Science in Christian Perspective



Moral Challenges to Christians in an Age of Scarcity
Roger Griffioen
Calvin College

From: JASA 28 (Supplement 1976): 1

The academic year 1975-76 was the Centennial Year of Calvin College and Seminary, which are institutions of the Christian Reformed Church and are located in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The Planning Committees for the Calvin Centennial worked with the conviction that our celebration should be an occasion for serious, grateful reflection and an opportunity for the college and seminary to engage in significant projects of lasting value to the Christian community. The committees were convinced that our celebration should be an occasion for grappling with current issues that face us as we begin the second century of our existence. The official "Statement of Centennial Objectives" declares that our "celebration will focus on past blessings, present opportunities, and future challenges".

On the basis of these convictions about the character of our centennial celebration, it was decided to sponsor two special academic conferences early in the centennial year for the purpose of applying the Christian faith to important current issues. One of the purposes of these conferences was to celebrate our Centennial by working together to discover Christian answers to problems that face us now and will continue to face us in the years ahead.
The two topics which were selected were as follows: "The Arts in the Church's Worship" which was held on October 2, 3 and 4, and "People, Power & Protein: Moral Challenges to Christians in an Age of Scarcity" which was held on October 23 and 24. The papers of this second conference are presented in this Supplement to the Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation.

As we all know, the world is faced with a number of interrelated problems of global proportions. In the second conference we focused on three major problem areas, namely: World Population, World Energy Needs and Supplies, and World Hunger and Food Supplies. Much has been written and spoken recently about the nature and extent of these problems and about the technology related to each of them and required for their alleviation. It is also being increasingly recognized that, in addition to the technological aspects, these problems have great moral and ethical dimensions.

In the conference we did not simply want to restate the problems once again, but rather, because we believe that Jesus Christ places radical demands on all aspects of our lives, we tried to put forward and discuss proposals for a Christian response to these problems and possible radical changes in Christian lifestyles which may be necessary in order to meet these problems. Hopefully, this conference and these proceedings will help all of us to intensify our efforts in learning how to live the Christian life in contemporary society.