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Calvin B. DeWitt. DOXOLOGY Creation is a symphony of material and life cycles empowered by Earth's star the sun, whose energy drives global circulations.

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Presentation on theme: "Calvin B. DeWitt. DOXOLOGY Creation is a symphony of material and life cycles empowered by Earth's star the sun, whose energy drives global circulations."— Presentation transcript:

1 Calvin B. DeWitt

2 DOXOLOGY Creation is a symphony of material and life cycles empowered by Earth's star the sun, whose energy drives global circulations of air and water —flows shaped by unequal heating and varied topography of land above and below the sea. Solar energy captured by green plants fuels molecule-to-molecule & organism- to-organism transfers —helping to weave Earth’s integrative biogeographic and trophic fabric that interlaces all life. “Glorify the Lord with Me.” Psalm 34:3 (NIV)

3 DOXOLOGY Praise God for the myriad gifts, provisions, and services God grants in Creation and Providence! Among many more of these is the great gift of Ability to Learn from God’s Creation & Ability to Learn from God’s Word. ---a gift not of mere learning but inspired learning, through the working of the Holy Spirit within us. We learn and are taught by God’s World and God’s Word. We are gifted with ability to learn and understand both, coherently within each, and between each.

4 DOXOLOGY Christianity and the ideas that lay behind it is a religion and a philosophy of creation It is preoccupied with the Creator, with the things he created and their relationships to him and among themselves ---Clarence J. Glacken, 1967, p. 168.

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6 Faith: Incorporates what we believe about the world in which we live. What we believe about ourselves and the world relates strongly to INSTITUTIONS: The Institution of the Church. and the institutions inspired by and affected by the Church.

7 Food: God’s gift to every person, and to every creature. Genesis 1:29 – “I have given you every plant yielding seed…and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food.” (NRSV) Genesis 1:30 – “…to everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” (NRSV ) Genesis 9:3-4 – “Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you; and just as I gave you green plants, I give you everything. Only, you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, with its blood.” (NRSV)

8 Environment: God’s gift to every person, and to every creature. Psalm 104 – God’s bountiful care breathes in the air, shines in the light; streams from the hills and descends to the plain; sweetly distills in the dew and the rain.” (Robert Grant). Genesis 2:15 – We gratefully return God’s service in Creation with service of our own. We gratefully practice the principles of Earthkeeping (Gen. 2:15), Fruitfulness (Ez. 34:18) and Sabbath (Ex. 23:10-11).

9 Vocation: of the Christ-Follower & Agri Cultural Leader Knowledge of Creation (Scientia) Biblical Teaching (Ethics) Putting into Practice (Praxis) VOCATION

10 Genesis 2:15 & Colossians 1:15-20 Genesis 2:15 gives the Stewardship Commission to avad the Garden and to shamar it. Colossians 1:15-20 recites the Hymn of Colossians celebrating Jesus Christ through whom God creates, sustains, and reconciles ta panta.

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12 The Stewardship Commission Genesis 2:15 gives the Stewardship Commission to avad the Garden and to shamar it. avad shamar Choose ye this day whom you shall avad … (Joshua 24:15) (Numbers 6:24): The Lord bless you and shamar you… 0

13 The L ORD God then took the man and settled him in the garden of Eden, to cultivate and care for it. (NABRE) avad shamar The L ORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it. (NRSV) avad shamar And Jehovah Elohim took Man, and put him into the garden of Eden, to till it and to guard it. (DBY) avad shamar Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to tend it and to keep it. (NKJV) avad shamar And Jehovah God taketh the man, and causeth him to rest in the garden of Eden, to serve it, and to keep it. (YLT) avad shamar

14 ▪ Earthkeeping. As the Lord keeps and sustains us so we must keep and sustain our Lord’s creation. shamar Genesis 2:15 The Earthkeeping Principle

15 The custody of the garden was given in charge to Adam, to show that we possess the things which God has committed to our hands, on the condition that, being content with the frugal and moderate use of them, we should take care of what shall remain. Let him who possesses a field, so partake of its yearly fruits, that he may not suffer the ground to be injured by his negligence, but let him endeavor to hand it down to posterity as he received it, or even better cultivated. Let him so feed on its fruits, that he neither dissipates it by luxury, nor permits it to be marred or ruined by neglect. Moreover, that this economy, and this diligence, with respect to those good things which God has given us to enjoy, may flourish among us; let everyone regard himself as the steward of God in all things which he possesses. Then he will neither conduct himself dissolutely, nor corrupt by abuse those things which God requires to be preserved. … ----French lawyer and legal scholar, Jean Cauvin who studied law under pre-eminent legal scholars Peter De l’Etoile at the University of Orleans and Andreas Alciati at the University of Bourges, 1554 A Commentary on Genesis 2:15 from the Year 1554

