Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Christians and the environment

Christianity Today recently interviewed Eugene Peterson and Peter Harris on a Christian approach to the environment. Peterson is probably best known for The Message, his popular paraphrase of the Bible, but I've found much of his other work to be really thoughtful and provocative.

Lately I've been considered writing a bit on Christians and the environment, as I feel that--while in some quarters this topic is probably over-emphasized--in many churches this question has yet to be raised, this challenge yet to be faced. With any luck, I'll get to this in the near future. Until then, enjoy this interesting interview.

2 comments:

Russell said...

Agreed. I would be very interested to follow you as you explore this topic. It seems to me that it isn't that churches don't address it, per se, it is the fact that this topic is so heavily ingrained in politics that no church wants to touch it. "Caring for the environment = liberals = unamerican = unchristian, so I don't want any part of that" is the unfortunate train of associations.

I was reminded of a post, I think from DesiringGod, that said in essence, Christians should be the best and most passionate "whatevers", and this includes caring for the environment. Also, I like this quote from the article: "If, on the other hand, you do what you do because you believe it pleases the living God, who is the Creator and whose handiwork this is, your perspective is very different. I don't think there is any guarantee we will save the planet. I don't think the Bible gives us much reassurance about that. But I do believe it gives God tremendous pleasure when his people do what they were created to do, which is care for what he made." In so doing we not only care for the environment but we in turn care for people who depend on the environment, which of course is all of us.

Nance said...

Of course we're getting to the point where every pressing moral issue of the day--that is, the issues that have risen to prominence and need special attention in our day--has been pretty highly politicized, except for pornography. But that one's too embarrassing to discuss in church, so they're all off the table. It really is an unfortunate place we've allowed ourselves to come to, as far as addressing the problems is concerned.
And thanks for that last line: "In so doing we not only care for the environment but we in turn care for people who depend on the environment, which of course is all of us." This seems to me to be a pretty straightforward, pragmatic logic, but apparently not everyone agrees.