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Bible’s Perspective on Climate Change: A Deep Dive

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In our rapidly evolving world, the resonance of ancient wisdom weighs more significantly in our concerted efforts to understand, adapt, and sometimes challenge the trajectory of global phenomena, such as climate change. As keepers of our planet and simultaneously wards of timeless teachings, the discourse of our environmental responsibilities brimming from biblical narratives has never been more crucial. Digging our heels into the divine sands of biblically infused interpretations, we embark on a thought-provoking exploration that marries spirituality and environmental science. This journey unravels the Bible’s standpoint on climate change, delicately narrated and passionately infused with insights that could illuminate the environmental path we tread on. Expect a fusion of science and scripture, which aims to enlightishly bridge the gap between faith and the reality of our dying planet. Can prayers and climate projections harmonize to shape a future where faith and fact coexist? Let’s dive in to find out!.

Introduction to Climate Change and Faith

Ever paused to ponder the connection between faith and science? There is indeed an intersection that is creating ripples in our contemporary world: climate change and the Bible. While climate change is often approached from a scientific standpoint, it’s surprising to some that faith has a significant part to play in the dialogue. Well, as the old saying goes, “faith and facts aren’t mutually exclusive.”

Taking a deep dive into the scientific aspect, climate change is undeniably one of humanity’s most pressing challenges. Our Earth, the incredible, life-giving planet we call home, is witnessing an accelerated trend of escalating temperatures. The ice caps are melting at an alarming rate, sea levels are rising, and our ecosystems are suffering. We see it, we hear about it, and we can even feel it.

Sacred scriptures from diverse traditions including the Bible have long expressed the imperative of humanity’s responsibility to care for the Earth. So, where does the Bible come into light in this era of perceived ecological crisis?

It is beautifully observed in Genesis 2:15: “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” Here, it’s clear that since the beginning, humans have been the stewards of Earth. Incorporating the biblical standpoint into the climate change conversation doesn’t just make sense, it’s essential. As responsible custodians, it’s our duty to safeguard this precious garden, aware of the irreversible damages our actions might inflict.

In the Bible, humanity’s purpose amidst the larger creation is apparent. We are not to exploit, dominate, or disturb the intricate balance. Instead, we are meant to “serve and preserve” the planet. These instructions are not simply historical or metaphorical, but serve as our guideposts for the present, urging us towards a future where we live in harmony with nature.

Our faith community’s perspective on climate change can drive a meaningful change in actions, attitudes, and policies. This connection has the potential to galvanize people of faith into caring for creation holistically, embracing both science and spirituality as tools. By accepting our role as stewards of God’s creation and aligning this responsibility with the scientific evidence of climate change, we not only contribute to the fight against this global crisis but also deepen our understanding of faith.

Let’s remember, the Bible urges us to “love our neighbours” (Mark 12:31). Today, this takes on an even more profound significance – our neighbour is not just the person living next door, but also the generations to come, the person living continents away experiencing drought or hurricanes, and even the Earth itself.

Implicit in every fibre of discussion around the Bible’s view on climate change is the urgent call to action. There’s no time like the present to engage in this spiritual and ecological challenge, to dialogue, and to seek solutions collectively. And through it all, to keep faith in our capacity to bring about change, guided by both our understanding of science and the wisdom imparted in the Bible.

Science of Climate Change

Climate change, often defined as long-term significant changes in the weather patterns and global temperatures, is undoubtedly one of the most pressing issues of our era. It’s imperative for all of us, regardless of our backgrounds, to comprehend the scientific basis of this phenomenon. It’s incredibly important, especially in the context of examining the Bible’s perspective on climate change.

To truly understand what’s happening, we must look at the Earth as a system, with various elements interacting in complex ways. The primary driver of the recent global warming trend is human activity – particularly the release of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere.

These gases trap heat from the sun, creating a “greenhouse effect”. As we burn fossil fuels for energy, clear forests, and engage in other industrial activities, we increase the concentration of these gases in the atmosphere. This, in turn, strengthens the greenhouse effect, raising the Earth’s average temperature, a phenomenon we know as global warming. Over time, global warming leads to broader changes in climate patterns, including extreme weather events, melting ice caps, and rising sea levels.

