The Selwyn Lectures 2019

On 14th November I attended Lichfield Cathedral to hear The Selwyn Lectures 2019.

The speaker was Pete Wilcox (Bishop of Sheffield and former Canon Chancellor of Lichfield Cathedral) and the title of the two lectures was

“Creatures in Time and Space”

Genesis 1 & 2 and the challenge of climate change


Genesis 1 sets the creation of humanity in time as the pinnacle of a sequence; Genesis 2 sets it in space as the centre of a circle of repetitions.

Genesis 1 sets the creation of humanity within the entire cosmos (v1… ‘heaven and earth’); Genesis 2 sets it within the context of planet earth (v4b… ‘earth and heaven’). Note the change of emphasis here!

Genesis 1 stresses the distant relationship of humanity to the transcendent creator God (Elohim); Genesis 2 stresses the intimate relationship of humanity to the immanent covenant LORD (Yahweh).


Genesis 1: Humanity is created in the image and likeness of God. Humanity is the crown of creation. People are created to be agents of God’s kingdom, activists for His reign on earth – regents rather than stewards. We are created to know God; to seek His face and His delight; to enjoy Him and enjoy His creation.

The Sabbath is the crown of creation. People are created for rest. This is essential for our wellbeing and also for the wellbeing of our planet. Earth also needs a Sabbath; there is glory in fallow.

Genesis 2: Adam existed in symbiotic relationship to other living creatures; having named them he has embraced a responsibility for them.

Consider the relationship between the present world order and the coming of the kingdom of God; what that means in terms of climate change and praying ‘Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven’ Dave Rowlands