Friday, December 18, 2009

Humanity's Relation to Creation

Genesis I, Paradise - Sawai Chinnawong (2003)

Most churches today are not "ecological." The Sunday sermon is not about the flourishing of God's whole creation; more often, especially in North American well-off churches, it is aimed at the care and comfort of human individuals. The gospel - the good news - is usually addressed to human needs and failings. Occasionally, on Earth Day and when children help with the service, the environment is brought into the picture. Creation is allowed to take center stage a few times a year. But the well-being of the whole of God's creation is not seen as part and parcel of the gospel message. It is usually an add-on. Christian theology has been anthropocentric - concerned mainly with the well-being of human beings.

But can human beings thrive apart from nature? If salvation is understood as eternal life for some humans, then perhaps the answer is yes. But if salvation means the flourishing of all God's creatures here and now on this earth, then the answer is no. The world cannot be left out. The church must become ecological through and through.

- Sallie McFague, A New Climate For Theology: God, the World, and Global Warming (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2008), p. 32.

Genesis 7:13 - Sawai Chinnawong (2004)

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