ADVERTISING
 
Saturday, November 18   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 
Flecha
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
'... Christian'
I would define myself as...





SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



COP21
 

Paris and the World: a before and an after?

A Christian voice in a Paris that attempts to lay a green mantle over a mourning city.

AUTHOR Michael Wickham PARIS 11 DECEMBER 2015 13:20 h GMT+1
Workshop at the Christian conference in COP21

Part 1: A Christian voice in Paris



Paris today is a city struggling to overcome the terrible effects, images and resulting fears of the 13th of November attacks by terrorists.



Few uniformed police on the streets now, the bars and restaurants back to normality, despite a drop in tourism. Children playing in the parks and people strolling along the avenues, the Marianne monument to liberty, equality and fraternity in the Republique square now covered in flowers.



Candles and messages in different languages, and a city covered in messages about climate change and the COP21 conference in the Bourget.



This conference promoted by the UN is centering the attention of the media at present, with prophetic statements read out by high ranking politicians who jetted in for the start of the conference, but which generates great doubts from observers and journalists that the conference will end with agreements and commitments which countries will agree to or even then after agreement, carry out.



The aim is to reduce green house gases by the end of the century to 2% or less an increase from the pre-industrial revolution times.



For many the future of human existence on this planet is at stake and this is the last chance to avoid catastrophic consequences. According to 97% of scientists investigating climate change, the instability in the atmosphere resulting from the predicted increase in green house gases (GHGs) will lead to changes which will result in great political and economic instability.



 



Paris is still struggling to overcome the terrible effects of the terrorist attacks



Despite this scientific consensus, the ‘top boxers’ of the world scene, the EU, the USA, India and China continue to scrabble in dialectic fights over the differentiation between the chief consumers to date: the emerging economies, avid for fossil fuels to create rapid economic development, and the rest of the world.



Economic development in the western countries in the last two hundred years has been made possible by the application of technology to fossil fuels, thus producing a great variation in the level of comfort and lifestyle of different countries, and political and economic systems, supported by their military forces, that strive to maintain the status quo.



But what was not expected was that the burning of these fossil fuels of coal, petroleum and natural gas would have such a great negative impact on the peoples of the whole globe, affecting, due to the changes in climate and weather patterns and sea level rise, populations that are more vulnerable to these changes, living close to sea level or depending on rainfall for their own subsistence.



It is also difficult to support the demands of the wealthier countries that the developing economies, such as India and China, should now restrict their consumption of fossil fuels so as not to produce so many GHGs, when the present problem has been caused by the same industrialised countries that are proposing these restrictions.



This is the 21st conference of the parts, the nations that have come together to find solutions to the problem.



Starting in the 90’s the countries have not come to any significant agreement on the reduction of fossil fuel consumption, as they did successfully with the ozone layer destruction in the Vienna Convention in 1985 and the Montreal Protocol in 1988. This is a good example of how countries can, with agreement, resolve global problems that affect all.



 



Eiffel Tower in blue and green because of COP21 / Reuters



But with fossil fuels, there are much too higher stakes, for many countries. There seems to be too much to sacrifice, too much to lose, if what is proposed goes through.



What is the situation now, at this stage in the negotiations? “In the Paris Summit the issue is not just climate change, but also the capacity of the human race to govern the world”, says the Spanish newspaper El País’ correspondent. “As a replication of world government, this COP21 is rare. We have a multi-polar world without a multilateral government.



It will be a miracle if we have satisfactory and long term solutions, beyond the actual propaganda and the diplomatic and political show. In any event, the Paris conference is an excellent mirror of the present world geopolitical situation, where the weight of each of the countries is made manifest, those sovereign parts of the world that meet yearly with the at least lip purpose to save life in the world.” A miracle, he says.



 



A DAY-LONG CONFERENCE WITH CHRISTIAN VIEWS



In this Parisian scene a Christian voice has been present for the first time through the presence of the Philippine bishop Efraim Tendero, Secretary General of the World Evangelical Alliance, and Katharine Hayhoe, recognised climate scientist and an evangelical, in their participation in the green zone of the Le Bourget conference centre, in the northern suburbs of the city.



Taking place on the evening of the 4th of December, it was followed by a day-long conference in St. Michael’s Church, organised by A Rocha, the UK based Christian NGO, in collaboration with the Lausanne Creation Network.



