Biblical Basis for Creation Care

Ecology According to the New Testament
(Direction, Vol. 21, No. 2, Fall 1992)
This is an article by Gordon Zerbe, Assistant Professor of New Testament at Canadian Mennonite Bible College in Winnipeg discussing the ecological undertones throughout the New Testament and their importance for the redemptive nature of God's work in the world.
Rethinking Dominion Theology
(Direction, Vol. 25, No. 2, Fall 1996)
This is an article by Theodore Hiebert from the Journal Direction discussing the exegesis of the word Dominion, as it is used throughout the Old Testament, and its implications for the call to steward Creation. Hiebert, a Professor of Old Testament at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, examines the use of the words Radah and Kavash - most frequently translated as "dominion" and "subdue" in regard to Creation - throughout the Old Testament. He shows that both words are used benevolently and malevolently in different contexts and defy simplistic interpretation. Both must be seen in light of the harsh pastoral lifestyles and settings of those living at the time these words were used. The so-called "Priestly" source that authored Genesis 1 uses them in both contexts throughout the Old Testament as do other authors. So the basis they provide for a concept of dominion must be seen in light of their relationship to larger Biblical principles as applied to our own times. This essay is a thoughtful antidote to the superficial scholarship that often attends investigation of these words in many corners of the church.
The Bible and the Environment
(Gordon Wenham, Trinity Theological College)
This is the text of a lecture by noted Old Testament scholar Gordon Wenham and sponsored by the British based John Ray Initiative, a UK-based educational charity. Wenham discusses how the Bible portrays the natural world as God’s creation, and the role of man as God’s mandated steward of the earth. Wenham, who read Theology at Cambridge and did his doctoral work on the book of Deuteronomy, is currently lecturing at Trinity Theological College, Bristol, UK.
A Christian Look at the Environment in Six Bible Studies
(Dena Burke, John Ray Initiative)
A series of six Bible studies on the environment and Christian stewardship of it from Dena Burke, an Associate with the John Ray Initiative.
Consultation on Environmental Stewardship
(John Ray Initiative)
This report was prepared in September 2000 by several theologian and scientists to address key questions on the environment from a Biblical perspective. Exegesis is presented clarifying the role and status of the created world in Biblical times and its relationship to today’s scientific knowledge base and issues. Among the contributors are Christian environmental author Calvin DeWitt, President Emeritus at the Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies, and Sir John Houghton, Chairman of the John Ray Initiative and former Co-Chairman of the Scientific Assessment Working Group, Intergovernmental Panel in Climate Change (IPCC). Houghton is well known for his contributions to climate science and his leadership of the IPCC Working Group I Third Annual Report (2001), which defines mainstream scientific consensus on global warming. Less well known is the fact that he is an evangelical Christian (Houghton has visited, and spoken at my church in Seattle, University Presbyterian Church).
The Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) and the Environment
(Gerstenfeld, M. Jewish Environmental Perspectives, No. 3 , Tevet 5762, January 2002)
This paper presents a detailed overview of how the Old Testament portrays the natural world and how human communities are to treat it. Discussions cover, animals, crops, pollution and nuisance, nature’s role as God’s creation, human stewardship responsibilities and more. An extensive Scriptural bibliography is provided. Gerstenfeld is Chairman of the Steering Committee of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, an international consultant specializing in business and environmental strategy to the senior ranks of multi-national corporations, and an associate editor of the Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature, for which he co-chairs the Judaism Task Force.
The Natural History of the Bible: An Environmental Exploration of the Hebrew Scripture
(Daniel Hillel)
This book examines the growth of the ancient Hebrew nation from nomadic clan to nation-state in Canaan, and how their view of the natural world—as reflected in Scripture—grew out of their interaction with indigenous societies of the region. As their society and sense of identity formed, they absorbed selective elements of their cultures, and integrated them into a radically new culture of their own. Hillel reveals the interplay between ancient Israelite culture and the environments within which it developed, and how this shaped the Old Testament. More than just affecting their material existence, the region's ecology influenced their views of creation, God as Creator, their conception of humanity's role on Earth, their own distinctive identity and destiny, and their ethics. Hillel is professor emeritus of environmental studies, University of Massachusetts, and senior research scientist, Center for Climate Systems Research, Columbia University.


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