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Excerpt: "My initial investigation into Aimee Semple McPherson—founder of The International Church of the Foursquare Gospel—and ecology was bleak: every word search returned a spiritual metaphor. “Garbage” came back as “garbage can of Satan,” “pollution” came back as “pollution of the soul,” “plants” came back as “plants of faith,” and “dumping” came back as “dumping ground for gossip.” But eventually, persistence paid off.

Popular pastor and author Rick McKinley writes, “Margins are those clear spaces along the edge of a page that keep the words from spilling off. Every book has them. You might jot notes in the margins, but for the most part they go unnoticed. They don’t represent the book, and they don’t define its message. They’re simply there.”McKinley’s analogy describes McPherson’s engagement with nature. McPherson made comments, not commentaries, about nature. She had strong opinions—some radical by today’s standards—yet most remained underdeveloped. Moreover, her theology was largely anthropocentric. People, not the environment, occupied the center of her doctrine.While nature, theologically, occupied the margins for McPherson, politically, it took center stage, especially during her anti-war expositions. Thus, environmental concern ultimately found expression in her patriotism."


Originally published as chapter four of Blood Cries Out:Pentecostals, Ecology, and the Groans of Creation (Pentecostals, Peacemaking, and Social Justice) Paperback – November 11, 2014 by A. J. Swoboda (Editor), Steven Bouma-Prediger (foreword). Pickwick Publications (November 11, 2014).

ISBN-13: 978-1625644626

Used by permission of Wipf and Stock Publishers.

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