This last initiative arose from the commitments acquired by more than 4000 evangelical leaders in the Lausanne III conference in Cape Town, South Africa in 2010. The Spanish Committee of Lausanne III, which had met the previous week in Madrid, included in its agenda for present and future work the care of God’s creation, reflecting the section in the document, ‘God’s peace for a suffering creation’.



 



Antoine Bret during his conference



While the block of Greenland ice slowly melted in the square in front of the Pantheon, burial place of kings and queens and heroes of the French state (see image), the atmosphere in St. Michael’s church warmed up with the first presentation, that of Dr. Antoine Bret, physicist, on whether we can trust climate science.



His conclusion, shared by Katharine Hayhoe in her evening presentation, is that serious scientists no longer debate the question as to whether or not global warming is the result of man’s actions.



The historian Dr. Jean-François Mouhot, spoke on the parallelism between the slavery of people in the preindustrial and industrial world, and that of ‘energy slavery’, where the dependence on slaves to create maximum profit at minimum cost has been now replaced by energy slavery, based on the dependence on coal and petroleum.



The presentations alternated between French and English, giving the translators a hard time, and the Oxford researcher Dr. Dominic Roser, presented the ethical implications of this system, and how we can have justice in a word with an increasing temperature.



The morning ended with a clear and concise presentation by Reverend David Bookless, author of ‘Planet Wise: Dare to Care for God’s World’, on what the Bible says on climate change and the present debate, rebutting the five main arguments Christians pose against trying to reduce global warming.



DISCUSSIONS IN GROUPS



There followed five workshops, focusing on how local churches can reflect practically the biblical principles of creation care (Paul Hege), Signs of hope (Max Boegli),

God, Climate and Geology (Dr Chris Walley), reflections on the viability of science from Dr. Bret, and continued discussion on what the Bible says on climate change and our practical response, in the light of the Bible, from Reverend Bookless, A Rocha’s theologian.



 



Katharine Hayhoe talk

After further contributions, such as the response to the Philippines cyclone, the evening conferences took place, with Bishop Efraim Tendero and Katharine Hayhoe, author of ‘A Climate for Change’, ending with a brief summary from Dr. Henri Blocher (photo below), well known biblical scholar, who formed part of the Lausanne movement’s leadership between 1975 and 1980.



All the content of the day in English and French, will be available on the A Rocha website shortly.



 



PARTICIPANTS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD



The participants were from all over the world, including tyhe USA, Ecuador, Canada, Singapore, the UK and many from France, but there was a significant absence of Spanish speaking participants, reflecting perhaps the limited importance that the biblical teaching on creation care is given in Spanish evangelical churches, although there is significant activity in South – America.



What is needed, according to the participants? ‘Changement climatique… changement de coeur’, said the banner. ‘Climate change… a change of heart’.



Paris, a before, and an after. Jesus is the Lord, the sustainer and redeemer of all creation, and expects us to serve Him and obey his commandment to be responsible stewards of creation, to love his good work, to care and look after it, and love all his creatures, animals and mankind.



There is no fear here, unlike the preoccupation of a world where the material seems to be slipping away. But more of this in Part II of this report.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - Paris and the World: a before and an after?
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe

The economist summarises the manifesto “Confederal Europe: Strong Nations, Strong Union” and explains why personal relationships should be at the centre of our economy, education and democracy. 

 
Gary Wilkerson: The Bible, the Holy Spirit and the Reformation Gary Wilkerson: The Bible, the Holy Spirit and the Reformation

Pastor Gary Wilkerson talks about what all evangelical Christians can learn from the Protestant Reformation and underlines the need for more churches with both a sound doctrine and obedience to the Holy Spirit.

 
Lindsay Brown: Islam and the Gospel in Europe Lindsay Brown: Islam and the Gospel in Europe

Is the arrival of thousands of Muslims to Europe a threat to Christianity? What is the growth of evangelical churches in Eastern and Southern Europe? An interview with theologian and Lausanne Movement representative Lindsay Brown.

 
Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues

The World Evangelical Alliance Secretary General participated in the Italian Evangelical Alliance assembly (Rome, 8-9 April). In this interview with Evangelical Focus, Bp Tendero talks about the need to listen to local churches and to face challenges like the refugee crisis and climate change. 

