The Church Resilient

Allow me this opportunity to convince you that 2020 is the year to express overflowing thanks to God by your personal generosity to the Thank Offering. Why? For the hidden spiritual blessings that we received in 2020, attached to the trials we all experienced. Despite the setbacks of 2020, each of our churches sought to revert rapidly and even cheerfully to the good work of building the kingdom. “Count it all joy,” the apostle James, by the Spirit’s inspiration, starkly and radically urged scattered believers. The key is to “count it.” We can do little to change our surroundings, but we can do much to change the way we consider them. Before his readers could discount him, James gave solid reasons for them to reinterpret their lot: Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2–4) As the ... Read more

Beyond Stewardship and Environmental Syncretism: A Review

Since Lynn White’s 1967 essay “The Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis,” Christians have often been on the defensive regarding their approach to the environment. Admittedly, Christians, including evangelicals, have often lagged behind other voices in the culture that sounded the alarm over the extent of environmental degradation that our modern industrial society has spawned even as economic progress and general human health have increased. There were a number of notable attempts to correct and encourage Christian thinking on environmental matters. Francis Schaeffer’s Pollution and the Death of Man (1970) was a clarion call in the wake of the first Earth Day. He challenged Christians to take the lead in creation care as a result of the biblical mandate to have dominion and care for the earth. As environmental awareness rose in Christian circles through the 1970s, the Calvin Center for Christian Scholarship sponsored research and several books, culminating in the development of the Au Sable ... Read more