Simultaneously, the amount of carbon dioxide absorbed by the ocean has notably increased over the past few decades. The higher concentration of carbon dioxide leads to ocean acidification, a serious threat to marine life.

Climate change also closely relates to the Earth’s energy budget, the balance between the energy the Earth receives from the sun and the energy it radiates back into space. When we alter the composition of our atmosphere by adding greenhouse gases, we disrupt this balance, effectively causing the Earth to retain more energy than it needs. It is this ‘extra’ energy that fuels the changes we observe in our climate.

While all this might sound complex, at its core, it’s really about balance. When we disturb nature’s equilibrium, the impacts ripple through the Earth’s system, like a stone thrown into a pond.

From a broader perspective, the science of climate change underscores the interconnectedness of all life. It illuminates how our actions have far-reaching impacts not only on our environment but also on its diverse inhabitants–from the smallest plankton to the largest whale, from the deepest forest to the highest mountain. As we delve deeper into the Bible’s perspective on climate change, we may find this sense of interconnectedness reflected in the teachings we encounter. Even as we address the scientific aspects of this issue, it’s worth keeping in mind the sacred texts’ call to live in harmony with creation.

Remember, the conversation about climate change isn’t merely about grappling with abstract numbers and graphs. Ultimately, it’s about safeguarding our shared home, for the present as well as for the future generations, and living according to a sacred responsibility we all have – a responsibility that stems from being part of this interconnected web of life.

While it may be daunting to confront the magnitude of the crisis we face, understanding the science of climate change is the first step in working towards solutions.

Faith and Environment

Forging an understanding about the Earth’s shifting climate and the urgent need to protect the environment demands a multifaceted lens. Faith, spirituality, and religion hold a profound space in this discourse, particularly when drawing the lines between the divine and the natural world together.

From the towering mountains piercing the clear blue sky, to the symphony of the hummingbirds and the rustle of leaves carried on the gentle breeze – all of it resonates divinity. In essence, our environment is a testament of God’s miraculous creation. It’s a spectacular tapestry woven with threads of divine intelligence. Yet, it’s within this splendor that we are witnessing an alarming imbalance. Snow-capped mountains are thawing, wildfires leave nothing but charred remains in their wake, and once flourishing landscapes are being traded for concrete jungles. Our environment is gasping for attention and begs for mercy.

In this grand scheme, faith – both as an individual belief and a societal construct – has an indispensable role. After all, faith stirs personal values and public interactions that directly influence the environment. When we comprehend the environment as God’s sacred creation, our actions towards it are automatically influenced.

Here’s where the Bible’s guidelines come to light. It encourages us to act with understanding and responsibility towards the environment. Genesis 2:15 (NIV) says, *”The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.”* This is an indubitable indication that humans are appointed as ‘caretakers’ of the Earth, directly linking faith with environmental stewardship.

If we immerse ourselves in the conversation about religious environmentalism, we can see that around the world, several religious communities are enacting the green faith through environmental campaigns, practices, and activism.

In the journey towards a sustainable future, we need a holistic understanding that combines science, ethics, politics, economics – and importantly, faith. This sort of approach strengthens the foundation for a rigorous dialogue, action, and change. Our collective faith has the power to foment a revolution, a change from reckless exploitation to conscious guardianship of our environment, driven by the love, kindness, and respect instilled in us by our religious ethos.

By fostering an understanding of the environment rooted in faith, we have the opportunity to channel the strength of our beliefs to inspire personal and societal change. Yes, the Bible’s perspective on climate change is indeed a deep dive, but it is also an invitation to realize our role in the design of things — to see ourselves as integral parts of the divine expression that is our world.

Climate Change in the Bible

When you immerse yourself in the profundity of the Bible’s, you will stumble upon wisdom sewn through stories, verses, and biblical notions of stewardship over the earth that have undeniable ties to our current challenges with climate change. As a community that’s bound by faith and love for God’s creation, it is paramount that we introspect and truly understand the bible’s perspective on this prevailing issue.

