Having trouble viewing…" />

July 23, 2014

Key Documents


Get the Newsletter

Newsletter Archives


Newsletter (April 25, 2012)

Having trouble viewing this newsletter in email? View online here.

Exchanging the Truth of God for a Lie:

Environmentalism’s Threat to the Creator/Creature Distinction, and How You Can Stand in the Gap with the Cornwall Alliance

by E. Calvin Beisner

[Dr. Beisner presented an abridged version of this talk at the Cornwall Alliance’s First Annual Fellowship Dinner April 20, 2012, in Falls Church, Virginia.]

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” That short sentence is the bedrock of the whole of Biblical faith. Grant it, and all else follows: God’s ownership of all things (“The earth is Jahweh’s, and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein, for he has founded it …”—Psalm 24:1–2), and thus His rule and judgment over all things (“Jahweh is our Judge, Jahweh is our Lawgiver, Jahweh is our King”—Isaiah 33:22), and His right to make of anything precisely what He wills (“Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honored use and another for dishonorable use?”—Romans 9:21).

God as Creator, the heavens and the Earth, and everything in them, as His creatures, under His rule and judgment—that is the starting point of Biblical faith and, because life follows from faith, of Biblical life.

Deny that, and all else falls—all else in faith, and all else in life. If God is not Creator of all, then He is not owner of all; He is not Judge, Lawgiver, or King over all; He has no right to make of anything what He wills; and no one, nothing, has any obligation to do as He wills. …

the doctrine of creation—and by that I mean the whole doctrine of creation, not just that God started everything but that He ordered and orders, ruled and rules, defined and defines everything—the doctrine of creation is the primary target of the forces of evil in our world. Tonight I want to talk to you about just two aspects of that doctrine—two, central, aspects.

Scripture speaks of the two together in one of its most important verses, Genesis 1:26. After having made the heavens and Earth and light, and after having brought order to them by dividing light from darkness and atmosphere from space and seas from dry land, and after having brought all manner of life into the Earth—marine life and land plants and birds and animals and creeping things, “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’”

That verse sets before us two great themes: the nature of man, and the calling of man. The next two verses unfold those themes, one at a time.

… Verse 27 majestically tells us the essence of man: he is a creature, the product of direct, intentional, divine action; he is the image of God; and he is male and female.

… verse 28: “And God blessed them. And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’” This verse reveals God’s mission for man, male and female. We are to multiply and fill the Earth; and, filling it, we are to subdue and rule it—not abuse it, but rule it as God does, enhancing its fruitfulness, safety, and beauty, to the glory of God and the benefit of our fellow men, thus fulfilling both of the Two Great Commandments, to love God and to love our neighbor. Human multiplication, and human rule over the Earth. These are the heart of this verse.

They are also the nemeses of environmentalism. As Darwinism robbed us of human dignity by attacking Genesis 1:27, environmentalism robs us of human dignity by attacking Genesis 1:28.

The Christian church stands today with regard to environmentalism where it stood a century ago with regard to Darwinism. At that time, some Christians strove valiantly, some were deceived, some were unaware, and some capitulated. Our response must be better. We must exercise a wise, courageous, powerful, spiritual warfare by which we restore the teaching of Genesis 1:27–28 while tearing down ideological strongholds, taking “every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4–5).

The Cornwall Alliance understands Satan’s strategy and stands in the gap. …

How do we respond? The Cornwall Alliance, a network of theologians, scientists, and economists, is the world’s foremost evangelical organization working to promote Biblical Earth stewardship, economic development for the poor, and the proclamation and defense of the gospel of Jesus Christ in the midst of a world permeated by secular and pagan environmentalism. Our sixty some scholars donate their time and expertise to help us expose and refute environmentalism’s poor science, poor economics, and policies that endanger liberty and prosperity.

How do we do this?

By educating policymakers … [and] the public …. [Read the rest and see how you can help.]

Scripture for the Week

Genesis 1:26–28 (ESV): “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’”

Cornwall in the News

When Does Helping Hurt? Celebrating ‘Earth Day’ to Death (Cornwall Alliance Research & Communications Specialist Douglas Gregory, Crosswalk.com, 4/24/12)
The Interfaith Moral Action on Climate, in a weeklong series of interfaith services and events hoping to inspire political action for climate change, asks the industrialized world to alter its entire economy to prevent global warming. But the means they prescribe would destroy what protects people not only from ecological disasters but also from poverty and the high rates of disease and premature death that accompany it. More people die in Africa in one year from malaria than from any hurricane, so what is man’s real risk? [More here, here, here, and here.]

