Yale student’s book offers ways to take action to care for God’s world

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NEW HAVEN – Betsy Painter has always had a love for the natural world, and when she reads her Bible, she sees God’s love for the Earth through its pages.

In his new book, “A Christian’s Guide to Planet Earth,” published by Zondervan, Painter tried to help others who want to put their faith into action to help preserve God’s creation.

“Much of Christianity could focus on saving humans, which is wonderful news, but reading the scriptures I see it’s about the restoration of all creation,” Painter said.

“All my life I’ve just struggled and thought about how science and the natural world and heaven and God interact and relate to each other and my experience is that there’s usually a gap between science and faith, which never made sense to me because I love both,” she said.

Painter, a native of Brentwood, Tennessee, is a student at Yale Divinity School and also studies at the Yale School of the Environment, focusing on coastal ecosystems, the ocean, and wetlands. She also did an internship at United Statesa national Christian community working on conservation and ecological action.

“I didn’t realize what a scientist I was until I was in Divinity School,” she said. “The faith side has always been a deeply personal interest that has given me great joy in my study of science. It is very humbling and fun.

His book, with its subtitle “Why it matters and how to take care of it”, devotes chapters to a diverse group of topics, such as freshwater, endangered species, mountains and minerals, pollinators , the poles and the global climate. Each describes threats, presents a biblical perspective, and offers people practical ways to act.

“I wrote this book because, just because of my work in the environmental sector, many people are concerned about the state of the planet and the trajectory of the planet in this time of climate change. “, said Painter. “What lies ahead is very dark and can bring a lot of despair, and rightly so, but I wanted to face this with the hope of the gospel.”

When Painter reads the Bible, she sees passages that assure her that God wants to save and restore the Earth as well as mankind. “That’s what I mean by recapturing the full picture of what happens on the cross and the resurrection,” she said. “It covers the whole cosmos if we take the scriptures seriously. It’s not just humanity. »

There is Colossians 1:19-20: “For it pleased God that all his fullness dwell in him, and that he reconcile all things through him, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by his blood shed on the Cross.”

She sees it in the Book of Revelation: “Then I saw ‘a new heaven and a new earth,’ for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away…And I heard a loud voice from the throne say: ‘ Look ! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them.’” (21:1, 3).

“Also, Romans 8 is really clutch, just about every whine in creation is waiting to be unleashed,” she said.

Painter, who attends St. John’s Episcopal Church, said, “I learned a lot from the Catholics and especially the Orthodox. Their theology on nature is really beautiful.

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