burning bibles/wasting nature

March 13, 2009

I come from a Reformed background. OK, so I’ve opened myself up to many other church traditions, and learn from them, but I find depth in my own tradition as well. It’s a more dinamic relationship with tradition I guess, where tradition is challenged, and sometimes it humbles us with the wisdom that we find in response to the our challenge. Anyhow, not the point, the point is rather that some parts of our tradition is gaining meaning which I want to point to.

We reformed folks talk about two books in which we learn about God: The book of nature and the Bible. Yeah, we obviously link back to Paul (Romans 1) when saying this. Paul said that we learn about God in nature.

burning_bookBut what then if we mess up nature? Is that like burning Bibles? Maybe worse, cause Bibles we just print again. Is it like  somehow getting rid of all copies of the gospel according to Mark… forever?

I’m not totally insane am I?

I remember a conversation where we once played around with what prophets would do in our day. Remember the symbolic things prophets did in the Old Testament? Marrying a prostetute. Walking around naked. Carrying around joke. What would prophets have done today?

Well, maybe they would have took a heap of Bibles to church and burned them on a Sunday morning, as a symbol for how we are burning the book of nature, God’s revelation…

Maybe I’m just insane or losing it. What do you think?

6 Responses to “burning bibles/wasting nature”


  1. Very thought-provoking. Burning Bibles could be especially apt since one rationale for Christians disregarding the conservation movement is the traditional reading of 2 Peter 3:10 which prophesies the “burning up” of the earth and all that is in it.

    If only more Christian cultures would move on from this probable mistranslation, and cultivate a love of creation such as revealed in Job, the Psalms, the Gospels even. “Reading” the wonders of God’s creativity by solving Fermat’s last theorem, or cataloguing the diversity of beetles in the Amazon, or untangling the relationships among the world’s languages – surely such things are part of man’s worship of his Creator, alongside the more pressing call to care for our neighbour? And of course, treading lightly in the natural world is becoming increasingly tied up with caring for our global neighbours, as the poor tend to suffer the most from climate change.

  2. Nico Says:

    Two thoughts:
    1. The danger of Traditions – Mark 7:7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
    8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.
    9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.

    2. The fallacy of the two books – Nature just shows us the work of a supreme intelligent, mighty and eternal entity. It is impossible to know who the supreme intelligent, mighty and eternal one is by studying ‘nature’ alone you have to study it in the light of the Bible.

    “Maybe I’m just insane or losing it. What do you think?” I think so, yes.

  3. cobus Says:

    Nico. Reformed theology would say that obviously you have to study both books, can’t study nature alone, but can’t ignore nature either.


  4. […] burning bibles/wasting nature […]


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