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 →
John Stott’s going-home-to-glory was announced yesterday. I wrote the piece below last September, but the thoughts are just as valid if not more so now. If you haven’t read Uncle John’s farewell message to all of us, please do so. There’s a link at the bottom of the post.
There are few leaders in the Christian world greater than John Stott. I first heard him preach at Urbana 1970 – forty years ago, when I was a senior in high school. [You can read the actual talks here - I don't think the recordings are available on-line.] I’ve followed his ministry career ever since, though almost always from a distance – we shook hands perhaps twice or three times, but my memory fades a bit at this point. John is now at the end of his life, though he has not yet ended his service to the church and her Lord. He has written one last book that is intended to be his farewell to those of us still here – and you need to read it. Continue reading →
Flourish Online Magazine has been running a feature celebrating the 30th anniversary of the publication of Wendell Berry’s essay, “The Gift of Good Land”. This essay draws lessons on “ecological and agricultural responsibility” not from Genesis 1 or 2 or even Romans 8, but from the Old Testament story of God’s gift of the Promised Land to Abraham and his descendants: “a divine gift to a fallen people.” And that certainly applies to us, doesn’t it?
Read the essay here, and comments from many leaders in the field of creation care here. Below is my contribution to this collection…
On being introduced to the world of Christian environmental stewardship about ten years ago, I found early on that I had a lot of catching up to do. Wendell Berry was one of the authors I was directed to who has taught and continues to teach me. Evidently, this is true of many of my colleagues as well. It is a privilege to be counted among those who have sat at Wendell’s feet and learned from him, and I am sure I am not the only one who wishes that that learning could have been in person rather than through the pages of his books. Continue reading →
Regular readers are aware of my habit of collecting interesting conversations – usually on airplanes – and using these to draw out observations and occasionally conclusions about the state of the creation care effort as it relates to ordinary people.
Keeping in mind that we’re dealing with anecdotes, not data, there are still useful things that can be learned from talking with ordinary people. This month’s candidates are a business college Dean and an automotive company executive, and I want to say at the start that I plunged in hoping to learn from them. As far as I was concerned, they were experts. Continue reading →
No, you don’t remember him. It would be quite surprising if you’d ever heard of him, unless you are one of the dwindling number of genuine ‘cabinet makers’ in the world today. I hadn’t heard of him either – but his obituary in the New York Times this week makes me wish I had known him. Continue reading →
Not long ago I flew from Madison WI to Hartford CT for a speaking tour, and returned by the same route 10 days later. Two flights each direction (Madison to Detroit, Detroit to Hartford) yielded a total of four seatmates, the aforementioned engineer, priest, airline pilot and salesman, and four very interesting conversations.