How people of faith must work for change, by Rev Jim Antal, 2018, Rowman and Littlefield
The national synod of the United Church of Christ, USA, passed a motion in 2017 that: “The climate crisis is the opportunity for which the Church was born.”
Jim Antal’s book opens with historian Lynn White’s words from 1967: “More science and technology are not going to get us out of the present ecological crisis until we find a new religion or rethink our old one.”
Antal argues that climate change is the greatest moral challenge humanity has ever faced because it multiplies all forms of global injustice: hunger, refugees, poverty, inequality, deadly viruses and war. A compelling case is presented that it’s time for the church to meet this moral challenge, just as the church addressed previous moral challenges. He calls for the church to embrace a new vocation, so that future generations might live in harmony with God’s creation and each other.
After describing how we have created the dangers our planet now faces, Antal urges the church to embrace a new vocation, one focused on collective, not individual, salvation and an expanded understanding of the Golden Rule. He suggests ways people of faith can reorient what they prize through new approaches to worship, preaching, witnessing, and other spiritual practices that honours creation, cultivates hope and motivates love for others into action.