Alarmism has a long history in the climate debate. Perhaps most chillingly, this was evident in the witch trials in medieval Europe. After the Inquisition’s eradication of the actual heretics (like Cathars and Waldensians), most witches from the early 1400s onward were accused of creating bad weather. The pope in 1484 recognized that witches “have blasted the produce of the earth, the grapes of the vine, the fruits of the trees, … vineyards, orchards, meadows, pasture-lands, corn, wheat and all other cereals.” As Europe descended into the Little Ice Age, more and more areas experienced crop failure, high food prices, and hunger; witches became obvious scapegoats in weakly governed areas. As many as half a million individuals were executed between 1500 and 1700, and there was a strong correlation between low temperatures and high numbers of witchcraft trials across the European continent. Even today, such a climate link is still prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa, where extreme rainfall (both droughts and floods) is strongly linked to the killing of “witches”—in just one district in Tanzania, more than 170 women are killed each year.
~Bjorn Lomborg Cool It pg. 125
Bjorn Lomborg’s book Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist’s Guide to Global Warming provides some very interesting statistics. He notes the number of increased deaths due to rising temperatures, but then adds the decrease in deaths caused by cold temperatures. He writes:
Models show that heat events we now see every twenty years will become much more frequent. By the end of the century, we will have such events happening every three years. This confirms the prospect that we could be seeing many more heat deaths—a tragedy that will indeed be caused by global warming.
But cold spells will decrease just as much as heat waves increase. In areas where there is one cold spell every three years, by the end of the century such spells will only happen once every twenty years. This means fewer deaths from cold, something we rarely hear about. Continue reading
One of Hans Boersma’s points against High Calvinistic forms of transactionalism (certain expressions of supralapsarianism as well as forms of the covenant of redemption) is that it makes violence an attribute of God.
Concomitant with this problem is the other problem that God becomes dependent upon the creation. In order to prevent the affirmation of an eternally self-destructing God, divine wrath must be directed against the creation.
Thus in an ironic twist, the extreme focus on God’s predestinating will actually limits God’s control.
The doctrine of divine simplicity is a necessary description of God’s infinity. It states that all attributes of the divine nature are coextensive with that nature and indeed, they are the nature. There is nothing between the attributes and the nature. There is nothing that separates them, for that something would need to be other than divine in order to maintain the distinction. Since this is unthinkable- that is, since all the divine attributes are infinite and omni- well, omni-everything- the confession of simplicity is a proper conclusion of the via negativa.
This doctrine is very useful because it helps keep our dogmatic speech orderly and consistent. It forbids any talk of disharmony among the divine attributes, and it forbids giving primacy to any one of the attributes. It should likewise be applied in other loci of systematics to continue to preserve consistency and harmony.
My roommate recently pointed out that divine simplicity is particularly effective as a critique against the position, often espoused by Lutherans, that in the person of Christ there is a communication of attributes. This position argues that the divine gives some of its qualities to the human, and the human gives some of its qualities to the divine. This has long been criticized by Calvinists as a confusion of the natures, even tending towards Eutychianism, and I think the charge basically sticks. To go further, though, divine simplicity forbids the giving of some attributes, but not others because again, all of the attributes are equal with the essence. Therefore, it is simply not possible to affirm the communication of omnipresence, but not the communication of infinity. Ubiquity cannot be communicated without also communicating eternality, and this would be nothing more than to make the created the Creator.
And so we see how Christology affects Theology and how Theology affects Christology.