Good graphics of Lenski are hard to find, yet his New Testament Commentary, a magnificent achievement, is always in demand. Our Baptist theologian-physician loves Lenski and was pleased to receive two out-of-print Lenski books from the Jackson Library. He wants to complete his PhD in theology, and wondered if I would be his professor.
Lenski wrote, "Resist the beginnings," and yet Lutherans have not resisted the very steps that have united them with ELCA, an apostate sect as openly anti-Christian as anyone could name. Yet the "conservative" Lutherans honor and fear Mark Jeske, who shovels millions of their dollars toward ELCA and invites ELCA to share the podium with him when teaching - Change and Die!
This compares with the abuse, misuse, and destruction of a vastly neglected part of God's Creation - the soil. Many of my friends travel to exotic locations in the world, and I enjoy their sight-seeing without cost or lower GI distress, courtesy of Facebook.
My exotic travels are in my yard, where I see the strangest creatures and watch the living ocean of life - the soil - support and nourish roses, potatoes, corn, beans, peas, and various vines and beneficial insect and hummingbird plants.
Gardening changed and all the modern fallacies were exposed when key discoveries were made about the relationships between soil micro-organisms.
Everyone is in awe of dinosaur size, and whales dwarf them. No one can even imagine the size of this living organism, the largest in the world - as far as we know.
Far Bigger Than Any Whale
Underworld creatures are not only numerous and weighty in aggregate, but ancient and exceedingly durable. Toughest among them are the “extremophiles,” bacteria and ancient microbes known as archaea that can live a mile or more deep in the earth, or in boiling hot springs or polar ice, enduring extremes of heat, cold, pressure, and pH that were considered unfailingly lethal to any form of life only a few decades ago. 10 Some tiny soil animals can time-travel for decades or more in dormant states, impervious to extreme heat, cold, desiccation, and otherwise lethal radiation. 11
Although most soil organisms are small and short-lived, some of the oldest and largest creatures ever identified are sprawling underground masses of the root-rot fungus Armillaria that far outclass blue whales in size. A 220,000-pound specimen that stretches across 37 acres of Michigan woodland was reported in 1992, setting off a race of sorts to find the biggest “humongous fungus.” 12 By 2003, a 2,200-acre Armillaria in Oregon had captured the record. 13 (12 Smith, M. L., J. N. Bruhn, and J. B. Anderson. 1992. The fungus Armillaria bulbosa is among the largest and oldest living organisms. Nature 356: 428– 431. 13 Ferguson, B. A. et al. 2003. Coarse-scale population structure of pathogenic Armillaria species in a mixed-conifer forest in the Blue Mountains of northeast Oregon. Canadian Journal of Forestry Research 33: 612– 623.)
Finally, although we think of plants as denizens of our aboveground world, many plants spend more than half the energy they capture from the sun to grow roots that nurture and interact with life underground. 14 A prairie, for example, grows more grass biomass below the surface than above.
Baskin, Yvonne (2012-09-26). Under Ground: How Creatures of Mud and Dirt Shape Our World (Kindle Locations 90-96). Island Press. Kindle Edition.
One of my three favorite gardening books, Teaming with Microbes, has put together the scientific information to show how intimately the tiniest organisms work together. Most of the modern methods of gardening are at war against the microbial foundations of the soil:
- Chemical fertilizers
- Chemical weed killers
- Chemical pesticides
- Chemical fungicides
- Hauling away gardening trash
- Gathering grass clippings to haul away
- Removing autumn leaves from the property.
- Monoculture and excessive neatness.
Perhaps few garden writers want to associate Creation with their experiments, observations, and research, but the strangest comments come up that give incredible intelligence and wisdom to organisms. For instance, one fungus keeps growing because it does not depend on a living tree for food but gladly lives off the dead material it has created by its growth. Other fungi cannot afford to kill their host, so they do not, but this one does not care.
Once a few of these co-inky-dinks are put together, the complexity and design of Creation begin to emerge. At the most basic level. the power of the Creating Word is evident.
Thus, because we have lost track of the foundations of the Christian Faith, we are duplicating in congregations what modernist gardeners have done in their own yards. In the same way, once the damage is noticed, even more money is spent to use the same methods with even greater negative effect. Jeske bellows, devouring other people's money, Change or Die!
Eventually, unless people face the facts, the downward spiral will accelerate. ELCA and The Episcopal Church have already demonstrated that fact.