Cornwall on the Road

Virginia Christian Leaders’ Breakfast Briefing to Address Concerns to Families at National and State Levels, Including Extreme Environmentalism

The Virginia Family Foundation will host a free breakfast briefing for Christian leaders Thursday, May 10, at Great Neck Baptist Church, 1020 General Jackson Drive, Virginia Beach, VA. Christian leaders and concerned citizens are invited.

Tim Goeglein, Focus on the Family Vice President of External Relations and former Director of the Office of Public Liaison with the Bush White House, will address major political threats to faith and family from within the Washington beltway and around the nation. Cornwall Alliance National Spokesman Dr. E. Calvin Beisner will discuss the economic, political, and spiritual threats of the “Green” movement to society, church, and family, particularly how it infiltrates evangelicalism in the “creation care” movement. Victoria Cobb, President of The Family Foundation, will address issues of particular concern to Virginia families. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., and the breakfast and program will run from 9 to 11 a.m. Sign up in advance at www.familyfoundation.org/cornwall. For more information, call Roger Pogge, 804-343-0010, or email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Judith Curry Expresses Concerns Over BEST Reports

Dr. Judith Curry of Georgia Tech discusses the BEST (Berkley Earth Surface Temperature) reports released this last November, which were touted as “the end to climate skepticism.” She objects to the reports’ supposed finality on climate change, emphasizing the lack of consensus on the contribution of man’s activities to warming trends, as well as future trends of warming.

Tips for Earth Stewards

Simple things you can do to make the earth more fruitful, beautiful, and safe.

Composting is fashionable in the creation care and environmentalist movements. Recycling food scraps and yard waste into soil prevents their going to waste. Between 30% and 70% of all waste is compostable, including human waste. There are two basic ways to compost: hot and cold. Composting has benefits, if you can use them, but also risks. Cold composting can take up to a year to produce poor soil containing unsafe microbes. Hot composting requires considerable labor but uses safer microbes. Both require nitrogen-based additives. Other ways of composting use pests, requiring safe containment. Composting can attract many pests, and its odors can nauseate people, making it unsuited to urban and suburban settings. It can provide rich nutrients for gardens and small farms, but it is only worth it with enough space and a large supply of waste. The labor-hours, let alone cost of materials, quickly exceed the price of fertilizer. In short, it is best on commercial scale.

Fun Facts for the Week

It’s Like Déjà Vu, All Over Again (William Yeatman, GlobalWarming.org, 3/22/12)
The same predictions for renewable power have been made for more than 30 years, and yet they keep falling flat. The first image is of the March 22, 2012, headline for Energy & Environment News; the second is of a headline from The Wall Street Journal in 1978.

Thirty-four years ago WSJ published a prediction that by 2000 solar would account for 20 percent of U.S. energy needs. Today, twelve years past the predicted date, solar accounts for 8 hundredths of 1 percent—less than 1/250th the prediction in WSJ. What should we make of E&E News’s new prediction that in 20 years solar will contribute 10%–15% of global power?

Recent Significant Developments

Economics & Energy

“Greenbacks” Energy Boondoggle Versus Real Energy (Paul Driessen, Eurasian Review, 4/14/12)
The Obama administration has pushed to have the “production tax-credit” (PTC), a recently extinguished tax credit that paid wind energy producers even if they weren’t contributing to energy markets, reinstated. “The American people are no longer buying the partisan rhetoric. They increasingly understand that new taxes and restrictions on oil companies are not in their best interest. In fact … over 80% of US voters support increased domestic oil and gas production.” Support for “Green” initiatives is waning.

UK Has Vast Shale Gas Reserves, Geologists Say (Henning Gloyststein & Christopher Johnson, Reuters, 4/17/12)
“UK offshore reserves of shale gas could exceed one thousand trillion cubic feet … or five times the latest estimate of onshore shale gas of 200 trillion cubic feet.” This amount of natural gas could allow Britain to be an exporter of energy, powering its economy, if the British people can get their government to allow it. The government is slowly yielding to pressure to allow more drilling. [More here.]

Religion & Ethics

Rise in Scientific Journal Retractions Prompts Call for Reform (Carl Zimmer, New York Times, 4/16/12)
In the past decade retractions in scientific journals have increased tenfold, while published articles have only increased 44%. Why? Fierce academic competition pressures scientists to publish, even if data aren’t complete or hypotheses are weak. There is more to it, though. “Dr. Ness likens scientists today to small-business owners, rather than people trying to satisfy their curiosity about how the world works. ‘You’re marketing and selling to other scientists,’ she said.” The poor climate of scientific research requires that your science be tailored to some interest, as opposed to pure research and testing.

