S2E4: Rick Lindroth on Creation Care and Work as a Scientist

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Summary

Scientists often talk about how their Christian faith informs their work, but we rarely hear how their work influences their faith. Joann and Brian talk with Dr. Rick Lindroth, professor of ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, about the intersection of science and faith, his research in aspen forests, and ways that Christians can find common ground on topics like conservation, environmentalism, and creation care.

Takeaways

On scientific work informing faith:

“Humility derives…from a proper perspective of oneself in the context of greater things. And one surefire way to develop it is to bump up, day after day, against the limits of what I know or of what anybody knows. So humility helps me to embrace, rather than reject, mystery.”

On a Christian response to environmental concerns:

“We don’t take seriously God’s very first command to humans, and that is to take care of his creation…we tend to have a view of the redemptive work of God that stops with humans. We don’t fully comprehend that God is set about to restore everything. And that he’s called us to participate in that worldwide restoration project.”

On faith motivations to address climate change:

“I think there’s a clear command from scripture that we’re to take care of creation. And climate change is having worldwide, very significant, negative impacts on the earth around us…Biblically, it’s also that we are to love our neighbor, and especially those who are disadvantaged, or living in poverty, or living under various social injustices. And we know that climate change is not affecting all people equally. In fact, it affects those who are living in poverty the most. In caring for our brothers and sisters, I think we also need to address the issue of climate change.”

Resources

Rick joins us as keynote speaker on April 4th for “God, Energy, and the Environment.” Learn more and get tickets now!

Read more about Rick’s research in western aspen forests.

Get to know BioLogos, a network of Christians working in the sciences.

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Download the episode transcript.

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