“Behold the Earth” is a documentary that explores Americans’ estrangement to the outdoors and encourages churches to be better stewards of the environment.
Released Oct. 2, the David Conover-directed movie features conversations with scientists E.O. Wilson, Cal DeWitt and Theo Colborn, along with Creation Care activists.
“Behold The Earth” uses scriptures to engage the scientists in the film who discuss everything from God’s designed purpose for the Earth to weather trends and natural disasters.
The film, conceived and directed by Conover, was a 12-year endeavor that began with his desire to immerse his children in understanding humanity’s relationship with nature.
Below is an edited transcript of The Christian Post’s interview with Conover where he shares what he discovered while on his 12-year endeavor to make “Behold the Earth.”
CP: Can you tell us about “Behold the Earth” and why you wanted to share this message with Christians?
Conover: There are plenty of films about people’s destructive impact in the outdoors. But before starting this film, I hadn’t heard much about the Creation Care movement within Christianity, about the good work of people like Cal DeWitt, Ben Lowe, or Corina Newsome.
I hadn’t appreciated their understanding of the word “behold” or the Bible’s strong encouragement to be stewards, starting right there on Page 2 (Genesis 2:15): “The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden to till it and to keep it.” I wanted to make a well-shot film with these people — and others like Pulitzer Prize-winning scientist E.O. Wilson — who notice and care about this amazing and beautiful Creation.
The film also contains forgotten tunes from the days of the Great Revival when people sang together outdoors in large groups, adapted for banjo and fiddle by the Grammy Award-winning musicians in the film. This music is joyful, sung with gratitude, and with a recognition of realities much larger than ourselves.
CP: Why is it important for science and religion to coexist?
Conover: The people I talked with in the film might answer this question in a variety of ways, but the commonalities are that religion and science are two of the most powerful realms of knowing and understanding our world in America today.
Our woods and waters and prairies are changing very fast. It’s not the same environment any of us older than 50 grew up in. Ben Lowe, who’s featured in the film, is the founder of Young Evangelicals for Climate Action and at age 30, he’s a lot younger than I am. He puts it simply: When it comes to caring for Creation … “I can’t practice this virtue (as part of his religious life) without skill (what science is telling him about the climate).”
CP: As technology advances do you think it’s hindering people from “beholding” the beauty of God’s Creation?
Conover: Technology has a certain beauty to it, I admit. I make movies. But there’s so much more enduring beauty slowly unfolding outdoors. Our movies and technology are just the “smoke and mirrors,” so to speak. They depend on the real “fire” burning out there — the range of life and landscapes, and day and night, and autumn and spring that is the Creation.
Corina Newsome is a 26-year-old African-American in the film and an animal ambassador at the Nashville Zoo. She describes her beholding of Creation: “as I looked closer I didn’t see less of God, I saw more of God.” I read somewhere that an average person looks at his or her smartphone at least 80 times a day. That’s 80 times each day that we’re looking away from what’s out there. I get very uneasy when I’m living too much in these screen rectangles, while the world is “happening” all around me.
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Source: Christian Post