All posts by Ed Brown

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood – but we missed it

Aldrin on the moon (NASA photo)
Aldrin on the moon (NASA photo)

First published on July 20, 2009, the anniversary of the first moon landing.  5 years since I wrote, 45 years now since the event, the lessons are still relevant, I think:

Today marks 40 years since Neil Armstrong and ‘Buzz’ Aldrin stepped out of the Eagle Lunar Lander and walked on the moon.  It was a day of history – many of those my age remember it well.  The event culminated a decade of technical effort and nationalistic fervor – the ‘space race’ was one important aspect of politics in the 1960′s, a period of time  remembered more for other events (wars and assassinations come to mind).

Politics and possibly misguided nationalism aside, there is no question that the achievement was real and historically significant.  ‘Unprecedented’ hardly covers it.  For the first time a human being had escaped the gravity and atmosphere of our home planet and set foot on solid ground ‘in space’.

What we did is clear enough.  But what did it mean?  What does it mean today? Continue reading

Old Literature – but surprisingly relevant

Our environmental problems aren’t quite as new as we sometimes think they are.  Here, some lessons from an old, old poem:  (Originally published Jan 7, 2009)

A good friend, who doesn’t think himself an intellectual but who in fact is one of the best-read people in my life, sent me two different pieces over the last couple of months, both of which qualify as being old, if not ancient.  But which both speak volumes to our present environmental predicament:

Today, a poem that is at least 150 years old:

God’s Grandeur

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.

“the grandeur of God”

It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man’s smudge |&| shares man’s smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

Continue reading

What’s in a calling?

Can you be “called” to environmental work?  It took me almost 10 years working in the creation care movement to discover a person who should have been one of my first heroes, Sigurd Olsen, and who was, he believed, “called” from missions to care for God’s creation.  Maybe he’s new to you, too?  [Originally published Feb 9, 2009]

I recently spent almost two weeks in the Library of Congress, discovering some new heros to add to my collection. One of the names that kept appearing was that of Sigurd Olson. Previously unknown to me (and I suspect to many others today), he was a genuine hero of the wilderness movement in the early 20th Century. Among his writings are Singing Wilderness and Listening Point, both written in the first half of the last century. Continue reading

The mysteries of power…

One of our favorite posts, originally published Jan 15, 2009:

I’m writing this in – actually near – Washington DC, arguably the most “powerful” city in our contemporary world.  It is both the seat of government of what is, for now, the lone superpower on earth.  The city and its surrounding communities are therefore inhabited by people who are powerful because their hands are on the levers of government.  And by many more who influence, or at least who are seeking to influence the former group.

Watching this city go through a power-transition, I’ve made several observations:

Continue reading

The Our Father’s World blog is coming back…

Our blog has been on about a nine-month sabbatical as other ministry and organizational obligations, including kicking off the three-year Lausanne Creation Care and the Gospel global campaign last March, kept us from the task (and joy!) of writing.

But we’re coming back.  Starting the first week of September, we expect to be publishing at least three posts each week under multiple authorship.  I (Ed Brown) will bring one post a week, Brittany Ederer, Care of Creation Special Projects Coordinator, will do another, and we’ll also have periodic contributions from Andrea Ebley, our Church Outreach Coordinator and Kermit Hovey, our Director of Operations and Development.

In the meantime, we’re going to republish some of our favorites from the first three years of the blog.  We hope you enjoy, are blessed or perhaps occasionally disturbed, and that you’ll join in the conversation with us either on these pages or on Facebook or Twitter.

Missionaries Changed the World Once – Can they do it again?

This is article is a repost from InterVarsity’s Emerging Scholar’s Blog.  Thanks to Tom Grosh for permission to cross-post.

The topic of a recent cover story in Christianity Today is shaking up not only the world of missions, but also academia. The World the Missionaries Made is a report on the work of Robert Woodberry, a sociologist currently researching at the Political Science Department of the National University of Singapore. CT’s Executive Editor Andy Crouch calls it the CT cover story of which he is most proud. Its thesis and Woodberry’s work support a remarkable conclusion – that a generation of “conversionary protestant missionaries” (see note) laid a foundation for democracy around the world. Continue reading