Inconvenient Christians, part 2
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Fri Jul 07, 2006 at 02:04:58 AM EST
While it was expected that center-right to center-left evangelical publications like Christianity Today, Ethics Daily and Sojourners might positively review Al Gore's new documentary, I don't believe many thought Gore's film would find a sympathetic hearing with the Southern Baptist media. And yet, incredibly, this is what has happened in an article published yesterday in the Baptist Press.
Adding another confounding angle to this story is that the author of the article, Ken Connor, backs up his pro-environment arguments using the work of Francis Schaeffer. It seems that Gore's concern about the environment resonates with people across the usual political and religious divide. This can only be good news for all of us who worry that the Christian Right has too much political power. Some excerpts from Connor's article:

At the Center for a Just Society, we certainly don't have the scientific expertise to assess rival global warming claims. Nevertheless, one thing is for sure: the debate should be settled on the basis of merit, not personality. Some conservatives will dismiss Al Gore's arguments simply because he is Al Gore. That would be a mistake. [    ]

Al Gore is making a set of truth-claims, and many scientists support his theories. That does not necessarily mean Gore is right, but we should also resist the urge to let politics get in the way of an honest assessment.

Our responsibility as citizens is to look at all the evidence and make the best assessment we can. After collecting and interpreting the data, what if we determine that global warming is not a threat, or that humans are not responsible for increased temperatures? Does that automatically mean that we should proceed with the environmental policies we have now?

Not at all. Whether or not we face impending doom, Christians need to remember that human beings have a responsibility toward the environment. In the last few decades we certainly have not been as conscientious about taking care of our natural resources as we should be. Like it or not, Al Gore is helping to remind Christians of an important duty.

The great evangelical apologist, Francis Schaeffer, wrote a book in the 1970s called "Pollution and the Death of Man." In it, Schaeffer carefully analyzes the claims of the environmental movement. Basing his arguments on some profound theological truths, Schaeffer argues that Christians have an important obligation to the environment.
[     ]

We live in a consumer driven age, and selfishness abounds. It is easy to fall into the consumer mentality ("me, me, me, take, take, take"). Even Christians have been tempted to consume resources without considering future generations or our responsibility to God. Al Gore's prophesies may or may not be true, but they do provide us with an opportunity to stop and think about whether or not we -- individually and collectively -- have been faithful stewards of the environment. This is a discussion worth having, and at the very least we can thank Al Gore for inspiring it.




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Baptist Press is this article from Agape Press.

by Carlos on Fri Jul 07, 2006 at 02:38:37 AM EST


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