Making Peace with Creation Premieres at Regent College
Dr. Iwan Russell-Jones’s new documentary, Making Peace With Creation, premiered to a sold-out audience in the Regent College Chapel on December 7. The documentary explores the intricate relationship between human beings, nature, and Christian theology in the life and theological work of Loren Wilkinson, Professor Emeritus, Interdisciplinary Studies & Philosophy at Regent College.
Making Peace with Creation is set in various locations around the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island, but most of it takes place at the farm on Galiano Island where Loren and his wife Mary-Ruth have lived for over two decades. The camera follows Loren around his island home, highlighting the area’s pristine beauty even as Loren communicates the often-sobering realities of human impact on the environment in recent decades.
Much of the wisdom and beauty of the film emerge from the Wilkinsons’ decades of experience teaching, writing, and living their passion for creation. The Wilkinsons began their pioneering study of theology and environmentalism in the 70s and 80s and have been pursuing similar lines of thought ever since.
At one point in the film, Loren uses the image of a Celtic cross to explain the vital link between humanity and the rest of creation. The circle behind the cross, he explains, represents the repetition of natural cycles: birth, death, decomposition, and new life. The cross, however, overshadows the circle, its four points reaching beyond the circle and symbolizing Christ’s disruptive work in stepping into the regular cycles of creation and speaking something new.
Loren concludes that we, as God’s image-bearers, also have a responsibility to step into the cycles of nature and speak and act in life-giving ways. “We’re in a unique position,” he notes, suggesting humanity may be the only creatures in the universe capable of saying “I”—of observing and thinking about our own existence, our purpose, and our responsibilities to what we see around us.
Near the beginning of the film Loren summarizes the unity between God’s purposes in creation and humanity’s: “I believe that God created all things, that all things hold together in Christ, that God loves his good Creation, that God’s purpose is to reconcile all things to himself, to bring about peace through the blood of Christ shed on the cross. What does that mean for creation? What does it mean for the way we live, the way we build our cities, the way we do our agriculture, the way we eat, the way we travel? How can we in the way we live bring about the peace that God has established in Christ on the cross?”
Following the film, Academic Dean Paul Spilsbury hosted a question and answer session with a panel including filmmaker Iwan Russell-Jones, Loren and Mary-Ruth Wilkinson, and local installation artist and Regent graduate Dan Law, who created some of the art featured in the film. Discussion continued long after the event over brownies and apple cider in the atrium.
If you missed the event, or want to watch the film again, there are two upcoming showings on January 12:
- an afternoon screening and seminar from 1 to 3 pm, free for pastors and church leaders (reserve tickets); and
- a screening open to the general public at 7 pm (buy tickets).
The film may be purchased as a download or a DVD through Regent Audio or in person at the Regent College Bookstore.