The Bible “Goes Green.”

Creation Care, Culture — By on December 8, 2008 at 1:21 pm

David Nilsen of the A-Team blog, a blog that is always interesting and well worth adding to your regular reads, has introduced us to the “Green Bible.” If your Jesus Junk alarm just went off, it is for good reason. The Word is complex, it is rich, and it is deep. As David reminds us in his post, oversimplifying the scriptures to give us one perspective can be dangerous:

Scripture purposefully makes use of many different genres (and different themes!) to convey the Gospel message in the most comprehensive way possible. A Bible that goes out of its way to draw attention to only a single theme can have the unfortunate side effect of obscuring the Gospel message itself.

Gimmicky is a great adjective to describe most themed Bibles. However, the problem of the Green Bible is not that it is gimmicky, rather the problem is that it could lead to heresy. The Green Bible perverts Scriptures to promote the Gospel of Green:

“[From the Green Bible Quiz] 4) Where did Jesus go to commune with nature?”
(It’s been said before, but it bears repeating here: Jesus was not a hippy). The answer to this question is apparently found in Matthew 4:23 [sic], “And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray.” Seriously, are the people responsible for the green “bible” actually reading it? Jesus didn’t go up the mountain to commune with nature! He went up to pray (literally, to commune with God!). Stretching the meaning of a verse to make a point is one thing. Butchering a verse and literally replacing God with nature…that’s a whole new ballgame.

David’s critique of the Green Bible is precise and insightful. I recommend you read the rest of his post here.


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  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Wake me up when something interesting happens.

  • Godbot

    Yawn. Still. And again.

  • ucfengr

    Wake me up when something interesting happens.
    I am sure there are a bazillion or so blogs out there where there might be something of interest to you. Why not go find one and spare the rest of us your mindless disagreeableness?

  • james p

    Boonton,
    I don’t want to get into the middle of another pointless squabble, but ucfengr has a good point. If you disagree with something in this post (or the one being linked to) and wish to comment, that’s fine. But what could possibly be the constructive point of your comment here? Frankly, if you’re bored, no one here cares. And you only waste our time. I shouldn’t have even responded to you at all, since I’m sure you just like (need?) the attention, but I find myself genuinely curious as to whether or not you had some constructive motivation (or even a coherent thought) motivating you when you posted your comment, or if you’re just a pest.
    It might be different if you made thoughtful comments the majority of the time, in which case no one would begrudge you a little joke every once in a while. But since you’re rarely thoughtful or constructive, you don’t really have the right.
    Regards,
    James.

  • Penny

    Of course the Bible is “green”. It is a living breathing word of God and will be relevant no matter what trends are taking place.
    Don’t forget that Jesus and the apostles pretty much walked everywhere, or rode donkeys if it was more than a few blocks. They weren’t polluters. Plus, if you look at the Last Supper photos you can see that there aren’t any plastic silverware or even paper plates. All the food was organic too. I think the Dead Sea scrolls mention that Judas ordered a hard boiled egg and you can bet that it was laid by a free range chicken.

  • ucfengr

    Don’t forget that Jesus and the apostles pretty much walked everywhere, or rode donkeys if it was more than a few blocks. They weren’t polluters.
    I love how a donkey or a person using organic compounds to generate work, heat, and waste products is non-polluting, but an engine doing the same thing (oil is an organic compound), only more efficiently is polluting. Such is the state of science education. I remember on a trip to Williamsburg, Thomas Jefferson once described the main thoroughfare as a mile long, a mile wide, and a foot deep. Can you guess what the foot was?
    Plus, if you look at the Last Supper photos you can see that there aren’t any plastic silverware or even paper plates.
    You also weren’t any antibiotics or iv tubing to administer the antibiotics, artificial joints, or even hospitals. You also wouldn’t see computers, cell phones, or TVs. Oh, and the average life expectancy was like 30-something, infant mortality rates were 25-30%, and one of the top killers of women was child-birth. And, something like 90% of the people worked in some sort of agriculture. Gee, that sounds like a much better time to live.

  • http://ateam.blogware.com/ David N.

    ucfengr,
    I think Penny’s comment was meant to be sarcastic (I couldn’t tell from your response if you recognized that, so I’m just making sure you did).
    Penny,
    You pretty much captured my attitude on the subject. Very funny.

  • Drew I.

    Bahahahah, not sure which is funnier: Penny’s post or ucfengr’s response.

