Thursday, July 19, 2018

The Bible and Ecology

This is the title of an excellent book I'm currently reading through. I've decided to write some of the highlights here, for a couple of reasons... First, because it helps me process and remember; second, it's great to have others interacting and thinking through this material too!

So, The Bible and Ecology really embarks on a biblical investigation to discover the relationship between humanity and the rest of creation. It's this "community of creation" that the author, Richard Bauckham is getting at. He's trying to get at the commonality that we humans have with other creatures, our dependence on them as well as our significance for them, in a life in which all creatures exist fo rthe glory of God. He states that although "climate change" has taken center stage in the conversation these days, there's a deeper crisis in the human relationship to the rest of creation that stems the modern technological project of mastering nature. The conversation about climate change, he says, and I agree, has distracted us from the other problems and their deeper issues in fundamental attitudes we have. This is why this book is so helpful in pointing us back to the biblical sources of our faith to rediscover God's intention with what Bauckham calls the "community of creation".

How about you? Do you agree with Bauckhams' perspective? What deeper issues and/or fundamental attitudes do you notice in your own life and in the Christian community that we need to get back to in the context of caring for God's creation?

Sunday, July 01, 2018

Speaking in Brazil

Speaking with Leadership

I had a very busy two weeks in AnĂ¡polis, Brazil at the beginning of this June. It was a great visit! I was booked most days with meetings, speaking engagements, or a trip to a property recently acquired by the university next to a national park.

As I had written in our previous update, I was to speak on "The Biblical Principles for Creation Care". The lecture (see their write-up by clicking on the link) was specifically for the academia of the institution, along with the chaplaincy and some invited pastors from the city. I spoke for about an hour, then opened our time up for questions and comments. There was a lot of interaction on the topic, not just from the pastors and chaplains, but also the professors and institutional leadership. In fact, the director of the Masters Program in Environmental Sciences said she had never before heard about the Biblical principles to care for this world and how it should impact our practices. She left the lecture excited to research more of what I was explaining and to put some of the principles I expounded on into their courses. I also challenged the pastors and chaplains present to bring this topic into their regular conversations as well as sermons. What would it look like if we, Christians--the Church--led the way in being good stewards of Creation, just as we were commanded to? One of my key questions was: "Do our practices as God's stewards of creation lead it to flourish, or do our practices bring degradation?"

In response to this last questions, what do you think?