Considering the first chapter of Genesis: “*God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good.*” We were not given dominion over the earth to exploit it’s resources, nor were we bestowed custodianship to blindly steer towards ecosystem degradation. Rather, our role, as beautifully illustrated in the Bible, is to nurture, care for, and protect God’s creation, which includes our planet’s climate.

Reflect on the story of Noah and the great flood in Genesis. It depicts a form of environmental catastrophe, albeit brought upon by divine intervention as a response to human sin. In a way, aren’t we witnessing a similar disaster unfolding right now, with floods, wildfires, melting ice caps and devastating storms, all of which are consequences of humanity’s carelessness towards the environment?

Correlatively, in the New Testament, Paul’s letter to Romans (8:19-22) speaks about the ‘creation waiting in eager expectation’ and ‘groaning in labor pains’. This can be metaphorically associated with the state of the planet today, anxiously waiting for humankind to act responsibly to quell the labor pains of climate change.

We find a timely reminder in God’s words through Prophet Isaiah (24: 4-6), warning us about the earth lying polluted under its inhabitants and eventually leading to disastrous consequences. Isn’t this ancient warning strikingly similar to the scientific findings on climate change today?

As believers and as stewards of God’s creation, we cannot turn a blind eye to the signs that our planet has been clearly articulating. It’s time for us to extend our knowledge and advocacy beyond Sunday sermons and Bible study groups, and move towards more active, conscious, and bible-informed actions to combat climate change.

Old Testament

Not many people may immediately see the connection between the Bible and climate change, however, when we dissect the scriptures of Old Testament, we’re able to draw out profound insights that subtly address this global concern. Addressing environmental issues is a task we should take upon ourselves if we aim to ensure a liveable future for humanity, and it seems the ancient scriptures of the Old Testament have hints towards this mindset.

One of the most direct interpretations regarding climate change can be found in Genesis. In Genesis 2:15 (NIV), it says, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” This command bestowed upon the first human, Adam, has broader implications. It suggests responsible stewardship for the planet– an obligation towards caring not just for the garden, but for the world in its entirety. This concept directly implies a respect and reverence for all creation and gives an obligation to us to prevent and eliminate destructive elements, like climate change.

Furthermore, another scripture that subtly paints a picture of environmental consciousness is found in Deuteronomy 20:19. It reads, “When you besiege a city for a long time, making war against it in order to take it, you shall not destroy its trees by wielding an axe against them.” Interpreted in the context of modern-day environmental crises, this verse indicates a biblical acknowledgment about preserving natural resources, reinforcing the idea of environmental stewardship.

In the book of Job, the theme of biodiversity and the interdependence of all living creatures makes it obvious that every living creature is of crucial importance in this sphere of life. Job 12:7-10 states, “Ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you, or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.” This hints at a complex ecosystem that is woven together, and it is our duty to preserve and protect it.

These verses demonstrate that the Old Testament subtly but surely advocates for a worldview that respects nature and treasures its macro and micro systems. Failing to address climate change and continuing on our path of consumption without reflection goes against the wisdom imparted in these ancient texts.

Genesis and the Concept of Stewardship

When we dive deep into the heart of the Bible, it becomes clear that the scriptures provide us a profound perspective on environmental stewardship. The Book of Genesis, in particular, stands out as it presents a divine formula for preserving the environment and combating climate change, which has become an existential threat.

“Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.” (Genesis 2:15). This verse points towards mankind’s responsibility toward the Earth. Here, the concept of stewardship is brought to life. Not as an afterthought, but as a primary directive to humanity. We’ve been entrusted with a beautiful world to cultivate and protect. Hence, the Bible tells us, we are not dominators but preserve-keepers of our planet.

In essence, Genesis is telling us that the planet is not ours for unfettered exploitation. Instead, we are caretakers entrusted with preserving our wonderful Earth. This thought becomes even more relevant today, when rapid industrialization and our burgeoning carbon footprints threaten the very existence of life on Earth.

