to be in nature and closer to
creation so we can be truly
happy and healthy.
LW: One of my worries
about [our new] film, and
a comment that comes up,
is that it can give the impression that the solution
to the problem is everyone
should move out to a place
like Galiano Island and
leave the cities. That is not
The cities have to be part of the solution, not a place to flee from. The problem
is how we have built the cities, surrounding ourselves with increasingly manmade
things, forgetting that our cities are
nested within natural systems. They are
nested within the natural world. We can
do a lot better job of building our cities to
remind us of that, in terms of green spaces
and the way we lay things out.
Our cities sprawl. In
some European cities that
grew up before the car, it’s
possible to walk out of a
city into the country. Can
you imagine walking out
of Toronto into the country? Our cities insulate us.
We need to recognize our
cities are supported by
natural systems, which are
God’s good creation. And
the problem expressed in
nature deficit disorder is real and getting
worse because of the spread of digital
culture. The digital is overtaking the real.
It’s really quite serious. We are made to
be in dialogue with nature. The human
species was not created to be in cities, it
was created in a dialogue with the natural
world. All kinds of things about our
bodily existence reflect that. A simple
example would be the rhythm of day and
night, which we can pretty much ignore
now. The whole thrust of our culture is a
movement away from that connection to
the created world.
F T: What could churches in cities do to help with
LW: If churches have land around them,
they should be concerned with gardens.
Gardens are one of our main tasks. Instead
of parking lots, it may be churches should
spend more time not only on growing
food, but making the place itself beautiful,
especially some of the larger megachurch-es that are more concerned about covering
the space with warehouse-like buildings
and having parking.
Willow Creek [a megachurch near Chi-cago] is actually one of the better ones.
There is a creek there and they’ve done a
good job of taking care of it. Just as in our
cities and our homes, we’ve often been led
by a concern for efficiency that can rule out
any concern for beauty, for openness to the
THE FT INTERVIEW
Think you can change
the world from a classroom?
CHANGE can be big, like in;uencing the next
generation big. Or it can be small, like marking
quizzes small. It’s about what you choose to
do on the one hand, and who you are on the
other. We are more than our jobs, and God has
a calling for each of us, wherever we go.
That changes everything. Including you.
A degree you can believe in. redeemer.ca