Academic journal article International Review of Mission

Noah's Ark, Mt. Meru, and the God of the Rainbow

Academic journal article International Review of Mission

Noah's Ark, Mt. Meru, and the God of the Rainbow

Article excerpt

Abstract

The warning is clear. Unless human beings reach a change of civilisation in the ecological sense within the next ten years, we will not have a future--any future. However, a change of civilisation does require a change of religious beliefs as well. As Lynn White Jr. asserted many years ago, our present science and technology are so tinctured with orthodox Christian arrogance toward nature that no solution for our ecological and economic crises can be expected from them alone. Since the roots of our trouble are so largely religious," as White assures, "the remedy must also be essentially religious." Still, where do we begin? The author is convinced that any ecological reconstruction of Christian theology and missiology must begin with the Scripture. A solid re-reading of the Bible will do. This is the reason why the author revisits the well-known story of Noah's ark to reveal the inconvenient truth almost verbatim - the truth that the Noah's Ark is the story of God's new covenant of life with not only human beings but also with the Earth, represented by the animals from the ark. After scrutinizing the creation stories in Genesis 1 to 9, comparing in particular the two different commandments of God in Genesis 1 and Genesis 2, as well as in Genesis 1 and Genesis 9, the author confirms that a just and sustainable future can only be built upon the biblical God of the rainbow, who shows no favor to human beings, and who makes a new covenant of life with all flesh. What we need is a new vision of Christian beliefs and discipleship that honors God, values the Earth, and emphasises humility [humus] of humanity [humus], concludes the author.

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God did not send the Son for the salvation of humanity alone or give us a partial salvation. Rather the gospel is the good news for every part of creation and every aspect of our life and society. It is therefore vital to recognize God's mission in a cosmic sense and to affirm all life, the whole oikoumene, as being interconnected in God's web of life. (Together towards Life, article 4) With the theme of "Moving in the Spirit: Called to Transforming Discipleship," the World Mission Conference 2018 will meet in Arusha, Tanzania, located in East Central Africa, which is known as the place of human origin. Much scientific research has pointed to East Central Africa as the origin where Homo sapiens appeared around 200,000 years ago. (1) Why has God convened God's own people to this special place at this moment?

Participants will convene near Kilimanjaro, which is the highest peak in Africa, reaching about 6,000 meters (20,000 ft.) above sea level. Kilimanjaro is indeed a magnificent and beautiful mountain. Earnest Hemingway once said in The Snows of Kilimanjaro-. "As wide as all the World, great, high, and unbelievably white in the sun ..." Nevertheless, where have the snows gone? The mountain's famous glaciers have greatly retreated over 80 percent since 1912 and, as we will see with our own eyes, are now in danger of being completely gone in a few years. Kilimanjaro isn't just a sight spot for us who are called to "Transforming Discipleship." Why has God convened God's own people to this particular place at this particular time?

Climate Collapse

We live at a time when all the inhabitants on this planet Earth sense the unusual change in the look of the sky. I live on the Korean peninsula where we used to have four distinctive seasons--spring, summer, autumn, and winter three months each. But now the climate of the Korean peninsula is changing rapidly into a subtropical climate. The winters are becoming shorter and the summers longer; and the kinds of fish in the surrounding seas have changed because the temperature of the water has risen. Even more shocking is the fact that the warming of the Korean peninsula is twice as fast as the average pace of the whole world. (2) I do not have statistics of other regions, but it is unarguably true that climate change is a global phenomenon and crisis for all. …

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