Genesis 1:28, “God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.'” could be misunderstood to support reckless dominion over Earth. But when studied deeper, the Hebrew word for “rule” or “have dominion” is “radah”, which means ‘to tread down, subjugate’, but in a noble, kingly sense. This definition introduces a sense of caretaking, suggesting an order in which man coexists harmoniously with nature, compassionately treating all life forms.

Clearly, the Bible conveys that environmental stewardship is not an option but ought to be a passionate pursuit of all humans. According to Genesis, each one of us bears the responsibility of curtailing damaging actions that cause climate change and advocating for sustainable practices that preserve our world.

We are called to become eco-warriors, environmental activists, and advocates of a habitable world. Our drive should be towards a sustainable future, preserving and enhancing our environment in every way possible.

From a biblical perspective, not only is climate change a scientific and geopolitical issue, but it’s also a deep moral and spiritual concern. The age-old wisdom of Genesis supports this notion, calling us to become environmental stewards fighting passionately against climate change.

By considering Genesis and its core message of environmental stewardship, we uplift our fight against climate change from a mere experimental pursuit to a divine mandate. We move from being passive occupants to becoming proactive guardians of our Earth. Our actions are no longer just an attempt to save the planet, but they become our responsibility to God and His creation.

So, each time you reduce, reuse, or recycle, remember – you aren’t just saving the environment, you’re performing a sacred duty. A duty that’s been entrusted to us since the beginning of time, a duty we must passionately embrace and pass down to future generations.

Climate Indicators in the Prophets’

Today, the conversation of climate change signifies one of the most pressing concerns of our time. While we grapple to understand the shifting landscape of our beloved planet, we find ourselves pulling at strings from the past, assessing the wisdom contained in ancient texts, and aligning them with contemporary contexts in our endeavor to navigate the future. The Bible, with its profound wisdom and sense of prophecy, can also be brought into this discussion, thereby enhancing the dialogue around climate change.

To uncover the Bible’s perspective on climate change, a remarkable place to start is with the prophets’ predictions. The prophets, known for their connection to divine wisdom, painted a scenario both enrapturing and eerie. There were dramatic changes in the natural order, phenomena we’re only now starting to experience.

Take, for instance, the prophecies of Isaiah, a man known for his profound messages that still bring comfort and guidance today. He spoke of earth becoming empty, the land being utterly stripped bare, and the heavens being shaken. Could these depictions symbolize the repercussions of a changing climate? Are we witnessing the realization of such ominous prophecies with the recurring natural disasters that are becoming all too familiar?

If we venture further, the book of Hosea paints a picture that could potentially resonate with current climate narratives. The prophet Hosea, guided by God’s words, warned of the land mourning, animals, birds, and fishes perishing due to human rebellion. Today, as we bear witness to the mass extinction of species and ecosystems degrading, we cannot help but realize the uncanny parallels.

Shifting our gaze towards the book of Revelation, we find even more striking images that could potentially relate to the impact of climate change. In Revelation 8:7, it states, *’The first angel blew his trumpet, and there followed hail and fire, mixed with blood, and these fell on the earth.’*

These Bible references potentially hint towards the possible repercussions of climate change. The parallels between these prophecies and our modern climate situation are almost too striking to ignore.

As we deepen our understanding of climate change, it behooves us to consider wisdom beyond our time – wisdom from the Bible that suggests a reality that aligns with the world we are currently seeing. It prompts us to ponder about our role on this planet and consider how we might shift our actions to better align with biblical wisdom.

New Testament

Sifting through the pages of the New Testament, one can’t help but be struck by the underlying message of stewardship that weaves its way throughout the text. From parables to simple directives, we’re emphatically reminded of the responsibility laid upon us by our Creator – the charge to “care for the earth.”

One such profound directive is found in Matthew 25:14-30, popularly called the Parable of the Talents. In this narrative, we see the concept of stewardship. Each servant is given a different number of talents, and the expectation is clear: use what you’ve been given wisely, for one day, an accounting will take place. The “earth” is indeed one of those gifts that we’ve been given responsibility over. In response to the world’s current climate conditions, one could argue that we are those servants, and our treatment of the earth is our use (or misuse) of our talents.

