McLaren Encourages Creation Care on Earth Day

Brian McLaren

Chapel address focuses on economic recovery and environmental stewardship

CHICAGO (April 24, 2009) – Returning to the economy of 2005 would be a mistake of epic proportions, Brian McLaren told students at North Park University during a chapel service on Wednesday morning.

"Everybody’s talking about recovery, and by recovery they mean, ‘How can we get back to the good old days of 2005?’” McLaren said. "The worst thing that could happen would be to get back to where we were in 2005.”

Society needs to think of recovery in the same way that an addict does, explained McLaren, an author, speaker, and former pastor who was named one of the nation’s 25 most influential evangelicals by TIME magazine. “Recovery means you hit bottom, you realize that our way of living is insane and unsustainable, and you have a complete change where you want to be restored from the insanity of what you are doing.”   

The insanity has included, “using hate to battle hate, violence to cure violence . . . greed to cure greed,” etc., McLaren expounded. He also criticized efforts to build an economy on actions that are devastating to the environment.

“It is a heresy, and it is a sin, and it’s stupid on top of it, to be part of an economy that sets only one bottom line—a bottom line of profit,” McLaren said. Rather, Christians living out their identity in Christ should work toward an economy and a bottom line that includes social, economic, and environmental good. “Nothing is good unless it contributes to those three.”

In keeping with the worldwide celebration of Earth Day, McLaren exhorted students to greater involvement. He suggested four commitments for students to make for the rest of their lives: 1) Know their “environmental address”—the ecology of where they live; 2) Choose one endangered species and its ecosystem for lifelong awareness and action; 3) Advocate for creation; 4) Integrate their spirituality with ecology.

McLaren reminded students, “Every time you turn around and have eyes to see and ears to hear, you are surrounded by burning bushes that show the glory and handiwork of God.”

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