The new “in” thing is going green. People are taking an interest in their environment. This is a good thing. However, it is interesting how quickly popular culture has hijacked the movement and how commercialism has taken over. Now, labels and claims abound, and consumers must be especially diligent in making decisions when it comes to how we live our lives. I wonder how often this movement will last, or in other words, how long will it be “cool” to spend extra money on environmentally friendly versions of the same things we already use. It seems as though people are usually interested, even passionate, when it comes to ideas and easy life changes, but there is a deeper challenge that environmentalism will offer and it will require much deeper changes than the superficiality of how we spend our money.
I picked up a book called Cradle to Cradle which really addresses the systemic challenges that need to be addressed in a technologically-driven post-Industrial Revolution era. It has really challenged my sentiments of the “green” movement. It, as is usually the case, is a much more deeply seeded issue. It’s not nearly as simple as we’d like to make it. It requires innovative scientists, engineers, architects, and other fields.
Environmentalism poses a challenge to Christianity that few “conservative” churches are prepared to address. This whole area really gets into a theological perspective that has largely gone untapped. In short, few of our scholars, academics, pastors, and theologians are prepared for the challenges that the current environmental discussion brings. When Christians do respond, it is often from liberal camps while others stay distanced from the discussion altogether. The recent statement from the Southern Baptist Convention illustrates the significance this issue has brought to our churches; however, I fear we remain utterly unprepared. In regards to the SBC, I wonder whether their motives were theological or if they were simply responding to the current culture millieu. This is a real issue for us. If we feel it is significance to respond to the movement, what are our motives? Where do we see the biblical contact? Do we see necessary correctives to the cultural perspective? Tough questions that deserve much attention. I hope to address some of these difficult questions in the coming weeks in biblical reflections, personal thoughts, and reviews of my readings.