The Environmental Crisis, the Gospel, and Christian witness

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.