By Russ McCullough

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BNc)- A Christian university professor sat under former Vice-President Al Gore’s tutelage on climate change.

Professor G. Dodd Galbreath took extensive training at last month’s initial “faith community” Climate Project (TCP), according to the Nashville, Tenn.-based Lipscomb University’s website.

Galbreath is executive director of Lipscomb’s Institute for Sustainable Practice.

Held in Nashville Oct. 9-11, the training focused on the film, “An Inconvenient Truth.”

Mr. Gore personally taught the session, augmented by a 400-slide presentation.

The purpose of the training session was to solicit support for Mr. Gore’s climate change agenda from Nashville churches, by providing dialog and visual tools to infuse climate change themes into traditional Bible study and pulpit proclamations.

Lipscomb University is affiliated with churches of Christ.

The university highlighted Galbreath’s attendance with the website headline, “Lipscomb’s Green Leader Attends Al Gore’s Inconvenient Slide Show Training.”

Prof. Galbreath is quoted as saying of Mr. Gore, “He was very transparent. He comes at this from a very real place in his heart.”

As to the inter-denominational promotional agenda of the training Prof. Galbreath said, “I think humanity’s search to understand our carbon footprint will greatly assist and support our evangelical footprint or our faith footprint on earth. We can reduce our carbon footprint while increasing our faith footprint, I think they are interrelated.”

No scripture references were provided by the university with the announcement.

Prof. Galbreath’s attendance caught the notice of the local print media in Nashville. The Nashville Tennessean wrote of the training conference on October 12 in an article entitled, “Pastors Join Gore’s Climate Crusade.”

The article quoted Prof. Galbreath extensively. Tennessean staff writer Bob Smietana described the training as “an effort to harness the power of churches to fight climate change.”

The attendees, described as “volunteers,” came from 37 states, representing at least eighteen different denominations.

Smietana did not, however, identify the “church of Christ” as being a denomination.

Additionally, Prof. Galbreath was not identified as being a member of the church of Christ, only as being affiliated with Lipscomb University.

Noting the need to make inroads into the churches of America with his climate change agenda, Mr. Gore is quoted as saying, “People of faith are vital to the effort to combat the climate crisis and represent all walks of life.”

The training underlined the difficult task in bridging the gap between the climate change agenda and the Word of God. The Nashville-based executive director of the “Climate Project,” Jenny Clad, used apocryphal language to make her point.

“We don’t have another twelve years, according to the vast number of scientists, to get our act together to do something incredible to get carbon emissions down,” she said.

Clad’s comment echoed Mr. Gore, who asked rhetorically, “How can we convey the biblical proportions of the disasters that will befall our nation and our world if we don’t make these changes?”

Smietana concluded, “Each of the new faith-based presenters promised to promote the Gore slide show in his or hers faith community, by giving presentations or by running educational activities.”

As with the Lipscomb University announcement, the Tennessean article provides no scripture references.

As to Prof. Galbreath’s personal pledge to spread the climate change message to churches of Christ, the Lipscomb website made the following statement:

“Galbreath … has taken the opportunity to speak with churches about the benefits of environmental sustainability in the past, but now he is armed with 400 slides provided by ‘The Climate Project’ for future presentations. In fact, Galbreath had to take a pledge to make more presentations, using the slideshow, and he plans to hold presentations for students and faculty in the coming months.”
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Contributed by JTC Media, which provides exclusive news and commentary on matters of faith & culture from a biblical perspective for churches of Christ. Freelance author Russ McCullough serves as an elder for the Archdale church in Charlotte, N.C. He can be reached at rmcculls6@bellsouth.net or at 704.506.3856.