  • ucfengr

    I think Penny’s comment was meant to be sarcastic
    Go through the archives and read some of Penny’s prior posts. You will likely find that there is no reason to assume her post is meant to be facetious.

  • Penny

    You also weren’t any antibiotics or iv tubing to administer the antibiotics, artificial joints, or even hospitals. You also wouldn’t see computers, cell phones, or TVs. Oh, and the average life expectancy was like 30-something, infant mortality rates were 25-30%, and one of the top killers of women was child-birth. And, something like 90% of the people worked in some sort of agriculture. Gee, that sounds like a much better time to live.
    But also we didn’t have to deal with gays being married and scientists using junk science like global warming and Darwinism to turn people away from God. People might not have lived as long (except for lucky people like Methuselah!) but their lives were intensely focused on prayer and worship because they didn’t expect to live long. We’ve lost that in our present materialist society. Now people spend half their lives watching pornography on the Internet and trying to develop arguments that monkeys have human rights. Nobody did such things 2000 years ago.

  • ucfengr

    People might not have lived as long (except for lucky people like Methuselah!) but their lives were intensely focused on prayer and worship because they didn’t expect to live long.
    I imagine they were rather more focused on growing or gathering enough food to last until the next harvest and hoping barbarians, or worse Roman soldiers, didn’t raid their village. It’s nice to imagine a “Rousseau-ian” existence, but I suspect it was quite a bit more “Hobbes-ian”.

  • http://ateam.blogware.com/ David N.

    ucfengr,
    It seems you were right, Penny has nothing important to say, he’s only interested in sarcasm. So I would advise you to simply ignore him, it’s not worth your time.
    (That said, his first comment still captures how ridiculous the Green Bible is, so I guess he isn’t completely useless).

  • Penny

    David, I am an old-fashioned woman and can’t remember the last time I wore pants.

  • ucfengr

    It seems you were right, Penny has nothing important to say, he’s only interested in sarcasm.
    I didn’t say that, I only meant to imply that here views are a bit more “extreme” than mine.

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  • http://inchristus.wordpress.com Paul

    A “Green” edition of Scripture is certainly not a bad idea. After all, there are men and women editions, teen editions, charismatic editions.

  • dede

    I don’t see the problem. These are quotes from the bible talking about respecting nature. Why is that wrong? If that’s what’s in the book, suck it up and do what the Good Lord commands. Are you a Christian or aren’t you?

  • http://lifeatthewellspring.com Lois Tverberg

    For thousands of years, Jewish culture has understood conservation as an act of reverence for God. They understand Deuteronomy 20:19 as a prohibition against needlessly destroying creation:
    “When you lay siege and battle against a city for a long time in order to capture it, you must not destroy its trees, wielding an ax against them. You may eat of them, but you must not cut them down. Are the trees of the field people, that you should besiege them?” (Dt. 20:19)
    I wrote a blog about this called “Would Jesus Go Green?” at http://lifeatthewellspring.com/2008/04/05/would-jesus-go-green/.
    Lois Tverberg

  • http://www.GodMakesSense.com Keith A Raney

    Good article – gimmicky is a good term to describe what is often seen from theme based Bibles. What concerns me is the risk of hijacking the scriptures for personal agenda. The scripture is to guide us, not for us to guide into our preconceived way of thinking.

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  • Christine

    I agree that the gospel shouldn’t be put into its simplest forms because it strays from the depth of the bible’s meaning. The bible can not be spiritually interpreted properly if it is further broken down into themed text (this lessens the quality of the gospel). I do have to say that people can protect the earth without straying from the mission of spreading the word of God. If those who believe God created this earth then it is their rightful duty to protect it. People have been disrespecting God’s creation by abusing its resources, animals and air. This world has unfortunately become to be greedy, synthetic and chaotic. If people find a spiritual connection with nature then they should further follow it if it makes them feel closeness to God.

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    That said, his first comment still captures how ridiculous the Green Bible is, so I guess he isn’t completely useless

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    If those who believe God created this earth then it is their rightful duty to protect it. People have been disrespecting God’s creation by abusing its resources, animals and air.

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    That said, his first comment still captures how ridiculous the Green Bible is, so I guess he isn’t completely useless

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    I agree that the gospel shouldn’t be put into its simplest forms because it strays from the depth of the bible’s meaning. The bible can not be spiritually interpreted properly

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