Climate Change, Environmentalism and Scripture (part 2)

Continuing the discussion from Climate Change, Environmentalism and Scripture:

Oh, I so agree with you. Yes, he has written for BioLogos before. He reviewed the wonderful film Avatar, which (as you know) is about taking care of the environment, not exploiting it for natural resources, and respecting the rights of indigenous people. So he decides this movie is anti-Christian! But seriously, conservative Christianity does have a problem with environmentalism. You see the flak I get when I post stuff about climate change.


I wasn’t chiding you, I was just saying that we shouldn’t spend the whole thread bashing Brian Godawa “because” I had done so.

This may be more of an American thing than a Christian thing. There is a history of anti-intellectualism running through Christian communities in the US, and it has led to a culture of rejecting scientific findings, be it evolution or climate change. Symptoms of this anti-intellectualism are found at many tiers in society, including congregations and political parties. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for how Christians in the US view science and intellectualism. As some have indelicately put it, it may be a matter of older generations dying off. Who knows?

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You’re not wrong

So I made the initial thread asking if there are any verses in the Bible which can encourage us to care for God’s creation.

In Europe, we do not have this problem amongst Christians. I suspect it goes down to the theological differences between American and European Christianity. The more moderate Anglican Church had Nonconformist Protestants persecuted in the 17th century, so they fled to the American colonies.

Genesis 2:15: The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.

Every species on earth was brought into the ark at God’s command. Not one species was deemed unimportant.

There are many verses extolling the goodness and worth of creation. So who are we to trash it?

Finally, in Revelation, it says “Behold I make all things new” (as opposed to making all new things)

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Right you are. It’s an American Evangelical thing.

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I will agree with Godawa and others however, that there needs to be a balance between rampant environmental destruction and the thought that nature is an entirely benevolvent and passive force that is misunderstood. The unfortunate case of Tim Treadwell is testament to this.

Is this the whole world or just Eden?

I agree. I had the privilege of working with a British man who considered himself a liberal Democrat and felt it was Christian to be so. He felt it was more Christian then to be a tory.

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This is teaching us about our relationship to creation. For literalists, Eden is be part of creation, right?

I would certainly agree with his position.

Thanks. Interestingly, he was a missionary in Africa. Tim Farron was an evangelical leader of the Liberal Democrats in the UK till recently. I read a Counterpoints book on inerrancy, in which Michael Bird,a theologian from Australia, mentioned that Americans tend to think their theology is the only one, while 4/5 of the world’s Christians do not ascribe to this. He was quite incredulous at the gun culture and conservative culture of Christians in the US. He couched it in terms of how most of the world’s Christians don’t subscribe to the Chicago statement on biblical inerrancy either. I am still learning a lot about this. However, it seems that aligning one’s theology with one worldview not clearly Christian shoots yourself in the foot.


I love Michael Bird. (I just feel the need to mention this every time he comes up, because I think he deserves a bigger fan club. Carry on.)

Yes! He has an awesome sense of humor, too.

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