Greta Thunberg is now a top theologian?
Yes, I realise that honorary degrees are usually not worth the paper they are printed on, but in what has got to be the joke of the decade, climate alarmist Greta Thunberg is to be awarded an honorary doctorate in theology from the University of Helsinki!
The 20 year old Swede has already been honoured with a doctorate by the Belgian University of Mons, and was named Time’s ‘person of the year’ in 2019. She is held up by many as our only hope. About the only accolade left is to proclaim her to be the long-awaited Messiah.
It seems to me that Thunberg does not have a theological bone in her body – certainly not any Christian ones. Yet here we have another woke university declaring that she might be Scandinavia’s greatest theologian – if not the world’s. Wow, not bad for a day’s work.
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Theology, as I might need to remind some folks, is a word easily broken down. It has to do with the study of God. I am not sure what contributions young Greta has made to that field of study. None, I suspect. But now we must esteem her as some great mind – some great academic.
But as far as I know, she has not even finished a bachelor’s degree. And I am not sure how hot she was even in her high school studies. But none of that matters. In our PoMo world image triumphs over substance any day of the week. Never mind that she basically runs with a script spoon fed to her by her leftist parents. She is now to be bowed down to with her every word taken as gospel.
However, to insist that she is not some renown Christian theologian is NOT to say she is not religious. She is up to her gills in religion. And her religion is of course radical environmentalism. She worships at that altar, and wants all of us to do the same.
For many people today who have thrown out the one true God, the vacuum is replaced by various substitutes. Hardcore green religion is one of them. We all need to live for something greater than ourselves, and if we reject the one who created us, then we run with cheap imitations.
Worshipping Mother Earth or Gaia or Deep Green spirituality is one way to proceed. And this is not new: we have always been looking for alternative religions to embrace. Back in 1982 American sociologist Robert Nisbet (died 1996), remarked that environmentalism has become the third great redemptive movement in human history, following Christianity and Marxism. As he wrote in Prejudices: A Philosophical Dictionary (Harvard University Press):
‘From the Gospel of Capitalist Efficiency to the Gospel of Utopianism’ would serve very well as subtitle here. It is entirely possible that when the history of the twentieth century is finally written, the single most important social movement of the period will be judged to be environmentalism. Beginning early in the century as an effort by a few far-seeing individuals in America to bring about the prudent use of natural resources in the interest of extending economic growth as far into the future as possible, the environmentalist cause has become today almost a mass movement, its present objective little less than the transformation of government, economy, and society in the interest of what can only be properly called the liberation of nature from human exploitation. Environmentalism is now well on its way to becoming the third great wave of redemptive struggle in Western history, the first being Christianity, the second modern socialism. In its way, the dream of a perfect physical environment has all the revolutionary potential that lay both in the Christian vision of mankind redeemed by Christ and in the socialist, chiefly Marxian, prophecy of mankind freed from social injustice.
Yes, it is a religion alright. And let’s not forget that if Greta wants to get into the religion business, she needs to be reminded that false prophets are not usually regarded very highly nor treated very well. In the Hebrew Scriptures the death penalty was actually meted out to those pushing porkies. That’s some serious stuff!
And of course the radical greens thrive on telling lies in order to scare the public. Whether it is Al Gore or Paul Ehrlich or others, we have a very long list of false prophecies made by these folks. And the same is true of Greta of course. Consider but one example: She has just recently deleted a June 2018 tweet she had put out on the social media.
She had posted this remark: “A top climate scientist is warning that climate change will wipe out all of humanity unless we stop using fossil fuels over the next five years.” As one write-up about this says:
The gritpost article to which Thunberg linked has also been deleted, but it can still be accessed through the web archive. In the piece, author Scott Alden quotes Harvard professor James Anderson, who claimed in 2018 that all Arctic sea ice would disappear if humans continue to emit carbon into the atmosphere in the next five years.
Gritpost quotes Anderson who said during a speech at the University of Chicago that “Recovery is all but impossible […] without a World War II-style transformation of industry—an acceleration of the effort to halt carbon pollution and remove it from the atmosphere, and a new effort to reflect sunlight away from the earth’s poles.”
He added that “this has to be done within the next five years,” and that “[t]he chance that there will be any permanent ice left in the Arctic after 2022 is essentially zero.”
But such utterly nonsensical and patently false predictions and prophecies are par for the course for the green zealots. They do this all the time. They know that if they can get the masses to feed on panic porn, they will be so much more easily manipulated and controlled.
It seems the past few years with the Covid craze proved that point beyond a shadow of a doubt. The formula is simple: ditch God, and put some ‘cause’ in his place, hype up the imagined scenarios, and scare the pants off the people, and they will all readily submit to anything. Works like a charm. As I wrote 25 years ago:
As G. K. Chesterton once said, “The danger when men stop believing in God is not that they will believe in nothing, but that they will believe in anything.” Environmental zeal can match that of any religious zealot, often with harmful consequences. Radical environmentalism tends to rely on emotion and doomsaying but is based on little scientific fact. Indeed, bad science, along with deliberate deception on the part of radical greens, coupled with a sympathetic media, has led to a number of government policies which have been counterproductive. By exaggerating the seriousness of environmental issues, intrusive, punitive government controls have been set up which may or may not solve the problem, but do a lot to increase the power of big government and do a lot to threaten property rights of individual citizens.
Sorry Greta, but your bogus doctorate does not impress me at all. Leaves me rather cold in fact – despite all the global warming.
This article was first published here.
Bill Muehlenberg teaches ethics, apologetics and theology at several Melbourne Bible Colleges. His independent blog, Culture Watch, has over 5,000 articles commenting on the major cultural, social and political issues of the day. Bill's podcast is exclusively produced for Good Sauce readers and fans.
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