Archives For Earth

 

But in Earth, the first film of a five-part series based on elements titled SIGNS, Erwin McManus begins by confessing an urge to agree with the writer of Ecclesiastes, having experienced the same feeling that there’s “nothing new under the sun.” McManus effectively expresses the despair that comes from living a life that lacks any meaning – it can feel empty, futile or vain.

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Faith And Trust

Liberty Hyde Bailey

Editor’s note: I re-encountered this poem earlier this week, and was struck by how poignant a response it held to all the recent controversy about Rob Bell’s new book Love Wins. Or, at least this is how I feel about it…

Two workmen true as I passed by
Announced what things beyond us lie,—
Two views that never can agree
Yet each one knew just what will be.
Of present days they were not sure
But each man’s future was secure,
For faith had set them both to know
Precisely how our destins flow.

But only this and this I know,—
That I am here and then I go.
I pass my work with hope and zest
And live my time as it seems best;
I live it full and drain it deep,—
’Tis well to live, ’tis vain to weep.
If there be things I cannot tell
The more I trust that all is well.
I take the cheer from daily lot
And for the rest I vex me not,
For what there is beyond the sod
I leave it all to Time and God.

— from Bailey’s collection of poems, Wind and Weather
(Doulos Christou Press reprint edition 2008)
Read the Book’s introduction here

Faith And Trust

Two workmen true as I passed by

Announced what things beyond us lie,

Two views that never can agree

Yet each one knew just what will be.

Of present days they were not sure

But each man’s future was secure,

For faith had set them both to know

Precisely how our destins flow.

But only this and this I know,

That I am here and then I go.

I pass my work with hope and zest

And live my time as it seems best;

I live it full and drain it deep,

Tis well to live, ’tis vain to weep.

If there be things I cannot tell

The more I trust that all is well.

I take the cheer from daily lot

And for the rest I vex me not,

For what there is beyond the sod

I leave it all to Time and God.

 

EAARTH - Bill McKibben

A Review of
EAARTH:Making Life on a Tough New Planet.
Bill McKibben.
Hardback: Times Books, 2010.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

Reviewed by Chris Smith.

[ Read an excerpt from this book… ]

[ Watch two videos of McKibben talking about EAARTH ]

Since the release of his heralded book The End of Nature, almost twenty years ago, Bill McKibben has been leading the way in alerting us to the growing problem of climate change and pleading with us to change our consumerist ways.  Most recently, McKibben has been the spokesperson for 350, a non-profit that elevates this work of educating and calling for change.  McKibben’s new book, EAARTH: Making Life on a Tough New Planet, makes a case for the work of 350 and offers hope that we adapt to life in world where fossil fuels are not the predominant source of energy.  EAARTH (McKibben has said in interviews that we need to “channel our inner Schwarzenegger” in order to say the title: URRRTH) is basically divided into two parts, the first is an exposition of the problems that climate change is wreaking and will continue to wreak; in the second part of the book, he begins to imagine what a world less reliant on fossil fuels might look like.

The first half of the book paints a stark picture: global temperatures are rising, glaciers are melting and there is an “historic level of CO2 in the atmosphere.”  And not only are these ecological problems escalating, their effects are being felt most powerfully among the poorest peoples of the world.  In spite of all the evidence that McKibben provides, some critics will likely accuse him of exaggeration.  The question that I would pose to such critics, and especially those who identify themselves as followers of Christ, is what good and selfless reason do we have for not reducing our consumption of fossil fuels?

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A Brief Review of :
CLAIMING EARTH AS COMMON GROUND:
The Ecological Crisis Through The Eyes of Faith

A. Cohen-Kiener, ed.
Paperback: Skylight Paths, 2009.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

Reviewed By Jordan Kellicut.

“We are full of life… and we are poisoning ourselves (8).”  This heartfelt plea is like a watermark on every page of Claiming Earth as Common Ground. Andrea Cohen-Kiener experienced an awakening that led her to pursue involvement in recycling plastics, and from that a greater realization that ecology was related to her spirituality.  The Earth, she says, is our ultimate common ground for disparate religion.  It provides not just the well-worn question, “Can religious people save the environment?”  But also a new question, “Can the environmental challenge save religion (2)?”  It is this question that drives her theological reflection (especially chapters 2-5).

Cohen-Kiener advocates a variety of specific practices, not the least of which is an appendix with an exhaustive list of “small steps” to reduce one’s ecological footprint (146-149).  One specific practice focused on gardening and seed conservation (chapter 6). This is imperative because homogenous seed genus is vulnerable to pests and climate changes (93).  The other main practice is the rediscovery of Sabbath.  Lessness is the object of Sabbath, where at least one day is given over to seeking to nourish the soul through slowing down and “greening a day” (chapter 8).  Cohen-Kiener argues that environmental abuse and the reactionary desire to “go green” is at its root a spiritual hunger (117).  Religion can help us “rename and reclaim the subtle spiritual hungers (119).”  As she says, “Environmentalism can save religion by giving us a living laboratory in which we can learn to live up to our religion’s aspirations (144).”

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