This is what I've sent off to publisher #2, and I shall gradually work my way through my list of possibles. If anyone out there is interested in publishing this, do let me know ;-) Click full post for text.
BOOK SYNOPSIS: Let us be human: Prophecy, Peak Oil, and the path for the faithful
The phrase 'Peak Oil' refers to the geological law that the flow of oil from an oilfield will start small, increase over time, reach a peak and then decline. This law applies to oilfields, oil producing regions and the world at large. For some one hundred and fifty years now the industrial economy of the West has expanded in tandem with an increasing supply of oil, and we have built an entire way of life upon the free and easy access to energy that oil (along with other hydrocarbons) has provided. The Peak in world oil production is either already present or imminent within the next few years - and it means that oil will progressively become less and less available; this, in turn, means that the way of life built upon oil will break down and collapse.
There have been many books published from a secular perspective describing this phenomenon and giving more or less pessimistic analyses of what we can expect. I believe that the problems we face are ultimately spiritual in nature - we have created a world in which our humanity is distorted and defaced, and we have lost our way as a society and a culture. I believe that Christian theology has a great deal to say to this situation and that only a theological analysis can adequately assess the problems that we are facing, and describe a healing way out. In my book I therefore:
- describe what Peak Oil is, and what the implications are for the future of our civilisation;
- link it in to the wider ecological notion of 'limits to growth', and the way in which our present ways of life will of necessity come to an end;
- provide three theological 'tools' that are essential for rightly understanding our predicament; these are: a) the notion of idolatry, the distortion of values that come from placing too much importance on anything other than God; b) the notion of God's wrath, and how to rightly understand it, so that we can recognise it when we experience it; c) the notion of apocalypse, so that we can interpret the signs of the times rightly, and not be misled by secular eschatologies, which desire to destroy our world;
- apply those three tools to four areas of our life, indicating how a turning away from Christian faith has weakened our society and made us liable to God's judgement: a) in the sphere of environmental stewardship; b) in the sphere of social justice within and between nations; c) in the sphere of foreign affairs, specifically with regard to Islamic terrorism; d) in the sphere of religious teaching;
- finally I outline the ways in which a living Christian faith provides the essential means of negotiating our way forward through this crisis, looking specifically at the demands of Christian discipleship within the world, and the way in which we are called to worship. I conclude with a call to repentance on the part of the Christian community, and an outline of the renewed shape of life that we are called to live out.
Audio recordings of the talks the book is based on are here.