Climate Science and the Christian Faith

​​Date:    July 7, 2016

Host:    Jim Schneider 

Guest:  E. Calvin Beisner

Listen:    MP3 ​​| Order

Dr. E. Calvin Beisner is the founder and national spokesman for The Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation. Dr. Beisner has taught theology, apologetics, ethics, church history, economics and other disciplines. He has written four books on population, resources, economics and the environment; eight other books, contributions to over 30 books and hundreds of articles. He has testified as an expert witness on the ethics and economics of climate policy before congressional committees and lectured for churches, schools, colleges, seminaries and conferences around North America, Europe, Africa and Asia.

Dr. Beisner has authored an article called, ‘Climate Science, Energy Policy, Poverty and Christian Faith: How Do They Connect?’. Some might say Christians have no business addressing these issues. Is this a matter where there should be a separation between that which is secular and that which is Christian?

Dr. Beisner responded by noting that the Christian faith speaks to every aspect of life. Just in terms of the origin of science, the Christian faith is important. Science developed only once in history and in only one place. That place was medieval Europe. This is because the Christian faith, which was dominant in the intelligentsia, provided the necessary worldview for science to develop. It’s the worldview where you believe that a rational God created an ordered universe to be understood by rational beings made in God’s image. This means we can study the universe, understand how it operates and have predictable outcomes of what we do. That’s the heart of science.

Another key aspect of science is the idea that we should test everything. The apostle Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:21 that we are to test all things and to hold fast to what is good. That is what Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman called ‘the key to science’. If you have a theory about how something works, you make predictions based on that theory and compare your predictions with observations in the real world. If those observations contradict your theory, you’re wrong.

Dr. Beisner also noted that the Christian faith also informs our view on other things as well. One example involves looking out for the needs of the poor. Through most of human history and in most cultures, there has been no particular value set on taking care of the poor. We get that value idea from the Old and New Testaments. The early Christians demonstrated this during the time of the Roman Empire and that contributed to the growth of the church during that period.

How does this pertain to the idea of climate change? Dr. Beisner believes that the policies that are being recommended to fight global warming will be very harmful to the poor of the world as opposed to the Christian faith which says we need to protect the poor.

As this Crosstalk progresses, Dr. Beisner comments on much more including:

–What about the contention by those on the ‘left’ who claim they’re the ones
looking out for the poor?
–What does the research from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change (IPCC Working Group III) show concerning the impact of global
warming and economic growth on nations that are now poor?
–Is the call to reduce the use of carbon-based fuels a call to reduce our wealth?
–Why is Leonardo DiCaprio in the news concerning global warming?
–Who is Astrophysicist Ethan Siegel and is his claim that we are in a global
warming ‘lull’ credible?
–Are climate scientists becoming too enthralled with their computer models?

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