What else does the New Testament have to say about caring for the earth? A lot, as it turns out. In Revelation 11:18, there’s a distinct warning that sounds eerily like it’s addressing today’s environmental crises. It says, “The nations were angry, and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your people who revere your name, both great and small—and for destroying those who destroy the earth.” Could cavalier attitudes towards the environment and climate change be one of the ways we’re “destroying the earth”?

Moreover, Romans 8:21 offers us a horizon-gazing perspective into the future, speaking of a time when “creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.” This verse is often used in theological discourses around the environment, pointing to a time when the pains of our dying planet will be no more. But it also implies an obligation on our part. Could this ‘bondage to decay’ also refer to the damage brought about by climate change? Can we, as ‘children of God’, play a part through responsible environmental stewardship in liberating creation from this ‘bondage’?

As we delve into these verses and stories, we’re not meant just to analyze but also to take meaningful actions in our daily lives by considering our individual and collective contributions to climate change. The Bible, particularly the New Testament, gives us a clear mandate: we are the earth’s keepers. In this capacity, our actions can stem the tide of climate change and set our planet on a course towards recovery and sustainability. This sense of responsibility breathes life into our faith and sharpens our perspective on today’s environmental crisis.

Jesus’s Teachings on Nature

In the quest to understand the Bible’s position on climate change, we certainly cannot ignore the profound lessons found in Jesus’s teachings on nature. Let’s take a deeper look into these teachings, and how they can be considered in discussions on environmental preservation and our present climate crisis.

Arguably, Jesus’s message regarding nature was not only about its astonishing beauty or astounding diversity, but a call to humanity to be good stewards of God’s creation. “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked” (Luke 12:48). This biblical passage is a clarion call; it urges us to take responsibility for our environment and reminds us that we hold accountability for the well-being of Earth.

Jesus’s immense love for nature could also be seen through his interactions and teachings. He often used parables involving the natural world to teach spiritual truths. In the Parable of the Mustard Seed (Matthew 13:31-32), Jesus highlights the importance of small beginnings and how they lead to significant outcomes, just like a small seed growing into a magnificent tree. We can relate this to our environmental actions where even small steps towards conservation can lead to substantial changes long term.

Additionally, in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them” (Matthew 6:26). This teaching emphasizes looking out for nature and living organisms around us. Seeing the value in every creature reinforces an essential belief about conservation – it’s not just about us, it’s about preserving the balance in the rest of God’s creation as well.

One recurring theme in Jesus’s teachings is the emphasis on community, making our efforts to combat climate change not just about individual actions, but about the collective actions of a community. He taught us that “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:20). This principle can be adopted in our attempts to tackle climate change, promoting collective action to bring about meaningful change.

Revelation and Climate Change

Plunging into the deep, turbulent waters of the Book of Revelation, it’s quite fascinating to examine what this sacred text might have to say about a pressing contemporary issue: climate change. The relevance of age-old wisdom for contemporary concerns might surprise you.

Let’s talk about Revelation 16:8-9, often referred to as “The Fourth Bowl”. In this passage, the Bible speaks of an angel pouring out his bowl on the sun, causing it to scorch people with fire.

At first glance, it might seem quite removed from our topic but notice the implications. The *intense heat*, the *scorching sun*, elements we are all too familiar with in today’s rapidly warming world. Coincidence? Perhaps. But it doesn’t hurt to ponder.

Even within the evocative symbolism of Revelation, you can find passages hinting at the destabilization of the earth’s ecosystems. Consider the breaking of “The Sixth Seal” (Revelation 6:12-14) where great earthquakes, the darkening sun, falling stars, and a receding sky depict an ominous image of natural disasters. Sound familiar?

It only further highlights our responsibility to future generations to protect and preserve the environment. The Bible employs vivid prophetic imagery that potentially mirrors the crises we currently face, bringing to light the universality and timeless relevance of its teachings.

As we take a leap into the future, let’s not forget our past, our roots in these traditional texts. After all, the future-oriented approach to climate change finds its deepest origins in the age-old teachings of religion and spirituality. The role of humanity as stewards of the earth, a theme that is echoed in Genesis 2:15.

