Monday, March 10, 2008

Can Southern Baptists buy climate change shift?

That Southern Baptist leaders shift position on climate change is good news yet I'll not hold my breath that it will matter for many of the true believers. As a recovering Southern Baptist perhaps I'm just too scarred to expect much. With Albert Mohler, who you'll see to the left, being the President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary I just can't expect much can I?

I've posted on Dr. Mohler here and here so immediately turned to him for a representative whack job. I wanted to see if he had anything to offer up on this shift. Just this past October he wrote When Ecology Replaces Theology where he (although I've emphasized portions) penned:

... Christians do bear a responsibility to be good stewards of the earth. This is not an easy responsibility to bear in the confusing context of modern ecological debates. But the church of Jesus Christ bears the responsibility to be the steward of the Gospel above all other concerns. The temptation to turn to this-worldly concerns at the expense of spiritual concerns is very strong. Beyond this, human beings will worship either the Creator or the creation. When the authority of the Bible is undermined and confidence that we can know the Creator is compromised, the creation itself looms larger and larger as a central passion.

When a passion for seeing sinners converted to faith in Christ declines, a passion for converting people into environmentalists can appear as a replacement purpose and a culturally-attractive mission. ...

I also noted a post of his from less than a month on evolution titled Two Irreconcilable Worldviews. He wrote:

... I have not said that one can't be a Christian and believe in evolution. It is entirely possible to be a confused Christian or a confused evolutionist . . . or both. Nevertheless, the dominant theory of evolution -- the theory as taught and defended by the world's leading evolutionary scientists -- explicitly rules out any supernatural design or interference at any point in the evolutionary continuum. That fact alone makes the theory incompatible with any legitimate affirmation of divine creation or of biblical theism. ...
That seems clear enough. I doubt that around my "home" much will change. And that's a shame. I grieve that my very own son and other children have been "taught" creationism in his public school. I didn't make a stink mostly for his sake but also due to some family members attending the same Southern Baptist church this "science teacher" does. I'll do what I can to remedy the harm she might have caused my boy and hope for the best for his classmates.

With some pleasure I found reporting by Patrick Henderson in the Birmingham News today titled Alabama dinosaurs exhibit at McWane shows who was here first. The McWane Science Center is to indeed be commended for this latest exhibit. McWane paleontologist James Lamb said "these scoundrels lumbered more than 80 million years ago around what became Alabama". I'd love for Mrs. ____ to have exposed my very own to Dr. Lamb rather that her backwards fundamentalism. My feeling is that if she wants to teach that the earth is 6000 or so years old then she ought to go teach at one of the many "faith academy" efforts that are dotting the rural landscape down in my former neck of the woods.

I'll almost bet that somebody will write the B'ham News to correct their blasphemy. While I'm glad to see the piece on climate change until folks like Albert Mohler are shown the door I'll suggest the Southern Baptist Convention has a long row to hoe. And I'll do my darndest to not darken their door. John Gunn

Update ~ March 29, 2008 - Certainly Luke Boggs isn't a buyer. He's a good writer though. Even if I don't agree I did find his structure and the like pleasing. A portion of what he wrote in the AJC follows: "Instead of straining to turn a political question into a moral one, we might do well, as Southern Baptists, to stay focused on the instructions Jesus gave all Christians as He departed this world, the part about making disciples of all nations. As a denomination, I think we can safely leave the global-warming crusade to secular activists and our friends at the more liberal main-line churches. There's more than enough hot air to go around already."

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