God’s Good Earth – Conclusion

Here is a link to the short conclusion of my book, which completes the posting on The Hump.Thanks to those who’ve stuck with it, and especially those who have posted supportive and/or intelligent comments!

I’m going to be taking a week’s break, enjoying another part of the Lord’s Creation, after which I aim to post an orderly set of links to the pdfs on a separate page here, for easy reference to God’s Good Earth in future.

Who knows, a few other people may even get round to reading it…

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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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15 Responses to God’s Good Earth – Conclusion

  1. Avatar photo Merv Bitikofer says:

    I have enjoyed reading and benefited from reading your work, Jon. Thanks for making it available this way.

    This conclusion prompted me to think about our recent cultural conditioning and how that may have contributed much to nurture our critical attitudes towards creation.

    Advertisement conditions us to feel deprivation in the absence of the product advertised. And the collective effect, then, of these ubiquitous commercial bombardments is to cultivate in us a virtually unquestioned, and even self-sustained mindset of want on nearly every front. Aches and pains are not to be tolerated we are told by the pharmaceutical industry. Bland food is an abomination we are told by a culture pushing near-constant delicacies. Having to share living space (much less entertainment choices) with family (or God-forbid –wider friends or community) is a woeful abdication of personal autonomy we are told by electronic industries that handily have devices for each of us to have to ourselves, streaming whatever amusements we personally have a hankering for.

    It’s like giving plates full of candy to young children and then wondering why they may turn their noses up at more substantial (but less titillating) fare.

    It isn’t that God’s creation can’t compete. It’s that we have been conditioned to go on the steady candy diets, and then become accustomed to needing to pharmaceutically attend to all the resulting tummy aches while convincing ourselves that the problem must be with creation, since it couldn’t be us.

    • Avatar photo Jon Garvey says:

      Thanks for your appreciation and these thoughts, Merv.

      Strangely enough, just five minutes ago I was munching my bland, but substantial, breakfast Weetabix and comparing it with the TV “Masterchef” competition I was watching last night, in which they were preparing tasty, but tiny, versions of Eggs Benedict with caviare, oxtail stew with truffles and ice cream made with bee pollen. I couldn’t help thinking of Roman equestrians scoffing larks tongues in aspic.

      A garbled quote from a Rev Gary Davis song seems relevant:

      White man use that Porthouse steak
      Brown skin do the same
      Yellow girl use that [unintelligible – and probably inedible]
      She says, “It’s eatin’ just the same.”

      Not a few philosophers have said words to the effect that here are two ways to have enough: the first is to get more and more, and the second is to want less and less…

      … I wrote, having just purchased a whole bunch of electronic gear for the new band. Sigh.

  2. Avatar photo Merv Bitikofer says:

    That is a collective, echoed sigh from all across our lands … because of course, I’m wrote that on a laptop while wife and son were both engaged in front of their own screens.

    A respected man at my church is fond of saying: “never let the perfect be the enemy of the good”. So maybe recognition of the problem is still a good step even while we all remain embroiled in it.

    • Avatar photo Merv Bitikofer says:

      p.s. my bland breakfast bran flakes usually get sweetened up with a fair topping of granola, and I take self-righteous pleasure in comparing my habits with the next person over who dispenses with appearances and just heaps refined sugar on their cereal (or else just indulges in froot loops — which were part of my own yesterday’s breakfast –I have a cousin who casts a worried glance at that word ‘froot’ and asks “what the heck is ‘froot’ supposed to be anyway?”) So the trick to salving your conscience is to find some poor saps whose choices look even worse than your own, and only compare yourself to them.

      • Avatar photo Jon Garvey says:


        Staying at a B&B somewhere in New England (the only time I’ve heard a wild wolf howling) there was a choice of (non-kid’s-stuff) breakfast cerials, including “grits”, with which I was familiar through my reading of American pioneering days (or perhaps hearing the Beach Boys sing “Sloop John B”).

        The Americans present recommended me highly not to try them – indeed, I prefer Weetabix.

  3. Avatar photo Merv Bitikofer says:

    “The Americans present recommended me highly not to try them – indeed, I prefer Weetabix.”

    Probably a sound choice. I never developed a taste for them myself — not that I’ve made much effort. That’s more a prized breakfast staple in the south, with Kansas here being mostly north of that edge.