Of course, this isn’t to claim that the Bible directly predicts modern climate change. Rather, it suggests that we, as a community, are part of an age-old tapestry of lessons and narratives that continue to shape our understanding of the present. Thus, we must come together; each person, each community, each nation, to create a sustainable future.

Exploring the possibilities within Revelation can serve as a unique approach to addressing climate change, allowing us to draw on our shared narrative to inspire change and action in response to this issue.

Climate Change and Christian Life

The scriptures of the Bible, written thousands of years ago, may be poles apart from our modern technology-driven lives. However, they are steeped in timeless wisdom that remains apt even for a 21st-century believer, living amidst discussions about climate change.

With the growing changes in our world’s climate, there have been rising voices championing stewardship towards the environment, a concept that aligns closely with Christian beliefs of holding responsibility for other creatures.

The Bible enriches us with a perspective that encourages practicing stewardship towards our planet. In Genesis (1:28), humans are granted dominion over all other creatures by God himself. However, the actual meaning of ‘dominion’ is often misconceived. This word, coming from the Hebrew root ‘radah’, signifies ‘to rule’, but in the context of compassion and justice.

The Christian way of life, therefore, hints toward extending love beyond just fellow human beings – our dominion should be exercised with absolute benevolence and responsibility towards every creature we ‘rule’. This understanding directly addresses our responsibility towards climate change; Not only are we accountable for our actions which impact the environment but are required to act as its protector – a sentiment resonated throughout the Bible.

Through this scripture-inspired lens, believers can recognize climate change as a profound issue. The radical alterations to weather patterns, escalating heat levels, the intensifying threat to various species – all these are indicative of the disturbing imbalance we have perpetrated in God’s impeccable creation.

So, what can a 21st-century believer do in response to climate change? Well, let’s start with understanding the power of individual contribution. Small efforts like reducing waste production, supporting renewable energy, and advocating for greener practices in our communities can have a substantial impact. Significantly, these actions go hand in hand with Christian ideals of respect, compassion, and responsibility.

Beyond personal endeavors, we can also wield our fluid connectivity in today’s world to spread awareness about the severity of climate change, and the Christian obligation to mitigate it. Using social media platforms, community events, and personal interactions to share knowledge, and motivate collective action courageously fulfills the mandate we received from God to care for His creation.

Standing against climate change does not conflict with the Christian lifestyle; rather, it strengthens the foundations of love and responsibility upon which Christian faith is built. Taking responsibility for our planet is taking responsibility for each other – a testament of love, the pillar of Christianity.

FAQs

The queries that often arise in our minds regarding the Bible’s perspective on climate change encompass a wide spectrum. Let me take you on this exciting journey where we dissect these questions one by one, sparking enlightening conversations that reconcile science, faith, and our beloved Earth.

First and foremost, does the Bible even address climate change? Well, the Bible may not mention “climate change” directly as it’s a relatively new term. However, the Bible does encourage stewardship of the Earth, our shared home. Genesis 2:15 says, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” This principle could extend to issues such as climate change, urging us to take responsibility for preserving the environment.

Secondly, you might be wondering, is climate change a punishment from God? Unequivocally, it isn’t. While it’s human to seek reason in suffering, the core message of the Bible emphasizes God’s love and compassion. God, as described in the Bible, isn’t a vengeful deity who inflicts calamities. It is more likely that the detrimental climate changes we’ve been experiencing are a result of human disregard for nature’s limits.

Next, how should Christians respond to climate change? Based on Biblical teachings, Christians are encouraged to respect, preserve, and restore the environment. The task at hand involves taking tangible actions, be it reducing our carbon footprint, supporting green initiatives, or raising awareness about sustainable living.

Finally, many struggle with the query, can faith and science concur on the issue of climate change? Absolutely, they can concur! The Bible’s teachings can harmonize beautifully with scientific evidence about climate change. Both the Bible and science advocate for the care and preservation of the planet, thus, these perspectives should ideally complement rather than contradict each other.

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