How do we think about sustainability as scientists and Christians?

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Chemistry, as the science of matter and its changes, is fundamental to a biblical calling.

The creator God has given us an intricately beautiful world to explore and steward. We are called to take care of it and develop it into ever increasing amounts of beauty, vitality and possibility. Chemistry, as the science of matter and its changes, is fundamental to this biblical calling. Sadly, humans are far too adept at bringing ugliness, limitations, and death to the world with our wastefulness. We generate mountains of trash, expend huge amounts of non-renewable energy unnecessarily, and drive many species to extinction. These sinful tendencies are the opposite of sustainability. If we are to live in a world that continues to flourish long into the future, then we must recycle better, we must find renewable sources of energy, and we must innovatively preserve life through medicine. All of these endeavors requires chemistry and chemical research. At Calvin, in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, we strive to prepare students to make a difference with their lives in these types of ways. And we pray that through the Holy Spirit we will all be led to learn and discover how we can better steward the creation towards sustainable practices that serve His Kingdom.


Douglas Vander Griend

Douglas Vander Griend

Director, Clean Water Institute; Professor of Chemistry
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