 
Evi Rodemann: Youth and mission Evi Rodemann: Youth and mission

“We want to see the youth not just being equipped, but also being multipliers”, Evi Rodemann director of Mission-Net. The European Congress took place in Germany from December 28 to January 2.

 
Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum

Pritchard explains the vision of ELF, comments on the 2015 event in Poland and reflects on what it means to have an "evangelical identity".

 
Pablo Martinez comments on Evangelical Focus’ launch Pablo Martinez comments on Evangelical Focus’ launch

Author and international speaker Dr Pablo Martínez discusses the main challenges in Europe nowadays and hopes Evangelical Focus will be a useful tool to help build bridges between churches and society.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Lausanne younger leaders gathering in Budapest Lausanne younger leaders gathering in Budapest

About 70 people from European countries met at the Younger Leaders Gen gathering in Hungary (19-22 October) to discuss the challenges of the church in the continent and build partnerships. Photos: Evi Rodemann and Jari Sippola.

 
I am not on sale I am not on sale

Young Christians gathered at Madrid’s central square Sol to denounce human trafficking. A flashmob highlighted the work of three evangelical NGOs which support women who escape sexual slavery in Spain.

 
Stamps to commemorate the Reformation Stamps to commemorate the Reformation

Poland, Lithuania, Namibia and Brazil are some of the countries that have issued special stamps on the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 theses.

 
‘Reconciliation’ in the Basque Country ‘Reconciliation’ in the Basque Country

Bilbao hosted the Spanish Evangelical Alliance's annual meeting (assembly). Politicians, professors and evangelical representatives shared views on social reconciliation. The theme was also analysed from a theological perspective and in workshops. 

 
The Progress of Europe, deeply connected to Bible The Progress of Europe, deeply connected to Bible

Indian author Vishal Mangalwadi spoke about how the biblical worldview shaped the West. 300 professionals attended annual GBG meeting on faith and work in Cullera (Spain). Photos: J.P. Serrano, S. Vera.

 
Impressions of Lausanne's #ylg2016 Impressions of Lausanne's #ylg2016

Around 1,000 young Christian leaders from 150 countries are participating in the 2016 Lausanne Younger Leaders Gathering, to reflect on global mission.

 
VIDEO Video
 
Creation Care and the Gospel, in France Creation Care and the Gospel, in France

The conference drew about 90 delegates from across Europe. Scientists, theologians, activists reflected together on the theme “God’s Word and God’s World”.

 
“It is inconsistent to say we love the Creator while we destroy His creation” “It is inconsistent to say we love the Creator while we destroy His creation”

In creation care, “we need more people who lead by example”, says well-known Brazilian politician and activist Marina Silva. 

 
Human traffickers recruit girls and boys online Human traffickers recruit girls and boys online

The new video of the European Freedom Network addresses the dangers of social media. 

 
“Remember you are dust” “Remember you are dust”

Vaughan Roberts speaks from 25 years of ministry experience to share four lessons on staying the course as a Christian, despite ongoing battles with the world, the flesh, and the devil.

 
Walk Walk

A two-minute video on the meaning of Jude 24.

 
Playmobil animation on Luther’s life Playmobil animation on Luther’s life

British video platform GoChatter uses 4,000 individual photos to create stop motion video on Martin Luther's life.

 
Individualism: from the Protestant Reformation to 21st century capitalism Individualism: from the Protestant Reformation to 21st century capitalism

Indian author Vishal Mangalwadi on how the Protestant Reformation underlined individualism as a means to please God, and how secular Europe corrupted it.

 
Students in Europe: “We are present” Students in Europe: “We are present”

A summary video of the IFES Europe conference which brought together 1,700 students from many countries in Aschaffenburg (Germany) to reflect on God's mission in society.

 
Philip Yancey interview Philip Yancey interview

An 8-minute interview with Philip Yancey on the role of Christians in a secularised society. Recorded in Madrid, September 2016.

 
An interview with Prof. John Lennox An interview with Prof. John Lennox

New atheism, the definition of "faith", Christianity in Europe, the role of the Bible in mission, and the need to listen more. An exclusive interview recorded at "Forum Apologética" (Tarragona, Spain) in May 2016.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.