Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Environmental Stewardship is Good Theology

Link to Russell Article

I think Russell is correct in his reasoning. His theology is contextual and correlational in that it is Christian faith trying to understand the things of God as revealed in Jesus Christ. All humans share this same creation. Scripture is at the very centre of God's instructions to rule over, work and steward His ‘good’ and ‘very good’ earth and creatures. (Genesis 1:26; 2:15) There is a clear industrial and caretaking responsibility for Christian environmental stewardship of nature.

As Russell says, God delights in us enjoying his gifts. Genesis 1:28 commands us to create community and steward creation. John 14:21 calls us to obey – love for Father and Son cannot be separated – by respecting his good creation. Through Christ we have guidelines for properly handling and interacting with the environment that will prevent us from pantheistic thinking, and falling into heresy.

The sin of Adam changed nature from working in perfect harmony to a struggle and toil (Gen 3:17), and Paul affirms this (Romans 8:22). Genesis 1:27 shows there is an unequal relationship between man and nature – we have God-given souls, and are created in His image, separate from all other living things. We can act on this truth now, in the tension of now but not yet, and ease the pain of a groaning creation.

God will redeem the physical and spiritual, and that salvation is for all creation, which needs supernatural healing, reconciliation of all things – redemption. (Romans 8:5, 21; Coll 1:19-20) It is dualistic thinking to say that the world is evil or irredeemable. We can express our concern for creation as a gift from God, and desire for non-Christians to understand the infinite fullness of the Creator through our work and our love of Jesus Christ.

Teacher's Response:
And your post is another possible response to this article ! smile Thanks for building on the content and offering some further theological remarks
I think you are on the right track regarding Russell: that he is opening up soem of the characteristics of Christian living in the light of what Scripture tells us of God's character
One does not have to agree with all Russell's suggestions or find all of them equally well founded

1 comment:

Coleen said...

And thus my love of beauty in nature. I like that you essentially write about the reconciliation between Christianity and the tree huggers. I've always been interested in the environment and protecting it, but in Christian circles that is highly associated with a liberal philosophies. Of course God wants us to take care of His creation. What a joy it is for me to make a lovely garden.