Mere Environmentalism: A Biblical Perspective on Humans and the Natural World
As debates over climate change rage in Washington and American consumers become ever more conscientious about ‘going green,’ evangelical Christians are increasingly concerned about the proper relationship between faith and environmentalism. The notion of human ‘stewardship’ over God’s creation could be a groundbreaking opportunity for cooperation between evangelicals, the scientific community, and environmental activists.
However, a deep understanding of environmental issues from a distinctively Christian perspective will inevitably complicate partnerships with those who approach the subject from conventional secular viewpoints. Although there is some common ground, there remain important differences between Christian and secular perspectives on the environment. Are human beings merely one ‘part’ of the undifferentiated whole of nature? Or, worse, are humans a blight and a drain on God’s perfect creation? Do we really ‘own’ the land we live on and the plants and animals that provide our sustenance?
The answers to these questions begin to form a Christian approach to solving ecological problems. In Mere Environmentalism: A Biblical Perspective on Humans and the Natural World, Steven F. Hayward provides a thorough examination of the philosophical presuppositions underlying today’s environmentalist movement and the history of policies intended to alleviate environmental challenges such as overpopulation and global warming. Relying on Scripture to understand God’s created order, Hayward offers an insightful reflection on the relationship between humans and the natural world.
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