A Toxic Legacy
Why creation care matters for Bible believers
Most nature documentaries include some language that refers to an underlying naturalistic understanding of origins. However, the recently released nature documentary “The Riot and the Dance” breaks this common pattern in a refreshing way.
The creation of God was designed to exist in goodness and harmony. To keep this harmony, God entrusts human beings with the duty to take care of the earth. The message of Scripture encourages us to foster ethical behavior towards the creation, centered on caring and stewarding, for at least seven main reasons.
One person’s cultural background can bias their view about people from other cultures… even before they have ever met. Could people also have a bias about how they think about other creatures? It may even be possible that scientific culture could prejudice the way researchers see creature-environmental relations with the potential to bias whole research programs.
A very common reaction to the thought of “microbes” is a compelling desire to slather up in hand sanitizer! However, it is seldom realized that the greatest majority of microorganisms are at the very least not harmful, and at the most necessary for human life! Many aspects of microbial interaction with our environment allow it to be so perfect for humans. Some of these aspects include oxygen generation,…
The world must have seemed like a big place to Helga Estby, a Norwegian woman who walked across America in the year 1896. Helga immigrated to the United States with her parents in 1871 at the age of 11. On May 5, 1896, at the age of nearly 36, Helga and her 18 year old daughter Clara set out to walk across the United States. They started from Mica Creek, in far eastern Washington state, and walked…
The number of different kinds of living organisms is one measure of biological diversity, or what has become known as “biodiversity.” Our world’s oceans have the highest known biodiversity, second only to the number of species found in the tropical rainforest.
During 1833, Arthur Henry Hallam died suddenly and unexpectedly. This would be one of those sad but unremarkable facts of history were it not for his close friendship with Alfred Lord Tennyson. Tennyson spent the next 17 years struggling with the death of his friend. During this time, Tennyson composed “In Memoriam,” a long poem that wrestles with the shock, sadness and despair he experienced and his…
Among those who reject the Biblical record of God’s action in creating everything, including all living things, the process of chemical evolution from atoms to the first cell is usually explained something like this: elements reacted with each other spontaneously forming simple molecules. These simple molecules continued to react forming larger and more complex molecules such as the nucleotide building…
As Christians, we believe that God created the Earth and us, and has entrusted us to care for the planet and each other. What are some practical things that we can do at home to care for the Earth’s environment?
Creation and Sabbath provide key rationale for the continued necessity of earth care. In the biblical theology of conservation, we cannot dismiss care for animals and care for the environment by reasoning that the earth will eventually be “burned up” (2 Pet. 3:10). All living creatures are co-inhabitants on the earth, and as they also depend on its ecosystems for survival, the Bible holds humankind responsible for the preservation of the earth and the care of all living creatures.
From the trillions, yes trillions, of non-human cells that live in our bodies cooperating with us in various ways that keep us healthy and happy, down to the molecular machines that keep each cell running all the way up to the cooperation between plants and animals that keep the animals fed, the plants pollinated and any number of other cooperative relationships between organisms, the real question is, “Who designed the marvelous plans we see brought to life all around us?”
In a "land of plenty" it is not easy to be motivated about being fugal with the earth's abundant treasures. Yet, when God brought the children of Israel to the "Promised Land," He carefully instructed them on good ecology.
Environmental ethics now defends the inclusion of large communities of animals, plants, rivers, lakes, mountains, and valleys, referred to as ecosystems, “biomes,” or “the natural environment.”
Environmental ethics expands the circle of moral concern beyond human beings to include at the very least some “higher” mammals with whom we share important morally relevant characteristics. Environmental ethics explores why nonhuman life should count morally. By contrast, with rare exceptions, Western ethics is predominately anthropocentric.
Are humans a part of the environment, or only stewards of it? Are humans merely "in" nature, or are they also "of" nature? What does it mean to "preserve" the environment?
Do Christians have a legitimate interest in environmentalism, or might it be a distraction from the real work of the gospel?
The position taken in this paper is that much environmental degradation stems ultimately and cumulatively from the outlook, attitude or worldview – effectively religion – of individuals. Therefore one might reason that an effective solution must include changes to individual attitudes and worldviews – some would say, we must change our religion.
God created the earth “to be inhabited” (Isaiah 45:18, NIV). This means that our earthly habitat is not a fortuitous accidental phenomenon of little worth, but rather, it is one to be highly valued and preserved.
From a Christian perspective, ethical stewardship of our God-given talents and the technologies that arise from them are essential to the growth of science, to fostering trust in science, and to maximizing beneficence amid the clinical applications of science.