Friday, July 18, 2008

Job and the whirlwind

Well, I finished the book. Big Weather. It ended on a rather melancholy note, but I don't see how it could not. Who doesn't go hunting and feel a depressive murk in their bones while unpacking the SUV, the cooler, the memories.

But we mustn't hang out there.

There were two concepts in the book that stood out the most to me. The first was the writer's rather irreverent take on Jesus. I guess that can't be helped by one unredeemed. One cannot visit the heart of the Midwest without noticing that the remnants of Christianity are strong, thriving and varied here. The second concept was the idea of global warming. Again, I guess one cannot expect the author to take anything less than the mainstream approach to the matter, and coupled with the irreverence for Christ, it was sad and painful to watch.

Most interesting is the last chapter, where he comments on Job and God's challenge to him by His own command of the whirlwind. The author makes the point that now we somehow switched the roles and that Job is now purporting himself to be the cause for their occurrence. And it dawned on me that this man, as blind as he is, still understands to a degree the line drawn in the sand over this exchange between God and Job. Who causes the whirlwinds? Will we let scientists say that we are causing them? Or will we take God at His word and allow Him to remain their sole author and impetus? I, for one, will take the latter. But I had never seen the challenge laid out so clearly as I did tonight, on my couch, that man is "God" and therefore has the power to command the whirlwind to emerge. Reading it made me give pause, only to amuse myself in the sheer lunacy of it all. And here this author saw it so clearly.

And as if that weren't interesting enough, another timely piece of mail arrived this afternoon from Bob De Waay. Read it if you're interested. The slick switch between sin as our behaviour against God, or as our behaviour against the earth. Wow. Very deceptive indeed.


At 8:48 PM, Blogger Matt said...

Are you saying that because the Bible says God brings the whirlwinds, humans cannot change the climate?

Is it just my imagination that the wheat fields in western Oklahoma have a +/- 5 degree impact on the climate there? Or that fog in London has been dramatically reduced since they reduced pollution there? Or that there's more CO2 in the earth's atmosphere than there has been in hundreds of thousands of years?

In a sense, God does everything because he created everything. But that doesn't mean he doesn't use humans as the means sometimes, or that whatever we do is necessarily not harmful to the world.

Maybe you stepped a little far applying this to climate change (or I stepped a little far in interpreting it that way), but I think your general point there is really good -- we assume too often that we are in control, when it's really God who is in control, and it's pretty stupid and arrogant of us. I totally agree.


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