natural world. We’ve done in churches
even more so. We need to resist the tendency to give in to the artificial, the virtual.
I’m probably sounding cranky, but what
happens in so many evangelical churches
is even the ability to sing together has almost been eclipsed by highly amplified
worship bands and leaders. People don’t
know what it’s like to sing together with
their bodies as instruments. That may
seem like a long way away from care of the
natural world, but I don’t think it is. An
awful lot of evangelical churches encourage a kind of artificiality, the screen in the
front, the worship band, often no windows, it is all part of a kind of movement
away from a recognition that we are embodied creatures.
FT: In the film you also talk about eating together. How important is that?
LW: It is centrally important. You can
hardly open the Bible without encoun-
tering food and agriculture. Meals are ab-
solutely central, but also the relationship
to the land, where our meals come from,
is absolutely central. Eating is, probably
short of breathing and drinking, our most
obvious regular connection with creation
in its diversity, its goodness, its value.
Just being aware of where your food
comes from, and where your garbage goes,
is central. We need nourishment, and a lot
of people think of meals as only a way to get
nourishment. But only humans feast. And
only humans fast, both of which are tremendously significant things. Every meal
is potentially a feast. We aren’t only eating
– we are communing with each other.
Meals are a central act of Christian
…the concern for things like climate change and
environmental issues generally is not an ideologically
driven thing. It should be a theologically driven thing.”
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worship, of human communion. Just as
we’ve become disembodied digitally
through our concern for the virtual world,
we don’t eat together anymore. People
don’t eat together, they don’t cook, and yet
those things connect us with creation and
We face each other at a meal, and that
is the profound significance of sitting
around a table. It’s no accident that the
central act of Christian worship is a meal,
although we have done our best in most
Christian traditions to minimize the meal
aspect. It’s clear it was a meal. That is of
enormous and profound significance.
F T: Thank you, Loren. /FT