IMPORTANT QUESTIONS ANSWERED IN THE BIBLE

WHY ARE WE ON THE EARTH? IMPORTANT QUESTIONS ANSWERED IN THE BIBLE 9T WHY ARE WE ON THE EARTH? IMPORTANT QUESTIONS ANSWERED IN THE BIBLE 2 Instructions: Read the entire lesson all Bible verses are included and are from the New King James Version Answer the questions at

More information

The Gap Theory. C. In Genesis 1:2, we find desolation and chaos from a catastrophe(s).

The Gap Theory. C. In Genesis 1:2, we find desolation and chaos from a catastrophe(s). The Gap Theory (called: "the Ruin-reconstruction theory," "the Cataclysmic Theory and "the Restitution Theory") Compiled by Dr. Gary M. Gulan, 1978, (Rev. 86,92,05) Introduction: This view was taught in

More information

ANIMAL FLESH EATERS, VEGETARIANS, AND GOVERNMENT LEADERS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD UNITE YOU MUST TAKE ACTION SOON BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE

ANIMAL FLESH EATERS, VEGETARIANS, AND GOVERNMENT LEADERS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD UNITE YOU MUST TAKE ACTION SOON BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE ANIMAL FLESH EATERS, VEGETARIANS, AND GOVERNMENT LEADERS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD UNITE YOU MUST TAKE ACTION SOON BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE Together you could have the power and worldwide influence to save the

More information

navigate the present into the future us understand the present in light of the past with a view to the future.

navigate the present into the future us understand the present in light of the past with a view to the future. I SHOULD HAVE PAID MORE ATTENTION IN SCIENCE CLASS: CLIMATE SCIENCE AND THE JUSTICE JESUS PREACHED Season of Creation, Week 1 Sept 11, 2016 St. Paul s Cathedral, Kamloops Dean Ken Gray There is likely

More information

Christ is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all thing in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and

Christ is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all thing in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and Christ is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all thing in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or

More information

Climate change and you: consequences, intentions and consistency. Climate change is a many-sided problem. It s a scientific problem, because what

Climate change and you: consequences, intentions and consistency. Climate change is a many-sided problem. It s a scientific problem, because what Climate change and you: consequences, intentions and consistency Climate change is a many-sided problem. It s a scientific problem, because what we do about it depends on empirical discoveries about the

More information

The Primeval History

The Primeval History The Primeval History Study Guide LESSON ONE A PERFECT WORLD 2013 by Third Millennium Ministries www.thirdmill.org For videos, manuscripts, and other resources, visit Third Millennium Ministries at thirdmill.org.

More information

Job Exegesis: Job 28:24-28

Job Exegesis: Job 28:24-28 Job Exegesis: Job 28:24-28 Kenneth Chad Wiggins BIL-410-A March 15, 2012 Purpose statement For my exegesis I chose Job 28:24-28. The purpose of this passage is to help show how God understands wisdom.

More information

PRAY FOR THE CLIMATE

PRAY FOR THE CLIMATE PRAY FOR THE CLIMATE This prayer guide will equip and inspire your prayers for the climate. It has been produced by Tearfund and 24-7 Prayer as part of the international Renew Our World campaign. Introduction

More information

CHAPTER 4: HUMAN HUMAN

CHAPTER 4: HUMAN HUMAN CHAPTER 4: HUMAN HUMAN In responding to human suffering, Christians follow Jesus example and work to heal both spiritual and physical disease. Acknowledging that human suffering is often connected to an

More information

The Human Face of Climate Change By Susan Searle

The Human Face of Climate Change By Susan Searle The Human Face of Climate Change By Susan Searle Purpose As people of faith, Catholics believe the issue of climate change is not just about politics, economics, or interest groups but rather it is an

More information

The Cry of the Earth. A Pastoral Reflection on Climate Change from The Irish Catholic Bishops Conference

