“The natural world is a gift from God, but we are also called to join with God in sustaining and caring for it.” John Sentamu, The Archbishop of York.

Today is Earth Day so I thought I’d post this video to mark the occasion.  It’s a Veritas lecture given by Ecology Professor Kyle Van Houtan entitled: Is God Green? – Jesus, the Church, and Caring for the Earth.


“As they came into the house and saw the child with Mary his mother, they bowed down and worshiped him.  They opened their treasure boxes and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”  (Matthew 2:11) 

A Christmas themed story in the news today concerns the demise of the Boswellia tree whose resin produces frankincense.  Under current rates of declines, projections indicate frankincense production being cut in half in the next 15 years due to droughts, fire, and beetle attacks.  Dr. Frans Bongers an ecologist from Wageningen University in the Netherlands, interviewed on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, describes the research findings (link).

A nice description of frankincense, together with associated bible references and mention of the ancient trade routes is provided in Farrells Travel Blog, here and here.


P. Groenendijk, A. Eshete, F. J. Sterck, P. A. Zuidema and F. Bongers, Limitations to sustainable frankincense production: blocked regeneration, high adult mortality and declining populations, Journal of Applied Ecology, 2011, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.20111.02078.x

I recently read and enjoyed the book “Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony“.  The author  Richard Bauckham is an eminent Biblical scholar and theologian (see his wikipedia link and his own website).

His thoughts on the Environment can be found here [video] with his lecture at the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, Cambridge.  The seminar is entitled “Jesus, God and Nature in the Gospels”.

He also has a recently published book “The Bible and Ecology: Rediscovering the Community of Creation ” which should be worth checking out at some point.