God’s Good Earth – Chapter 10: Direct Effects of the Fall on Nature

Here is a link to chapter 10 of my book.

In it I look at nature as a victim of the Fall, which is certainly true, rather than as a “co-conspirator”, which is not. This encompasses, of course, the whole concept of our care of the world with which we have been entrusted, and our abject failure in that task – the “ecological” dimension which I’ve tried to represent on The Hump, particularly in the contributions by Pete Harris of A Rocha, but not as much as perhaps is warranted.

Nothing I say in this chapter contradicts the case Sy Garte makes in his excellent book, Where We Stand, in which he points out how much  conscientious and successful work is actually being done in the conservation and restoration of the planet. After all, to talk about the universal sin of mankind does not negate the existence of human kindness and goodness.

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About Jon Garvey

Training in medicine (which was my career), social psychology and theology. Interests in most things, but especially the science-faith interface. The rest of my time, though, is spent writing, playing and recording music.
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3 Responses to God’s Good Earth – Chapter 10: Direct Effects of the Fall on Nature

  1. Avatar photo Merv Bitikofer says:

    Wow! Much food for thought here. Spot on here, Jon, as if I could presume to be in a position for critical analysis. I’ll just say this really resonates with my own convictions which (I would hope) are also steeped in much Scriptural study. You filled out some history for me, though. I had no idea about the early Greek exploitations (and Jared Diamond in “Collapse” gives some informed speculation about preColumbian native tribes that also may have managed to deforest areas to their own immediate detriment). All of which would have predated our most culpable Bacon, poster child for all this as he may be. Science sure has ramped it all up, though. Yet God’s sovereignty is still not over-ridden in the midst of all this.

    • Avatar photo Jon Garvey says:

      Glad that chapter fits in, Merv. Couldn’t let Pete Harris down.

      It may be worth mentioning a counter-instance to your preColumbian example (so as to emphasise that the issue is the sin of humans in God’s image, not the ignorance of the savage, or even the savagery of the Uber-baconian scientist).

      I saw a documentary about some Amazonian Indians, who appear to have perished from imported disease soon after their first contact with Europeans, which showed how they had developed a sophisticated way of husbanding the poor rain-forest soils for agriculture which actually enhanced soil quality as they moved around – the opposite of slash and burn.

      • Avatar photo Merv Bitikofer says:

        Point well taken. In fact I only mentioned the “nature abuse” example for its exceptionality (at least in the modern cultural mind which (probably rightly) romanticizes native American harmony with nature). I don’t doubt that their respect for, and care-taking coexistence in nature largely shows up our western European concept of “stewardship” to be nearly non-existent. But sin, being the universal it is, casts its shadow over all, whether we are under Bacon’s smaller and yet deeper shadow or not.

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