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Are you 'Green'?

While my recent pace has ranged from ‘hectic’ to ‘crazy’, I think I’m coming through good times for me. It’s been a time, though, that’s been rough on my reading schedule. (but getting better…)

I’ve been reading Brian McLaren’s book A Generous Orthodoxy and have been fascinated with much of what he writes. A lot of it touches on some things I’ve felt and thought, but haven’t quite had words to wrap around the ideas. Some of what he writes about, I’ve never really considered, and it’s opened my eyes to some pretty keen understandings of God’s church.

This morning I was reading his chapter “Why I Am Green” (which lets you know I’m almost through the book). Here are a few highlights:

“But as so many species slide closer to extinction, the rare species known variously as Christianus environmentalis or Disciplos verde is making a comeback.”

“For much of Western Christianity, the doctrine of creation (a biblical term) has been eaten alive by the doctrine of the fall (not a biblical term). In other words, creation’s downfall resulting from human sin has eclipsed its original glow as God’s handiwork, radiant with God’s glory. Make no mistake: Human sin is awful and reprehensible beyond words, and the whole earthly creation suffers because of it. But if, due to an exaggerated doctrine of the fall, God’s creation loses its sacredness as God’s beloved artwork, we have magnified human sin beyond sane bounds – and in fact added to its sad effects.”

“God sent Jesus into the world with a saving love, and Jesus sends us with a similar saving love – love for the fatherless and widows, the poor and forgotten to be sure, but also for all God’s little creatures who suffer from the same selfish greed and arrogance that oppress vulnerable humans. The same forces that hurt widows and orphans, minorities and women, children and the elderly, also hurt the songbirds and trout, the ferns and old-growth forests: greed, impatience, selfishness, arrogance, hurry, anger, competition, irreverence – plus a theology that cares for souls but neglects bodies, that focuses on eternity in heaven but abandons history on earth.”

“We see everything as God’s … For us, whatever we ‘own’ is really entrusted to us by God, borrowed and reverently used by us for a time, after which we must let go one way or another – either through giving and sharing or through dying and releasing our former possessions to others. Even the molecules that make up our bodies are on loan to us. One day we will give them all back, rendering an account of how we have used them through time – time also being a precious gift of which we have been made stewards.”

In this chapter, McLaren also touches on issues of God’s kingdom, here and now, as well as a transitioning from a local/national mind-set to a global/local one. It is transforming for someone to begin to see themselves as a part of God’s creation, a creature made by the Creator.

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