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The Heavens Declare the Glory of God

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... Declare the Glory of God. Exploring the Relationship between Humanity & the Environment: ... Politically neutral: John Kerry & Newt Gingrich ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Heavens Declare the Glory of God


1
The Heavens Declare the Glory of God
  • Exploring the Relationship between Humanity the
    Environment
  • Part 1
  • Theological Foundations

2
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3
Introduction Biblical Environmental Ethics?
  • We are taking a fresh look at Creation
  • Partly due to environmental crisis
  • Global Warming
  • United Nations IPCC Synthesis Report 2001
  • United States EPA Climate Action Report 2002
  • Current US EPA website
  • Politically neutral John Kerry Newt Gingrich
  • Land surface changes (deforestation,
    urbanization), population issues, extinction
    issues
  • Forcing a fresh look at the text

4
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5
Introduction Biblical Environmental Ethics?
  • How Right is White?
  • The Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis,
    Science 155 (1967) 1203-1207.
  • The most anthropocentric religion the world has
    ever seen Christianity
  • Wrong on text right on reception history
  • Perhaps sparked Christian interest (response)
  • However, Rachel Carsons Silent Spring (1962)
    began environmental movement in western world

6
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7
Introduction Biblical Environmental Ethics??
  • Dealing Responsibly As Interpreters
  • God transcends Creation, but is Lord over
    Creation
  • Adopt a sacramental worldview
  • Seek for questions to revolve around God
  • Search for purpose/vocation in the light of Gods
    purposes and character
  • Develop a theology of nature as a byproduct of
    a healthy theology of Creation

8
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9
Developing A Theology of Creation
  • Creation as foundational
  • Genesis (creation) before Exodus (redemption)
  • Redemption, creation, salvation intertwined
  • Isaiah 40-55
  • Psalm 7412-17 Creation as saving deed
  • Psalm 103 (salvation) 104 (creation)
  • Creation theology deeper than nature

10
Creation in 3 Senses
  • Gods original, 1-x act (Gen. 1-2 Ps. 33)
  • Gods completed work of new creation (Isa.
    6517-25 Rev. 211-5)
  • Gods present sustaining work creatio continua
    (Ps. 10430)
  • OT challenge Gods work in creation
  • NT challenge Gods work in new creation

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12
IThe Work of God in Creation
13
1. Creation is Connected
  • Note the interrelatedness of Creation
  • Nature of humanity must be understood within
    larger environment
  • Similarity in language between animal/human

14
Human/Non-Human Similarities
Created on 6th day Gen. 1 Vegetarian
referred to same table for foodK. Barth Gen
129-30 Made of same raw material plants,
animals, human Gen 27-9, 19 Will return to
dust at death Gen. 319 Animated by same
God-given breath of life Gen. 130 27,
19 Living beings nepesh hayya Gen.
219 Adam / Adamah Gen 1 Both entered
exited together Noahs ark Gen. 6-9
15
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16
1. Creation is Connected
  • Note the interrelatedness of Creation
  • Nature of humanity must be understood within
    larger environment
  • Similarity in language between animal/human
  • Mutuality of service between human/non-human

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18
2. Natures Task of Praising God
  • In OT 50-x in 25 contexts.
  • Creation portrayed as dynamic
  • God uses non-human creation to accomplish His
    purposes
  • God portrayed as surrounded by images reflected
    in natural world
  • Humans as praise protectors

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3. Gods As Preserver of the World
  • God promises to be present with His Creation
  • Inherently valuable
  • Value God has placed upon land
  • Till / serve
  • Jubilee / Sabbath rest
  • Rights replaced by Responsibility

21
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22
4. Humans As Guardians
  • Assist in bringing order, not chaos, to Creation
  • Technological advancement AND conservation
  • Human activity affects Creation

23
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24
The Effects of Sin Upon the Cosmos
PASSAGE SIN EFFECT Gen 317 Eat
fruit hid Ground puts forth thorns and
thistles Gen 611-13 Cosmic/human
violence Flood (violent convulsing of
creation) Gen 1310-13 1924-28 Human
wickedness Sodom Gomorrah ecological
disaster Exodus 7-11 anti-creational
behavior Plagues as adverse ecological
effects Jer. 422-26 anti-creational
behavior Plagues as adverse ecological
effects Hos 41-3 human
sin Various cosmic effects
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26
4. Humans As Guardians
  • Assist in bringing order, not chaos, to Creation
  • Technological advancement AND conservation
  • Human activity affects Creation
  • Must balance dominion model and
    equality/integration model
  • Both responsibility for and share in
  • Jesus as the true Adam (Mark 113)

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28
IIThe Work of God in New Creation
29
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30
5. Hope for Shalom in New Creation
  • Cosmic hope reflected in Scripture
  • New Testament Case
  • Rom. 817-25 liberation of creation
  • 1 Cor. 15 resurrection of the body
  • Col. 115-20 reconciling all things
  • 2 Pet. 3 new heaven, new earth
  • Rev. 21-22 God in the new Jerusalem
  • Carry over same language, imagery, etc Same
    hope?
  • Continuity and Discontinuity anticipated

31
IIIThe Calling of an Anticipatory Community
32
6. A Call To Action For The Church
  • Church is called to be an anticipatory
    community
  • Lack of environmental consciousness?
  • What lies within the purposes of God must lie
    within the mission of the Church
  • Do we value what God values?
  • We are stewards, not owners of the world
  • Affirm the world as a vessel of Gods glory

33
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34
Closing Comments
  • Proper theology always has God as its subject
  • We desire Divine in-breaking
  • Our incentive is eschatological

35
Important Recent Works
  • Steven Bouma-Prediger, For the Beauty of the
    Earth (Grand Rapids Baker, 2001)
  • Ecology, Justice, and Christian Faith, ed.
    Bakken, et. al. (London Greenwood, 1995)
  • Ronald A. Simkins, Creator and Creation (Peabody,
    MA Hendrickson, 1994).
  • Terrence Fretheim, God and World in the Old
    Testament (Nashville Abingdon, 2005).
  • Key authors Bernard Anderson, Ian Barbour,
    Walter Brueggemann, Jürgen Moltmann, H. Paul
    Santmire.
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