Friday, January 16, 2015

Leaving room for God

That's an expression used in an HBO film about Albert Einstein that came out last year: the notion that in his calculations on the workings of the universe, Sir Isaac Newton allowed for the possibility that God was at work and that we can never come up with any exact answers. The film's premise was that Einstein actually did come up with a precise calculation and -- although it wasn't stated in as many words -- we didn't have to look to God for answers anymore.

The premise of my book, A Very Convenient Truth - or, Jesus Told Us There'd Be Days Like These, So Stop Worrying About the Planet and Get With His Program!, is that, for all the wailing and gnashing of teeth over the current state of the environment, the Bible provides us with some definite solutions. In it, we can see how we've been sinning by our treatment of God's creation, can repent and be redeemed through Jesus' sacrifice on the Cross, and that if we turn back to God, He promises to heal the land. 

The book also posits that what we are seeing now has been prophesied as preceding Jesus' return, although that's not an excuse to sit back and "let things happen": we have a job to do -- which is also distinctly spelled out.

Sadly, so much of our world today refuses to "leave room for God". Indeed, I've heard some professing Christians state that Jesus made the Old Testament, where the specific instructions -- like tithing and the Land Sabbath -- can be found, irrelevant.

I don't agree with that, but that's a discussion for another time. I was reminded, however, of a statement by one scientist/explorer/naturalist who most definitely left room for God in his thinking: Thor Heyerdahl.

In 2000, Heyerdahl was speaking at a conference in Victoria, which I covered for the radio station where I was working at the time. The quote that stood out for me was, "science has even come up with its own interpretation of God: the 'Big Bang'."

Now, recall that Heyerdahl's entire life was devoted to drawing attention to the way we've been treating the Earth -- God's magnificent Creation that He entrusted us to manage and nurture. 

His inference was pretty clear to me: scientific theories try to replace God and make Him irrelevant, and we do that at our peril; because by declaring that the earth, the universe and all that's in them to be the result of a series of random events that just happened to come together in the right place at the right time, we're taking away the notion of accountability

It wasn't the only time Heyerdahl had raised the issue of accountability to God. In his memoir, In the Footsteps of Adam, Heyerdahl says, "there still had to be superhuman and supernatural powers to trigger such a conflagration, not least to create order out of ensuing chaos ... [and] the heat from the Big Bang would have been so extreme that an act of creation would have been required to make life on earth afterwards." 

Can we really, individually or collectively, hold ourselves accountable to humans like David Suzuki, or Al Gore, or accords drawn up in Rio, Copenhagen or Kyoto? I know I can't. But eventually, I'll have to face the Big Sir and answer for what I've done in my life, including the things I've done to use His handiwork beyond my ability to replenish it (Genesis 1:28).

The challenge, as I see it, is for people in the environmental movement, many of whom reject the Bible as the Word of God and unquestioningly refer to God-denying concepts like evolution and adaptation, to consider even the remote possibility that the solutions that they seek and the comfort that they desire about the state of our planet are handed to them on a silver platter in those 66 books.


A Very Convenient Truth is available as an e-book through most online bookstores, including Chapters/Indigo, Inktera and PaperPlus.

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