The Cry of the Earth. A Pastoral Reflection on Climate Change from The Irish Catholic Bishops Conference The Cry of the Earth A Pastoral Reflection on Climate Change from The Irish Catholic Bishops Conference God our Father, open our eyes to see your hand at work in the splendour of creation, In the beauty

More information

Self-regulating mechanism of Earth

Self-regulating mechanism of Earth 06 Self-regulating mechanism of Earth 1. SHORT SUMMARY Total duration of this lesson: 45 minutes What will the students learn: Students will acquire new knowledge about the Gaia theory and the positive

More information

Define worldview List characteristics of a biblical worldview Apply a biblical worldview to science. Chapter 1: What Scientists Do

Define worldview List characteristics of a biblical worldview Apply a biblical worldview to science. Chapter 1: What Scientists Do Plan Overview Lesson 1 1 3 1 3 1 2 4 7 4 7 3 4 3 4 8 10 8 10 5 6 5 6 11 13 11 13 7 7 14 17 14 17 9 10 8 18 19 18 19 11 12 9 20 21 13 14 10 Define worldview List characteristics of a biblical worldview

More information

7040:12/88 AMERICAN BAPTIST POLICY STATEMENT ON ECOLOGY: AN ECOLOGICAL SITUATIONAL ANALYSIS

7040:12/88 AMERICAN BAPTIST POLICY STATEMENT ON ECOLOGY: AN ECOLOGICAL SITUATIONAL ANALYSIS 7040:12/88 AMERICAN BAPTIST POLICY STATEMENT ON ECOLOGY: AN ECOLOGICAL SITUATIONAL ANALYSIS From earliest times human beings have sought to understand their relationship to the environment, as the Greek

More information

15 God, Man and Nature

15 God, Man and Nature 15 God, Man and Nature W hy do bad things happen to good people? This is one of the most interesting, very important and highly unresolved questions in human life. The Bible narrates the story of a good

More information

Mr. President, His Excellency and other heads of delegations, Good Morning/Good afternoon.

Mr. President, His Excellency and other heads of delegations, Good Morning/Good afternoon. NOTE: COMPARE AGAINST DELIVERY Mr. President, His Excellency and other heads of delegations, Good Morning/Good afternoon. First of all, in behalf of the Philippine delegation, I would like to express our

More information

Explore the Christian rationale for environmental ethics and assess its strengths and weaknesses.

Explore the Christian rationale for environmental ethics and assess its strengths and weaknesses. Explore the Christian rationale for environmental ethics and assess its strengths and weaknesses. The current environmental crises facing the earth today are well known and frequently reported on and written

More information

Session four: What do I need to change?

Session four: What do I need to change? Climate Change and the Purposes of God Session four: What do I need to change? Notes for group leaders Purpose of this Session The purpose of this Session is to take us back to one of the primary purposes

More information

Exodus 14:15-15:21 (Part I)

Exodus 14:15-15:21 (Part I) Exodus 14:15-15:21 (Part I) Introduction This morning, we finally arrive at the parting and the crossing of the Red Sea. What we have in chapter 14 is the narrative, story account, (14:15-31) and then

More information

Cultivating a Personal Environmental Ethic. Leslie Wickman, Ph.D. Center for Research in Science Azusa Pacific University

Cultivating a Personal Environmental Ethic. Leslie Wickman, Ph.D. Center for Research in Science Azusa Pacific University Cultivating a Personal Environmental Ethic Leslie Wickman, Ph.D. Center for Research in Science Azusa Pacific University www.apu.edu/cris Genesis 1:31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.