16 The Fruitfulness Principle Fruitfulness We should enjoy but not destroy creation’s fruitfulness. Genesis 1:22-28; 6-9, Ezekiel 34:18

17 The Sabbath Principle Sabbath We must provide for creation’s sabbath rests. Exodus 23 and Leviticus 25 & 26

18 The Praxis Principle Praxis We must practice what we believe. Ezekiel 33:30-32 and Luke 6:46-49 (Biblical principles for stewardship must be practiced, or they do absolutely no good)

19 Sermons We See --- from a poem by Edgar Guest I'd rather see a sermon than hear one any day; I'd rather one should walk with me than merely tell the way. The eye's a better pupil and more willing than the ear, Fine counsel is confusing, but example's always clear… ---Guest, Edgar Collected Works of Edgar Guest, NY: Buccaneer Books, p 599.

20 Scientia Ethics Praxis Our Calling: Stewardship

21 Scientia How does the world work? Ethics What ought to be? Praxis Then what must we do?

22 Scientia (Knowledge) Ethics Praxis

23 Science Ethics Praxis

24 The Kingdom Priority Principle Vocation in Life We must first seek the Kingdom of God “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33

25 Human beings should not take the services of creation and creation’s goods without returning services of its own. --Con-Servancy Principle, DeWitt, Earth-Wise, 2011 The idea of agricultural sustainability centers on food production that makes the best use of nature’s goods and services while not damaging these assets. ---Jules Pretty et al, And he came forth, and saw a great multitude, and he had compassion on them, and healed their sick. And when even was come, the disciples came to him, saying, The place is desert, and the time is already past; send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves food. But Jesus said unto them, They have no need to go away; give ye them to eat. ---Matthew 9:14-16 (ESV)

26 Vocation of the Christ-Follower & Agri Cultural Leader To glorify God with Gratitude and Praise for Creation and its Service. To Safeguard Creation; to Safeguard Food; as Gifts of God’s Love To Return the Service of God and God’s Creation with Service of Our Own. All done to glorify God as a Follower of Christ who creates, upholds, and reconciles all things. Hymn of Colossians (Col. 1:15-20)

27 Jules Pretty – University of Essex Are there examples – paradigms – of what can be done within and through our institutions? Yes, and one of these is the subject of a comprehensive study by Jules Pretty, professor of environment and society at the University of Essex. With his colleagues, he studied 4104 certified organic farms in the UK covering some 741,000 hectares---that met UK standards for sustainable agroecological systems. They are ‘a defined and certified system of agricultural production that seeks to promote and understand ecosystem health while minimizing adverse effects on natural resources.’ It is ‘a restructuring of whole farm systems.’

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33 Report on “286 interventions in 57 poor countries covering 37 million farms while improving the supply of environmental services.” All crops showed water efficiency gains, mostly in rainfed crops. Average potential carbon sequestration is 0.35 t per hectare annually. Average crop yield increase was 79% (64% geometric mean) ---Pretty, et al, 2007

34 Service to the Agrarian Majority Farmers and agrarian culture remain in the world. This is a largely neglected majority of 2.5 billion people all of whose livelihood is in farming. The cultural and ethical norm of this majority is that land is held in trust over the generations.

35 For the 2.5 billion people around the world whose livelihood is in farming--- stewardship of land held in trust over the generations largely remains the cultural and ethical norm. ---DeWitt, Unsustainable Agriculture & Land Use, and ”Food is Gold” New York Times, 2008.

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37 STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES (GGIAR) The Parties recognize that they have shared responsibility, as well as mutual trust and accountability, through their separate roles and obligations, for the achievement of these objectives: Food for People: Create and accelerate sustainable increases in the productivity and production of healthy food by and for the poor. Environment for People: Conserve, enhance, and sustainably use natural resources and biodiversity to improve the livelihoods of the poor in response to climate change and other factors. Policies for People: Promote policy and institutional change that will stimulate agricultural growth and equity to benefit the poor, especially rural women and other disadvantaged groups.

38 Food for People (GCIAR Objective 3 ): Create and accelerate sustainable increases in the productivity and production of healthy food… By the poor. For the poor.

