Guests: and

Having explored creation from several perspectives thus far in this set of lessons, we are now in a position to catch our breath for a moment and reflect on what our faith in God as creator means as we experience the world around us. We will cover a wide range of issues we must discuss and responses we must consider making.

Relevant Biblical Passages:

Ps 19:1-6 — creation hymn celebrating God’s power and provision
Ps 33:1-9 — creation hymn celebrating God’s voicing the world into existence
Ps 104 — creation hymn celebrating God’s creation and provision for the created order
Matt 6:25-33; Luke 12:22-31 — Jesus’ call to faith in light of natural examples of God’s care
Heb 11:1-3 — call to faith in the creator

Issues for Discussion

A number of dimensions surrounding God in nature jump out in front of us, not letting us bypass them. In the context of each of the categories noted below, reflect on what it means to understand, appreciate and respond to them:

— ancient vs. modern perspectives about nature

God’s role in natural phenomena like droughts, storms, rainfall, the dry season (in other words, how do ancient perspectives attribute divine activity to what we have studied and know from the study of meteorology?)
How many of the questions in Job 38-42 can we now answer?
— academic, intellectual issues about nature and God

— pedagogical lessons

What can nature teach us about ourselves and our worship of God?
— emotive, aesthetic, devotional, spiritual, doxological dimensions

Think of experiences in nature during which these kinds of responses came naturally.
— nurturing, therapeutic values

In what ways does nature and natural settings promote healing? Are there aspects of nature which generate the opposite kinds of responses?
— ethical

Do Christians have any ethical or moral responses to nature because of their perspectives on God’s role in the natural world? What would these include?

What Difference Does it Make?

What differences would characterize the Christian’s attitudes toward and responses to nature and that of someone who did not believe in God?

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