More information

From the Spring 2008 NES APS Newsletter

From the Spring 2008 NES APS Newsletter Please Note: These remarks should not be construed as representing any official position of the Executive Board of the New England Section of the American Physical Society. [Clickable links contained in

More information

The Drama of Scripture Creation (Part 1)

The Drama of Scripture Creation (Part 1) The Drama of Scripture Creation (Part 1) Alasdair MacIntyre tells an amusing story that I ve adapted for our purposes this morning (see The Drama of Scripture, pp. 17-18). What would you think if you came

More information

Earth Day Reflection REFLECTION

Earth Day Reflection REFLECTION Earth Day Reflection REFLECTION One of the main themes of Catholic Social Teaching is Care for Creation. Concern for the environment, God s gift of the created world, has become a significant social justice

More information

Celebrating the Gift of Water

Celebrating the Gift of Water ATR/100.1 Celebrating the Gift of Water Winston Halapua* I stand in your midst and I stand with the multitude of God s creation and I speak with the species around us, about us, and underneath us. My friends,

More information

They're obviously faltering!!!

They're obviously faltering!!! Armed police to wear body cameras in London 1. Speculate 2. Escalate 3. Suspicion Guide Questions 1. What led to police officers wearing of body cameras in London? 2. What are the advantages of wearing

More information

The Theology of Climate Change, a talk at Brecon Beacons Filling Station 30 th June 2017.

The Theology of Climate Change, a talk at Brecon Beacons Filling Station 30 th June 2017. The Theology of Climate Change, a talk at Brecon Beacons Filling Station 30 th June 2017. For 13 years I was full-time Agricultural Chaplain and Rural Life Officer for Hereford Diocese. Today I am still

More information

Climate Communion Service

Climate Communion Service Climate Communion Service Celebrating the Eucharist with a focus on the Earth Call to Worship [please join in words in italics and singing] The whole Earth waits with eager longing for the revealing of

More information

What were we put in the world to do?

What were we put in the world to do? What were we put in the world to do? Leaders Guide God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. Genesis 1:31 Tim Keller Redeemer Presbyterian Church 2006 Table of contents Leaders guide 1 10 Study

More information

Genesis Series Lesson #008

Genesis Series Lesson #008 Genesis Series Lesson #008 April 9, 2003 Dean Bible Ministries www.deanbibleministries.org Dr. Robert L. Dean, Jr. GENESIS Book of Beginnings Four Questions: 4. Could God have used evolution as a mechanism

More information

CONGO INITIATIVE. Women and Children s Rights Genesis 1:26-31

CONGO INITIATIVE. Women and Children s Rights Genesis 1:26-31 CONGO INITIATIVE Women and Children s Rights Genesis 1:26-31 Prepare a worship/reflection space that includes a picture, sculpture, or other object(s) that symbolizes empowerment, sharing, and/or mutual

More information

Part 4 - Day 3. By Ray Mondragon

Part 4 - Day 3. By Ray Mondragon Part 4 - Day 3 By Ray Mondragon No other piece of ancient Near Eastern literature that has survived the ravages of time compares favorable with the book of Genesis.... The book of Genesis therefore is

More information

THE L.I.F.E. PLAN STARTING OVER BLOCK 1. THEME 8 - THE FLOOD LESSON 4 (32 of 216)

THE L.I.F.E. PLAN STARTING OVER BLOCK 1. THEME 8 - THE FLOOD LESSON 4 (32 of 216) THE L.I.F.E. PLAN STARTING OVER THEME 8 - THE FLOOD LESSON 4 (32 of 216) THEME 8: THE FLOOD LESSON 4 (32 OF 216): STARTING OVER LESSON AIM: The flood was an act of judgement for the sin of man and a cleaning

More information

Thanksgiving Ecumenical Service, Year C, 2013 First Presbyterian Church, Smithtown NY The Rev. Dr. Raewynne J. Whiteley Echoes of creation

Thanksgiving Ecumenical Service, Year C, 2013 First Presbyterian Church, Smithtown NY The Rev. Dr. Raewynne J. Whiteley Echoes of creation !1 Today we come together to give thanks to God for the many blessings we have been given. And I always wonder what more can be said. Thanksgiving Ecumenical Service, Year C, 2013 First Presbyterian Church,

More information

The L o s t. Ge n e s i s. Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate

The L o s t. Ge n e s i s. Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate The L o s t Wor l d of Ge n e s i s One Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate J o h n H. Wa lt o n Contents Prologue............................ 7 Introduction.......................... 9 Proposition

More information

PRESENTER NOTES Please note:

PRESENTER NOTES Please note: PRESENTER NOTES This PowerPoint has been developed to raise awareness of the key messages of Pope Francis Encyclical Laudato Si (Praised Be): On the Care of our Common Home, released on 18 th June 2015.