    I had never heard of “Weetabix” before your mention, though a quick web perusal shows me the U.S. has it too — just not in our local stores here I guess. Or not that I ever noticed anyway. A typical American grocery store has a whole isle devoted to breakfast cereals.

    It reminds me of <a href="https://www.google.com/search?q=Calvin%27s+dad+peanut+butter&client=ubuntu&hs=JGq&channel=fs&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjVtpKT5MjMAhUS5mMKHZ-3AYMQ7AkIJw&biw=1024&bih=618#imgrc=EA3E7epwHhkhiM%3A"this Calvin and Hobbes cartoon featuring Calvin’s dad in the grocery store.

  4. Avatar photo Merv Bitikofer says:

    wow — sorry about the botched link. think it still works though.

  5. Avatar photo Jon Garvey says:

    Merv – I wouldn’t have laid the mystery that old British staple Weetabix on you had I not just been tucking into it! As indeed I have just now – a creature of habit. Avoiding important decisions this early in the morning is one reason I retired…

    Like the cartoons. If you fancy a similar message in musical form, here’s another English institution commenting.

  6. Avatar photo Merv Bitikofer says:

    Great song! He’ll have to update a thing or two now … from “fifty channels” to more like “five hundred” channels from what I hear. We don’t even watch TV in the traditional sense any more. We just stream whatever it is we want to watch (when we want to watch it) over the internet. I still remember the days not so long ago, though, when we would wait for the day of the week that some favorite show would come on, and make it a point to be home to watch it or else to tape it for watching later.

    Hope the day was a good Weetabix day for you. Merv out.

  7. Avatar photo Edward Robinson says:

    Funny, Jon; I had some Weetabix this morning, too! Maybe we should consider making Weetabix the Official Cereal of “Classical Providential Naturalism.”

    This leads me into very deep and important speculations, such as, what cereals do YECs, OECs, ID folks, and TE/ECs eat?

    Since many TE/EC folks seem to operate with an incurably soft and sentimental view of God and his actions and purposes, I would guess that on the whole they favor sweetened cereals.

    On the other hand, OECs, with their acceptance of death before the Fall and their less sentimental view of the divine nature, probably eat tough-to-chew “real man’s” cereals such as the various versions of shredded wheat, or crunchy granolas without any artificial sweetening.

    As for the atheist crowd, I imagine that many of them, in their downtown cosmopolitanism, sneer at the suburban idea of a breakfast cereal, and eat croissants or bagels with cream cheese instead. (Probably with their coffee black, to show that they can face the purposelessness of nature without the comforts of cream and sugar.)

    All these inferences, it seems to me, are absolutely sound, as sound as the sure and certain scientific inference that unguided and unplanned events can produce human beings from water and carbon dioxide and ammonia molecules.

  8. Avatar photo Jon Garvey says:


    Have just finished the pack of Weetabix, and we’re off on holiday this morning. Who knows what strange regional cerials I’ll be eating this week – the holiday cottages tend to leave a nice healthy bag of muesli (and a bottle of wine!).

    If so, expect a very different slant on the origins question from me next week in accordance with your theory … not, not a theory, a FACT.

    More verbal diarrhoea, perhaps?

  9. Avatar photo Sy Garte says:

    If I might depart from the serious topic of cereal, I would like to say something about this serial set of posts. Here it is:


    Thank you

  10. Avatar photo Edward Robinson says:

    I second Sy’s motion!

  11. Avatar photo GD says:

    I cannot resist this – I do not indulge in “Weetabix” (I eat a well balanced cereal with lots of good fibre), so I am at a loss to understand why I feel this way about some chaps at BioLogos. Perhaps someone can “lead” me to their “understanding”?

    I have not as yet read it all Jon, but high marks for the approach and (gasp) the patience to continue.

    • Avatar photo Jon Garvey says:


      Weetabix is, in fact, 95% whole grain, only 4.4% sugar and has 10% fibre. And it’s entirely consistent with CPN, so I’ll go with Eddie’s suggestion regarding official endorsement – though being on holiday in the wilds this week I’ve been tucking into health-food muesli.

      Thanks all, for the endorsement of GGE – all I need now is a friendly publisher. A pity Weetabix Ltd don’t do science and theology publishing…

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