Natural Resources and God's Bounty

An evangelical Christian textbook teaches kids not to worry about overpopulation or scarcity of natural resources.

 
The following passages are excerpts from "America's Providential History," published by the Providence Foundation. The textbook was quoted by Glenn Scherer in "The Godly Must be Crazy," an article about evangelicals and the environment published by the online environmental magazine Grist in October 2004. Bill Moyers subsequently referred to the book in a speech in New York on Dec. 1, 2004, for which one of his sources was the Scherer article. The Providence Foundation says that it has sold more than 100,000 copies of the textbook since its first printing in 1989, and that it is used in home schooling, private and public schools, religious schools, political seminars, discussion groups, colleges, and seminaries.

In a Christian Society with Great Economic Freedom
Natural Resources
God created man and knew that he would have certain basic needs, such as food, clothing, and shelter. God created everything that was needed to meet those needs. One, God created natural resources. Those men with a Christian worldview believe that God has provided all that they need and, consequently, they have faith to seek, find, and process abundant natural resources. As the natural resources available to man increase, his material welfare increases as well.

Human Energy
God not only created natural resources, but He also created man with human energy. God told him to "have dominion" or rule over the earth (Genesis 1:26). Man was placed in the garden to cultivate and keep it (Genesis 2:15), which required labor. After the fall, cultivating the ground required an additional "sweat of [man's] face" (Gen. 3:19).

In a Christian society, men will be inspired by God to work. In addition,in a nation of economic freedom, men will be able to partake of the fruit of their labors which will encourage them to exert more energy. As man works harder and exerts more human energy, his material welfare (and that of the nation) will increase.

In a Secular Society with Limited Economic Freedom
Natural Resources
A secular society will lack faith in God's providence and consequently men will find fewer natural resources. The secular or socialist has a limited resource mentality and views the world as a pie (there is only so much) that needs to be cut up so that everyone can get a piece. In contrast, the Christian knows that the potential in God is unlimited and that there is no shortage of resources in God's earth. The resources are waiting to be tapped.

We do not live in a resource-short world. Known reserves of minerals and energy resources are greater today than in 1950 despite increasing consumption. Ideas allowing us to tap into unused natural resources are limitless. For example, about 100 years ago, the American Indians wiped oil on their faces. Today, new uses of that natural resource have transformed our economy and brought a higher standard of living for everyone. In recent years, the computer world has been revolutionized by the silicon chip, which is made from the same material as sand.

While many secularists view the world as over-populated, Christians know that God has made the earth sufficiently large, with plenty of resources to accommodate all the people He knew would come into existence. There is plenty of room and food for the entire world population today. All the five billion people on the earth could live in the state of Texas in single family homes with front and back yards and be fed by production in the rest of the United States. Present world agricultural areas, if developed by present technology, could feed 31 billion people. Our earth has plenty of room and plenty of natural resources.

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