More information

GOD CREATES HEAVENS AND EARTH

GOD CREATES HEAVENS AND EARTH GOD CREATES HEAVENS AND EARTH DEVOTIONAL READING: Psalm 33:1 9 BACKGROUND SCRIPTURE: Genesis 1:1 13 Lesson 1 (NIV) GENESIS 1:1 13 1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth

More information

Physics and Religious Studies 43 Origins: A Dialogue between Scientists and Humanists Professors Treu, Tutino, and Hecht

Physics and Religious Studies 43 Origins: A Dialogue between Scientists and Humanists Professors Treu, Tutino, and Hecht Physics and Religious Studies 43 Origins: A Dialogue between Scientists and Humanists Professors Treu, Tutino, and Hecht Is the Earth a Special or Unique Place? Perhaps one of the most fundamental questions

More information

GLOBAL WARMING OR CLIMATE CHANGE?

GLOBAL WARMING OR CLIMATE CHANGE? 1 GLOBAL WARMING OR CLIMATE CHANGE? (Tel Aviv, Sept. 7, 2011) 1. The purpose of this short intervention is to open a discussion which I think our Working Party should have at this early stage of its existence.

More information

Appendix 4 Coding sheet

Appendix 4 Coding sheet Appendix 4 Coding sheet We are only looking at online versions of the media organisations, not print. The search words should be global warming or climate change and Paris or UN summit. If a story or content

More information

WGUMC March 1, 2015 Genesis 9:8-17 "Rainbows" The Chumash Indians of Southern California tell a story

WGUMC March 1, 2015 Genesis 9:8-17 Rainbows The Chumash Indians of Southern California tell a story WGUMC March 1, 2015 Genesis 9:8-17 "Rainbows" The Chumash Indians of Southern California tell a story about how they got from Santa Cruz Island, one of the Northern Channel Islands, to the mainland long,

More information

In the Beginning God Genesis 1 November 16, 2008

In the Beginning God Genesis 1 November 16, 2008 In the Beginning God Genesis 1 November 16, 2008 I. Introduction a. Novels i. What s your favorite book? How does it start? ii. Only two ways to begin a novel: 1. With the setting 2. With the protagonist

More information

Daily Bible Study Questions. FIRST DAY: Introduction to the Book of Genesis (Introduction Notes)

Daily Bible Study Questions. FIRST DAY: Introduction to the Book of Genesis (Introduction Notes) GENESIS LESSON 1 Daily Bible Study Questions Study Procedure: Read the Scripture references before answering questions. Unless otherwise instructed, use only the Bible when answering questions. Some questions

More information

INTRODUCTION - GENESIS 1:1-3

INTRODUCTION - GENESIS 1:1-3 By Ray Mondragon INTRODUCTION - GENESIS 1:1-3 No other piece of ancient Near Eastern literature that has survived the ravages of time compares favorable with the book of Genesis.... The book of Genesis

More information

It s a Wonderful World Caring for God s Creation Why? Genesis 1:1-28

It s a Wonderful World Caring for God s Creation Why? Genesis 1:1-28 It s a Wonderful World --- Engaging God s Creation Page 1 of 8 It s a Wonderful World Caring for God s Creation Why? Genesis 1:1-28 INTRODUCTION TO THE SERIES This is the final challenge of our two-year

More information

God is a Community Part 2: The Meaning of Life

God is a Community Part 2: The Meaning of Life God is a Community Part 2: The Meaning of Life This week we will attempt to answer just two simple questions: How did God create? and Why did God create? Although faith is much more concerned with the

More information

Please join with us in praying this novena for nine days leading up to the summit, starting on Wednesday 17 September.