FREE Announces Three Environment Conferences for Religious Leaders
The Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment (FREE) will host three environmental conferences for religious leaders this summer:
  • Faith, the Economy, & Social Justice: Lessons from Butte, America—at Gallatin Gateway, MT. The conference is designed around economic and environmental justice.
  • Stewardship Parables from Greater Yellowstone—at Gallatin Gateway, MT. The conference emphasizes environmental stewardship.
  • Explorations in Social Entrepreneurship—at Elkhorn Ranch, Gallatin Canyon, MT. The conference focuses on developing entrepreneurial visions for environmental improvement.
For more information, visit FREE online at www.free-eco.org.

Law, Regulation, & Litigation

The EPA’s Fracking Miracle (The Wall Street Journal, 4/20/12)
“The Environmental Protection Agency once again invited itself to do tangible economic harm—this time to the hydraulic fracturing that is transforming American energy—and somehow … it didn't. In the annals of the unlikely, the EPA's new fracking rules fall somewhere between a Nobel Peace Prize for George W. Bush and a supply-side tax plan from Warren Buffett.” [See the rule here.] EPA’s lack of self-restraint caused what Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) called “the lost energy decade.” Related item here.

Mercury and Air Toxics Standard Takes Effect amid Mounting Legal Pushback (Power Magazine, 4/19/12)
“The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) final Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) quietly took effect on [April 16], kicking off the three-year compliance period mandated under the Clean Air Act…. MATS applies to electric generating units larger than 25 MW that burn coal or oil to generate power for sale and distribution through the national electric grid…. Under the rule, about 1,400 units at about 600 power plants … will be required to reduce emissions of heavy metals … but about 40% of coal-fired units covered by the rule still don’t use advanced controls.” About half of all states are challenging the rule due to the enormous cost and limited health benefits.

Politics & Debate

Parliament Shoots Down Commission’s Energy Tax Plan (Euractiv.com, 4/20/12)
Emerging energy-hungry nations like Poland are rejecting energy-austerity recommendations from the European Parliament. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin warns that coming competition from shale gas drilling across the world, especially in the United States, threatens Russia’s oil exports. More here.

Shift on Executive Power Lets Obama Bypass Rivals (Charlie Savage, New York Times, 4/22/12)
President Obama fights for increased executive power to act without Congressional approval, arguing that America cannot wait on the ineffective legislation of a divided Congress. His unilateral rule affects every issue, especially energy. Conflict over the Keystone XL pipeline has caused tension between the White House and Congress, especially in light of President Obama’s declining support on delaying it.

Food & Agriculture

Effects of Elevated CO2 on Growth Rates of Three Coccolithophores (Fiorini, S et al., Non-governmental International Panel on Climate Change, 3/27/12)
“The growth rates of three coccolithophores [algaes] were measured by Fiorini et al. (2011) in laboratory batch cultures in both their haploid [one set of genetic material, reproductive] and diploid [two-sets of genetic material, budding] life stages, while they were growing in filtered seawater maintained in equilibrium with air containing either 400 or 760 ppm [carbon dioxide]. ‘the growth rate was consistently higher at elevated pCO2.’” Similar results were found with Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae), which provide most of the worlds oxygen production.

Science & Ecology

Astronauts condemn NASA’s global warming endorsement (Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner, 4/10/12)
“In an unprecedented slap at NASA’s endorsement of global warming science, nearly 50 former astronauts and scientists--including the ex-boss of the Johnson Space Center--claim the agency is on the wrong side of science and must change course or ruin the reputation of the world’s top space agency.” Read the open letter here.

Proof that “Climate Disruption” Is Found All the Way Back to Pre-Industrial Times (Anthony Watts, WattsUpWithThat.com, 4/10/12)
A new paper in Quaternary Science Reviews … demonstrates that there is evidence for extreme weather during both the Medieval Warming Period and the Little Ice Age, in fact it was seen as common according to the tree ring records examined.“ Paper here.

“Gaia” Scientist James Lovelock: I Was “Alarmist” About Climate Change (Ian Johnson, MSNBC.com, 4/23/12)
James Lovelock, the scientist who first promoted the “Gaia hypothesis”(that the Earth should be thought of as a single organism), has admitted that the globe is not warming as fast as he once feared. He admits that in the last twenty years climate disasters have not played out according to prediction, meaning global warming alarmists were wrong.

Resisting the Green Dragon

Order Resisting the Green Dragon for Church, School, or Small Group

More and more churches and other groups are using Cornwall Alliance’s groundbreaking 13-part video series around the country. With its printable discussion guide, it provides full curriculum for a Sunday school quarter. The accompanying book helps teachers and others dig deeper.

Join Cornwall Alliance Facebook Group Page

To keep up with relevant developments, join Cornwall Alliance’s Facebook Group page, where we and group members will post and discuss items daily.

Recommended Sites and Newsletters

E. Calvin Beisner, Ph.D., Founder and National Spokesman
Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation

Information in this newsletter is for scholarly and educational use only and may not be copied or reproduced for any other purposes without prior permission of the copyright holders.