Newbigin on Hope and the Environment

iss520newbigin20graphicI am currently re-reading a fantastic book by Lesslie Newbigin, The Gospel in a Pluralistic Society.  The book has little to say directly about creation care or climate change, but Newbigin’s insights do apply to the conversation. In a chapter entitled “The Bible as Universal History” he traces how history has been written and taught since the time of Augustine. Since Augustine, history has been taught as the progress of the City of God. Secular revisions watered it down into a vague ‘progress of society’; communists morphed it into the progress of the working class, etc. All of these visions looked hopefully towards the future. But, Newbigin contends (writing in the late twentieth century), “In the closing decades of this century it is difficult to find Europeans who have any belief in a significant future which is worth working for and investing in.” In the early decades of the twenty-first century, this bleak outlook and apathy have spread to the U.S. also. Newbigin continues,

“A society which believes in a worthwhile future saves in teh present so as to invest in the future. Contemporary Western society spends in the present and piles up debts for the future, ravages the environment, and leaves its grandchildren to cope with the results as best they can. One searches contemporary European literature in vain for evidence o fhope for the future; rather, in Jurgen Moltmann’s words, it is characterized by cold despair, resignation, and cinicism.”

Certainly, love for neighbor, present and future neighbor’s, demands more. Certainly, the Christian’s outlook should be different. But what…how?

Join us this Wednesday night, April 3rd, at 7:30pm at Evangelical Community Church for a special lecture by Kyle Meyaard-Schaap entitled “Creation Care, Climate Change, and the Gospel.” A panel will engage questions after the lecture.

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