Please join with us in praying this novena for nine days leading up to the summit, starting on Wednesday 17 September. Novena to St Francis For the love of creation A novena is nine days of private or public devotion, made for a specific intention. Novenas to certain saints are often made according to that saint s patronage.

More information

From The Washington Post 11/26/07

From The Washington Post 11/26/07 From The Washington Post 11/26/07 Job 38: God speaks to Job Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm. He said: Do you know the laws of the heavens? Can you set up God's dominion over the earth? Can

More information

Genesis Chapter One Questions. Bible Bowl 2013

Genesis Chapter One Questions. Bible Bowl 2013 Genesis Chapter One Questions Bible Bowl 2013 Genesis 1:1 1. When did God create the heaven and the earth? A. in the fullness of time B. at the foreordained time C. in the beginning Genesis 1:1 1. When

More information

2. It s Scripture, but it s the key, or the legend, on the map

2. It s Scripture, but it s the key, or the legend, on the map I. The Torah Five Books of Moses, The Law A. Genesis a. Greek: Origin b. Hebrew: In the beginning B. Exodus a. Greek: The Going Out (from Egypt) b. Hebrew: (These are the) names C. Leviticus a. Greek:

More information

Genesis 8:20-22 & 9:8-17 King James Version September 3, 2017

Genesis 8:20-22 & 9:8-17 King James Version September 3, 2017 Genesis 8:20-22 & 9:8-17 King James Version September 3, 2017 The International Bible Lesson (Uniform Sunday School Lessons Series) for Sunday, September 3, 2017, is from Genesis 8:20-22 & 9:8-17. Questions

More information

Phenomenon A Theological Analysis by Joel T. Kershaw

Phenomenon A Theological Analysis by Joel T. Kershaw Phenomenon A Theological Analysis by Joel T. Kershaw The drive to Buckhorn United Methodist Campgrounds overflows with anticipation. The mind races with thoughts of the overwhelming scenery of the mountains

More information

Why We Believe In God

Why We Believe In God Introduction Why We Believe In God Hebrews 11:6 1. Hebrews 11:6 Man must believe that God is, and must believe His Word. 2. 1 Peter 3:15 Our hope is built on faith in God and in His word. I. BLESSING FOR

More information

Rev. Dr. Douglas K. Showalter Scripture: Psalm 74:12-17 First Congregational Church of Falmouth, MA of the UCC June 14, 2009 Copyright 2009

Rev. Dr. Douglas K. Showalter Scripture: Psalm 74:12-17 First Congregational Church of Falmouth, MA of the UCC June 14, 2009 Copyright 2009 Rev. Dr. Douglas K. Showalter Scripture: Psalm 74:12-17 First Congregational Church of Falmouth, MA of the UCC June 14, 2009 Copyright 2009 In the Beginning God Created... THIS MORNING I will do some Bible

More information

Isaiah The Little Apocalypse Or A Tale of Two Cities September 26, 2012

Isaiah The Little Apocalypse Or A Tale of Two Cities September 26, 2012 Isaiah 24 27 The Little Apocalypse Or A Tale of Two Cities September 26, 2012 Introduction: These chapters have often been called Isaiah s Apocalypse or The Little Apocalypse. Though the chapters are not

More information

The life of the Church must be continually renewed, refreshed and responsive to the world in which we live. The

The life of the Church must be continually renewed, refreshed and responsive to the world in which we live. The 1 Sermon Creation Covenant Sunday 2018 7 October, 2018 Lessons Genesis 9: 1 13 Colossians 1: 15 20 St John 1: 1 5 Prayer of Illumination Sacred Spirit, through imagination, intuition and reflection, through

More information

Sermon delivered on Yom Kippur 5777, October 11th, 2016, at Temple Israel of Boston

Sermon delivered on Yom Kippur 5777, October 11th, 2016, at Temple Israel of Boston Sermon delivered on Yom Kippur 5777, October 11th, 2016, at Temple Israel of Boston By Rabbi Matt Soffer My Dear Carmel: I must confess: it wasn t until you were born, when Caleb and I planted a garden

More information

(Genesis 8:20) Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar.