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40 Faith: Incorporates what we believe about the world in which we live. What we believe about ourselves and the world relates strongly to INSTITUTIONS: The Institution of the Church. and the institutions inspired by and affected by the Church.

41 Faith Incorporates what we believe about the world in which we live. BELIEF about ourselves and the world are what Douglass North calls ‘INTERNAL REPRESENTATIONS OF THE WORLD’

42 BELIEFS are INTERNAL REPRESENTATIONS that together form our worldview ---which include ourselves & what we believe makes for good personal character & wholesome relationships within our families & communities what we believe to be our purpose in life what we believe about everything beyond ourselves the rest of human society and culture our view of our biosphere from outer space our biogeophysical world the biospheric economy, and our planet’s ecosystem services.

43 INSTITUTIONS are ‘external manifestations’ of these BELIEFS.

44 Institutions Institutions are the social constructs that frame human action in the world whether that be at the level of Ford, BP, national governments or the Worldwide Fund for Nature. From the perspective of institutional economics – universities, hospitals, courts of justice, etc., are themselves not institutions, but are embodiments of institutions.

45 Institutions Institutions are the social constructs that frame human action in the world whether that be at the level of Ford, BP, national governments or the Worldwide Fund for Nature. From the perspective of institutional economics – universities, hospitals, courts of justice, etc., are themselves not institutions, but are embodiments of institutions.

46 North emphasizes that our internal representations can displace the ‘rationality’ of market economics, maximization of profit, and attempts that might be made to disconnect the present from culture and history. The ‘uncritical acceptance of the rationality assumption’, North warns, ‘is a major stumbling block in the path of future progress’, and its currently wide acceptance ‘forecloses a deeper understanding of the decision-making process in confronting the uncertainties of the complex world we have created.’

47 There is of course another warning needed, and that is the falsehood that the human economy ‘trumps’ the biospheric economy. The uncritical acceptance of this assumption may prevent ongoing recognition of increasing unsustainability, and may foreclose the critically necessary decision-making and urgent action that is required within our institutions and institutional structure.

48 Institutions and Institutional Structure must be developed and maintained to match the changing complexity of the dynamic biosphere, the broadening ‘reach’ of human actions that affect the biosphere and its ecosystem services, and human values and aspirations toward a world of justice and vibrant human life and culture. Otherwise institutional decay and ineffectiveness result, persist, and increase.

49 INSTITUTIONS and INSTITUTIONAL STRUCTURE need to MIRROR the BIOSPHERIC ECONOMY and HUMAN VALUES As they better mirror the economy of the biosphere and human values they reshape human relations with the biosphere. They mirror a necessarily ethical world that we have helped create and help sustain, and that we have embedded in the systems of the biosphere.

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51 I ask you to reflect with me about what I have witnessed in my lifetime There were 89,000 more farmers on the land in Illinois when I was 4 years old. There were trees and flowering shrubs along many of the roadsides. There were small orchards, berry patches & vegetable gardens in the farmyards. There was livestock visible in the pastures... Almost every vestige of that world has been swept away with those 89,000 farms and with them a rich culture, healthy communities and vibrant rural economies. Most of the barnyards that remain are silent,empty islands in oceans of bare ground, crop residue or stubble, which lap up against the very sides of dilapidated buildings. How can we live our faith in such a setting, knowing what our created world and its nurturing, spiritual qualities looked like such a short time ago?” --Tony Ends, Wisconsin Sustainable Agriculturalist and Farmer

52 Where agrarian culture remains---for 2.5 billion people around the world whose livelihood is in farming--- stewardship of land held in trust over the generations is largely remains the cultural and ethical norm. With agribusiness, and its shorter-term interests, agrarian culture is degraded and destroyed, and soil stewardship is practiced only insofar as it brings immediate gains. Land holding is converted trust to commodity. Asset Management UK, e.g. promotes investing in sub-Saharan farmland where ‘land values are very, very inexpensive compared with other agriculture-based economies.’ ---DeWitt, Unsustainable Agriculture & Land Use, and ”Food is Gold” New York Times, 2008.

