I know who made the environment and he’s coming back and going to burn it all up. So yes, I drive an SUV.It's not an uncommon argument in some Christian circles - though seldom stated so crudely - and I've already written about it on this blog. The two-point summary of my previous posting is:
- The coming judgment does not mean that what we do now is of no account - quite the contrary!
- The creation is to be restored, healed - not junked!
- The New Testament emphasizes that the timing of "that day" is completely unknown (Matthew 24:36-44), so we cannot use its imminence as an excuse not to take thought for our children and the generations to come.
But what also interests me here is how Mr Driscoll continued his remarks. After presenting his SUV-driving credentials, he reportedly said
If you drive a minivan, you're a mini-manEnvironmental concern, it appears, is for wimps: the potent SUV is a sacrament of masculinity. (Women are entirely absent from the discussion.) How ironic that this news item should make the rounds the same week Niall Ferguson told us that Keynes couldn't take thought for posterity because he was gay.
I think there is more than bad theology at work here. By driving the SUV (or by buying the incandescent bulb), I assuage my anxiety, I reinforce my ("manly") identity against a perceived threat. What is that threat? Perhaps it is the threat of relationship, of being enmeshed in mutual dependence. To attend to ecology is, inter alia, to become aware of how deeply our lives are connected to those of other humans, animals, plants, and the rest of creation. Is this insight unwelcome to Mr Driscoll? Is the return of Christ important to him chiefly as a razor-sharp knife that enables him to cut that entangling relational web?
Image from Stuff Christian Culture Likes.