(Genesis 8:20) Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. Genesis 8:20-22 & 9:8-17 New American Standard Bible September 3, 2017 The International Bible Lesson (Uniform Sunday School Lessons Series) for Sunday, September 3, 2017, is from Genesis 8:20-22 & 9:8-17.

More information

Wake Forest University School of Divinity Myth and Scripture: Genesis 1 11 Professor Neal Walls

Wake Forest University School of Divinity Myth and Scripture: Genesis 1 11 Professor Neal Walls Wake Forest University School of Divinity Myth and Scripture: Genesis 1 11 Professor Neal Walls Required Texts Bernard Batto, Slaying the Dragon (Westminster, 1992). ISBN 978-0664253530 Michael Benton,

More information

Lesson 38 - Noah s Family

Lesson 38 - Noah s Family Principle Workbook Lesson 38 - Noah s Family Aims * to know God s plan for Noah s family * to understand the relevance of the story to our own lives Materials Bible story about Noah: Genesis chapters 6-9

More information

Mr Secretary of State, Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear friends,

Mr Secretary of State, Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear friends, 1/10 "Our Ocean" U.S. Department of State Conference Washington, 16 th June 2014 Address of H.S.H. the Prince Mr Secretary of State, Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear friends,

More information

Answers. Questions. Genesis 1:1-31

Answers. Questions. Genesis 1:1-31 http://www.biblestudyworkshop.org 1 Answers to Questions on Genesis 1:1-31 1. Why can it be said, in Coffman s view, that Genesis 1 is neither history, myth nor science? It is a record of facts that antedate

More information

Chapter 2 THE FALL AND THE PROMISE OF A SAVIOR

Chapter 2 THE FALL AND THE PROMISE OF A SAVIOR Chapter 2 THE FALL AND THE PROMISE OF A SAVIOR Creation? O How did everything come to be? O Who are we? The Nicene Creed I BELIEVE in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things

More information

Sunday Morning. Study 7. My Refuge

Sunday Morning. Study 7. My Refuge Sunday Morning Study 7 My Refuge God is my Refuge The Objective is the key concept for this weeks lesson. It should be the main focus of the study Objective This lesson will teach the students that God

More information

Protecting Creation Means 'Respecting Each of God's Creatures' (Pope Francis). Why and How?

Protecting Creation Means 'Respecting Each of God's Creatures' (Pope Francis). Why and How? Protecting Creation Means 'Respecting Each of God's Creatures' Introduction (Pope Francis). Why and How? The experience of God and sin as described in the Holy Scriptures is not to be read outside the

More information

A SERVICE TO INTRODUCE CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE PURPOSES OF GOD

A SERVICE TO INTRODUCE CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE PURPOSES OF GOD A SERVICE TO INTRODUCE CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE PURPOSES OF GOD A simple service (or part of a service) to pray for the effectiveness of Climate change and the purposes of God in enabling the Church to speak

More information

SCIENTIFIC THEORIES ABOUT THE ORIGINS OF THE WORLD AND HUMANITY

SCIENTIFIC THEORIES ABOUT THE ORIGINS OF THE WORLD AND HUMANITY SCIENTIFIC THEORIES ABOUT THE ORIGINS OF THE WORLD AND HUMANITY Key ideas: Cosmology is about the origins of the universe which most scientists believe is caused by the Big Bang. Evolution concerns the