53 “We show that, empirically, the emergence of large farms in many developing countries was based on power relations and distortions, and that the international competitiveness of these farms is often maintained by subsidies, associated with significant social losses.” ---Hans P. Binswanger (World Bank), Klaus Deininger (Univ. of Minnesota), and Gershon Feder (World Bank) Agricultural land relations in the developing world. Amer. J. Agr. Econ. 75:

54 Nearly one-third of all arable lands worldwide were lost to erosion during the last half of the 20 th century and were taken out of production. Annual rates of soil loss, in tons per acre, are about 14 for Asia, Africa, and South America, and 7 in the US and Europe annually, with an annual soil formation rate of about 0.4 tons/acre. ----David Pimentel et al. 1995

55 One out of every three people on earth is in some way affected by land degradation. Latest estimates indicate that nearly 2 billion hectares of land worldwide – an area twice the size of China – are already seriously degraded, some irreversibly. This … reduces productivity, disrupts vital ecosystem functions, negatively affects biodiversity and water resources, and increases vulnerability to climate change. ---Food and Agriculture Organization, Fact Sheet AI559/E (2008)

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58 Contrasting Biblical & Utilitarian Worldviews BIOSPHERIC WORLD VIEW ECONOMY OF THE BIOSPHERE: 1. Earthkeeping 2. Fruitfulness (bal taschit) 3. Restoration/Sabbath 4. Fulfillment and limits ECONOMY OF HUMAN BEHAVIOR: 5. Regulation by Sabbath 6. Contentment 7. Seek system integrity first 8. Put beliefs into practice UTILITARIAN WORLD VIEW ECONOMY OF THE BIOSPHERE: 1. Earthconsumption 2. Expendibility/substitutability 3. Continuous exploitability 4. Unlimited human population ECONOMY OF HUMAN BEHAVIOR: 5. Crisis Management 6. Discontentment as best condition 7. Self-interest as best motivation 8. Dualism of belief & practice as best

59 Context for Stewardship in Our Day Our civilization seems to be emerging from some two centuries of neglect of the stewardship tradition. This long lapse means that we cannot simply pick up the tradition where we left it at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Instead we need to size up where we are in the stream of time and identify the major happenings in our world and have this help to inform and shape our understanding and substance of stewardship for our time. Among the most significant developments during these past two hundred years have been those of (A) understanding the biosphere and its climate system (B) understanding human impacts on the earth, and (C) understanding of worldwide transitions in human communities.

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61 Dynamic Stewardship Stewardship dynamically shapes and reshapes human behavior in the direction of maintaining individual, community, and biospheric stability in accord with the way the biosphere works Imaging God’s love for the world.

62 DOXOLOGY Creation is a symphony of material and life cycles empowered by Earth's star the sun, whose energy drives global circulations of air and water —flows shaped by unequal heating and varied topography of land above and below the sea. Solar energy captured by green plants fuels molecule-to-molecule & organism- to-organism transfers —helping to weave Earth’s integrative biogeographic and trophic fabric that interlaces all life. “Glorify the Lord with Me.” Psalm 34:3 (NIV)

63 DOXOLOGY Publishing in Lives, Landscapes, and in Print You can access further information on the various topics covered in this PowerPoint by checking out the following resources: Avad & Shamar – Homily. Holy Wisdom Monastery, October Publishing in the Landscape. Benedictine Bridge. Biodiversity and the Bible. Canadian Journal of Nature. Behold the birds of the air! Christian Educators Journal. Ecology and Ethics…in Biblical Tradition. Biodiversity & Conservation 4:838. Biogeographic & Trophic Restructuring of the Biosphere. Chr. Sch. Review. Addressing Secularization & Disciplinary Fragmentation. PSCF 59:119. Behold the hippo – A zoologist sings the doxology. Christian Century 129. “Glorify the Lord with Me.” Psalm 34:3 (NIV)

64 DOXOLOGY Publishing in Lives, Landscapes, and in Print Sabbaths for the Land. Lutheran Woman Today Guardening. Lutheran Woman Today Neighborliness. Lutheran Woman Today Theological Education for Ecological Sustainability Gardens on top of the world: Prospecting for sustainable life on Earth. To Safeguard & Renew: The principles of Stewardship of the Creation as The Fifth Mark of Christian Mission. For the Lambeth Conference. Science, Ethics, & Praxis. In Ecology & Religion. Franciscan Press. The Creation: Reinstating its Awesome Meaning in Science & Society. Unsustainable Agriculture & Land Use. Cambridge Conf. on Unsustainability. Stewardship: Responding Dynamically to the Consequences of Human Action in the World. Windsor Castle Dialogue.

65 DOXOLOGY – Publishing in Life & Landscape “Glorify the Lord with Me.” Psalm 34:3 (NIV)

66 Calvin B. DeWitt Thank You!


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