Posted by: gillianbarratt | 4 March, 2009

Tending God’s Creation

Hello Passion Fruities

I’m not sure whether I can adequately sum up the session on Monday except to say that we agreed that discipleship was dynamic rather than static because we are following the Way of Christ.

Next week we are leaving Mark’s Gospel temporarily to look at the third chapter of “Everybody Wants to Change the  World”, on the subject of the environment.

If you have time for some “homework”, could you please :

Two other things to think about:

  • Does it matter whether we take the Creation account to be the literal truth or as an allegory?
  • Are there any circumstances in which a concern for the environment is at odds with our discipleship?

See you on Monday




  1. Hello

    A short attempt to summarize the session on Tuesday for those who weren’t there.

    We started by reading Genesis chapter 1. Some words to describe God as we see Him through creation:




    Showing attention to detail



    Those of us who have studied science find that what we have learned about the intricacy of the natural world increases rather than decreases our appreciation of God in creation. It is a shame that the reductionist Richard Dawkins-style view that science removes the need for God is the one that gets the most publicity.

    From Genesis, some words that describe human beings’ relationship with creation :

    Domination, but also

    Responsibility and Stewardship

    We are also called to multiply (Passion Fruit has being doing a bit of that lately) and maybe verse 29 suggests that we should be vegetarians rather than meat-eaters?

    Looking at the “Défi pour la Terre” website suggested to each of us individually areas in which we could be better stewards of God’s gifts (saving water, electricity, recycling, eating lower down the food chain). However, we agreed that environmental concerns should never come before concerns about people, although some selfish acts that disrupt ecosystems also harm people, particularly the poor. We should not be “Green fundamentalists”.

    We finished with Psalm 96 which sums up the session :

    “Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth” (verse 9)


  2. “However, we agreed that environmental concerns should never come before concerns about people.”

    Hmmm. Does this mean GM crops get an automatic green light because of all the potential they have to relieve world famine?

    And if we need more housing is it OK just to build on our green belts, since human needs come before environmental concerns?

  3. Anyway, after our discussions last night we came up with a few potential projects:
    1) Green audit of church premises
    2) Cleaning up Emma’s building’s car park
    3) Mary-Lisa’s subversive art project
    4) Individual reappraisal of our ecological footprints

  4. Picking up Robbie’s first comment, he put a full stop at the end of the quotation from my summary, whereas the sentence went on “although some selfish acts that disrupt ecosystems also harm people, particularly the poor”. We were thinking of situations such as using grain to make biofuels rather than feeding people. Interestingly, I heard on the television last night that there are now “second generation” biofuels which use plants that are no use for human consumption (
    I suppose the main thing is to think about the consequences of our actions in the light of our discipleship. We may reach dilemmas (cf Romans 14) such as should we buy exotic fruit with lots of food miles if it is an important cash crop for the community that grows it.
    Would Jesus eat a banana?
    (Robbie wanted to stimulate some debate)

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