More information

Genesis 1: God Creates

Genesis 1: God Creates Genesis 1: God Creates Introduction How exciting is it for us to begin to look at God s Word on the Origin of Mankind How amazing is it that we get to look at what happened a very long time ago And how

More information

Responding to Climate Change in the Pacific

Responding to Climate Change in the Pacific Responding to Climate Change in the Pacific A practical theological response Rev Dr Seforosa Carroll UnitingWorld Manager, Church Partnerships, Pacific Wednesday April 27 th 2016 The Context The Pacific

More information

Excerpts from Laudato Si

Excerpts from Laudato Si Excerpts from Laudato Si This document highlights elements of Laudato Si, or Praised Be, Pope Francis s encyclical letter on ecology. Citations are included for your reference. Respond to Pope Francis

More information

Creation and Blessing: An Expositional Study of the Book of Genesis. Wednesday, July 12, Handout #2

Creation and Blessing: An Expositional Study of the Book of Genesis. Wednesday, July 12, Handout #2 Creation and Blessing: An Expositional Study of the Book of Genesis Wednesday, July 12, 2011 Handout #2 Purpose of the Book: To reveal how the sin of man is met by the intervention and redemption of God.

More information

The Johannine Creation Account Stephen J. Bedard

The Johannine Creation Account Stephen J. Bedard The Johannine Creation Account Stephen J. Bedard The influence of Genesis 1 on the opening verses of John seems obvious. Opening with in the beginning, there seems to be a deliberate attempt by the author

More information

Seven Covenants: The Noahic Covenant

Seven Covenants: The Noahic Covenant Seven Covenants: The Noahic Covenant I. Introduction A. Review 1. Dispensation of Innocence - Man, set in a garden paradise, is tested by a single, simple command not to eat of the fruit if the Tree of

More information

lesson one beginnings Genesis 1 3

lesson one beginnings Genesis 1 3 lesson one beginnings Genesis 1 3 Background: God inspired the Israelite leader, Moses, to author the first five books of the Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy), also known as

More information

Creation - Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God made the heavens and the earth. Upper Elementary

Creation - Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God made the heavens and the earth. Upper Elementary Creation - Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God made the heavens and the earth. Upper Elementary www.calvarywilliamsport.com www.calvary-kids-pages.com www.kids.djswilliamsport.com Teacher s Devotion: Psalm

More information

RAINFORESTS: RESOURCES FOR LIFE. 5 June 2012 World Environment Day. A Day of Prayer. Sponsored by The Carmelite NGO. carmelitengo.

RAINFORESTS: RESOURCES FOR LIFE. 5 June 2012 World Environment Day. A Day of Prayer. Sponsored by The Carmelite NGO. carmelitengo. 5 June 2012 World Environment Day RAINFORESTS: RESOURCES FOR LIFE A Day of Prayer Sponsored by The Carmelite NGO carmelitengo.org Please feel free to copy and distribute s Rainforests once covered 14%

More information

Religion, Ecology & the Future of the Human Species

Religion, Ecology & the Future of the Human Species James Miller Religion, Ecology & the Future of the Human Species Queen s University Presentation Overview 1. Environmental Problems in Rural Areas 2. The Ecological Crisis and the Culture of Modernity

More information

PATRIARCH BARTHOLOMEW S SYMPOSIUM. RELIGION, SCIENCE AND THE ENVIRONMENT 2007, IN GREENLAND The Arctic: Mirror of Life

PATRIARCH BARTHOLOMEW S SYMPOSIUM. RELIGION, SCIENCE AND THE ENVIRONMENT 2007, IN GREENLAND The Arctic: Mirror of Life PATRIARCH BARTHOLOMEW S SYMPOSIUM. RELIGION, SCIENCE AND THE ENVIRONMENT 2007, IN GREENLAND The Arctic: Mirror of Life RIGHTEOUSNESS Margaret Barker, 2007 During this Symposium we have been hearing about

More information