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The Environmental Crisis, the Gospel, and Christian witness

Autor: Chris Kidd
Data: 23.10.2010
Category: Meio Ambiente

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Publicado originalmente em Inglês

I’ve been wrestling for the last couple of years with a Christian response to the environment and trying to understand the environment and specifically climate change at a better level.  I’ve read somewhere in the region of 25 books in the last couple of years on the topic and feel like I have a great understanding but it was great to sit in a multiplex (seminar) with some great minds.

The discussion was moderated by Dr. Ken Gnanakan, an environmental theologian from India, and included contributions from Sir John Houghton, a Welsh scientist who was the co-chair of the Nobel Peace Prize winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s scientific assessment working group, Dr. Denise Thompson, the Programme Professor in the Center for Innovation, Development, Enterprise and Strategy, at the University of Trinidad & Tobago, David Kima, General Secretary of the Evangelical Alliance of Papua New Guinea, and Dr. Las Newman, the Associate General Secretary of IFES.

Sir John started by presenting his paper on The Science of Global Climate Change. Facing the Issues. What are the Issues?

Dr. Denise Thompson followed on with some key thoughts about how we move forward in industry.  She talked about how in her courses she teaches her students there are now three bottom lines to look for:

  • Economic
  • Social
  • Environment

She challenged us as church leaders to …

  • Encourage young people to become academics and leaders of industry in this area
  • Convene new discussions and partnerships on this topic
  • To drive theological education in a new direction

David Kima then spoke on his context of Papua New Guinea and the need to educate “normal” Christians.

I thought this was a good seminar with some healthy discussion, my only hope is that something on the theme of climate change and the wider topic of the environment will make its way into the Cape Town Commitment at the end of the Congress – this is an imperative topic which Christians seem to be ignoring.

Palavras-chave: environment

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Responder Bandeira 0 Gostou Não Gostou alearner (0)
Estados Unidos

I agree that Christians seem to be ignoring the topic of climate change.  In fact, they aren’t just ignoring it, they are denying it even exsists.  This is sad to me given that God entrusted us with the job of caring for His creation.  I affirm you for all your studies.  I am a children’s pastor and teach my children at church all the time about ways they can help take care of the Earth.  We are going to focus on the world’s need for water in VBS this year.  The younger generations are our best hope.

Responder Bandeira 0 Gostou Não Gostou David_Nunes (0)
Estados Unidos

I share your concern that this is an important topic and would like to see some sort of Cape Town 2010 commitment. Unfortunately, as far as I am aware most denominations have had some sort of positive environmental statement for quite a long time. What I have experienced is that these statements do not get shared or put into practice in local congregations.

I am encouraged by the growing interest in environmental issues mostly by individuals and a few churches. However, it appears to me that in those congregations where environmental concerns aren’t totally despised, Creation care is treated no different than Christian tennis or motorcycle clubs… simply a form of fellowship, but not very important. The difference being that you can’t bring a secular “environmentalist” to Christ if your church and its members are unaware of Creation Care Theology and open hostile toward all things “environmental”.

From what I have read in these conversations, there is strong justification for environmental stewardship. I would suggest that it might be constructive to see more conversation on next steps.

I appreciate that you have provided a summary of the presentations. Should members following this issue attempt to document key thoughts and next steps?

  • What are the next steps?
  • What are the major challenges?
  • Are there limitations?
  • How do theses challenges vary geographically?


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