John’s First Things article on Francis Schaeffer and his book Pollution and the Death of Man was named by On Earth magazine as one of the best pieces of environmental journalism for 2013.
On Earth is published by the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), one of the largest environmental groups in the nation. Here’s what they had to say:
“Recalling Francis Schaeffer’s Christian Environmentalism” by John Murdock,First Things
Last year I profiled Katharine Hayhoe, a Texas Tech climate scientist and evangelical Christian whose faith has given her unique access to those who might otherwise be inclined to ignore or deride her warnings about global warming. So as someone who has long been interested in the way that religion, politics, and science intersect, I was excited to come across Murdock’s article on the 20th-cenury Protestant theologian Francis Schaeffer, whom I previously knew (vaguely) as a firebrand religious conservative and hero to the modern religious right.
What I didn’t know about Schaefer was that his politics—especially his environmental politics—were far more complex than that superficial gloss suggests. Citing Schaeffer’s 1970 book Pollution and the Death of Man, Murdock reveals a thinker who defied the glib ideological characterizations common to our era.
Do today’s conservative Christians know that one of their favorite religious philosophers believed that commune-dwelling hippies of the late 1960s were far better stewards of the earth than pious churchgoers? Do they know that Schaeffer’s faith compelled him to “refuse men the right to ravish our land,” or that he steadfastly refused to own a car after 1948? I sure didn’t.
—Jeff Turrentine, articles editor