As Christians in the sciences, we often try to come up with good metaphors for how we think about the compatibility of our Christian faith with the science that helps us learn about the world around us. Many of us like to use a “two books” metaphor to describe this relationship: that is, we strive to know God by reading from both the book of scripture and the book of nature, trusting that all truth is God’s truth and that what we discover about the world through science will not threaten, but rather deepen our understanding of the divinity we worship.
It’s not a perfect metaphor by any means, but it does evoke the desire to leave no stone unturned when seeking God, and to face difficult questions honestly, with an openness to considering new ways of interpreting both the Bible stories we hold dear and the data we gather from the rocks, trees, water, air, and animals that surround us here on our beloved planet Earth.
This edition of God & Nature magazine focuses less on the question of what we know about nature than the question of what we do with that knowledge. We’ve all heard the score of anthropogenic climate change—at the very least, we have a vague idea that many among us, environmental scientists most of all, believe our actions (and inactions) have charted a course for ruin if we don’t alter the way we build and move and make things in the 21st century. And maybe even if we do change them.
But there’s more to it than that. There’s the question of what we, as Christians, are called to consider our duty to the creation—God’s creation—of which we are a part. Is changing the lightbulbs, and recycling, enough? Are there other ways in which we should be participating in reducing the amount of damage humans cause our beastly brethren and their ecological niches?
Writers for this fall edition of God & Nature Magazine will be tackling issues from the ethics of eating and the call to transform our consumption habits to the joys of living in the world and fully appreciating the work of God's hands.
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