WCIUjournal
Copy of ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES

Environmental Studies

What role should believers have in caring for God's creation in light of Genesis 1:26-28 and Romans 8:20-22?

Photo Credit: Sam Cox - Flickr

Mission in the Context of Covenant: Implications for the Environment

by Howard A. Snyder

Mission that does not take God’s covenant with the earth seriously and strategically is not holistic, integral, or really faithful. If it doesn’t include the land, it’s not the whole gospel.

Earth-conscious mission has always been an urgent priority. It is even more so now, due to the destructive effects of climate change, the poisoning of the oceans, extinction of species, declining biodiversity, growing pollution from plastics (like plastic bottles and Styrofoam), lack of support for environmentally-conscious political leaders, and failure of Christians and other humans to recycle in all the ways possible.

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A War-torn Creation

by Greg Boyd

Seeing the world as caught in warfare even at the level of creation, reframes the world in ways that have a practical impact on how we live our lives in kingdom mission. Anything we do to reflect God’s ideal for creation is a form of spiritual warfare. In fact, every positive thing we do for the earth (including recycling!) is a form of spiritual warfare. Many evangelical Christians may see this as a “liberal” agenda, but care for creation was our first command: “Fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground” (Gen. 1:28).

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Creation Care in Biblical Perspective

by Beth Snodderly

Evangelical Christian presence in U.S. society is giving God a bad reputation. American evangelicals, who ignore or even mock the warning signs of global warming and environmental pollution, are doing exactly the opposite of what God’s people should be doing to demonstrate the character and glory of God to a secular world. If we represent God as being uncaring and unconcerned about his creation, many people will not want to know that kind of God.

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Reflection: Creation Waits for Liberation by the Children of God

by Beth Snodderly

After the Messiah came, and dealt with the heaped up sin of the world, thus “destroying,” or “undoing” the works of the devil (1 John 3:8), creation was still left groaning under the burden of what Satan had done to it. Just as God subjected the people of Israel to the frustration of knowing what is right (through the Law) and not being able to fulfill it, so creation has been subjected to the frustration of “knowing” what it is meant to be and not being able to be that. God’s children need to to do what they were originally created to do: to act as stewards of the earth by undoing the effects of the curse and frustration of creation and liberating it from Satan’s dominion (Genesis 1:26).

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Reflection: Genesis 1: Overcoming Physical Chaos

by Beth Snodderly

As a description of the consequences of opposition to God’s ways, the figure of speech, tohu wabohu, also contains within itself the solution to addressing the root problem behind the chaos and desolation. Believers have the privilege of allowing God’s Spirit to work through them to demonstrate God’s glory, by bringing order out of chaos, and by overcoming evil with good.

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Reflection: Genesis 1, The Land, and International Development

by Beth Snodderly

he account in Genesis 1 of God’s making the land helped the people of Israel see themselves as a community of the people of God, about to inherit a land made for them by God. The author of the creation passage certainly knew how to get his readers’ and listeners’ attention. The grammar of Genesis 1:2 places a strong emphasis on “the land” by placing the noun before the verb, which is not usual in Hebrew: we’ha’eretz hayeta, “now the earth was ...”. Allen Ross asks, “Why did the new nation of Israel need to have this material and to have it written as it is?”

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Reflection: Loving Our Neighbors in a Holistic Way

by Kenton Moody

This post is some thoughts reflecting on care for the environment of El Salvador and further reflecting on a celebration of the 4th of July earlier this month. Kenton is a PhD student at WCIU serving the poor in Western El Salvador. His focus has been in areas of extreme poverty and gang conflict helping children and youth at risk through education, social intervention, and spiritual transformation. He has founded the Open Door Church, Hosanna School, and the Center of Hope, all operating in Santa Ana.

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William Carey, the Agriculturalist

by Ken Gnanakan

In his 1922 book, The Life of William Carey, George Smith refers to Carey as “the gentle botanist” who engaged in this recreation “in the interest of his body as well as of his otherwise over-tasked spirit.” Such engagement in kingdom activity must flow from a theology that legitimizes all activity in God’s world as God’s purposes.

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