Wednesday, November 27, 2013
In the module Engaging God's World this week we are tackling the issue of theology and the environment. The question I posed was to what extent is the environment of valid missionary concern? In view of the fact that we had David Bookless come and give a talk on this issue in our Contemporary Issues in Mission session I decided that we should do an exercise looking at the issues through creation, fall, redemption and eschatology. We were fascinated to see how this issue kinks up so many other issues in the theology of mission. Issues of justice; issues of Christian commitment; contextualisation and many other important theological and Missional areas of engagement. We noted how God seems to be very interested in our world. Christianity seem to us to be an extremely "worldly" faith. We seem to see that God is less interested in taking human beings to heaven than bringing heaven down to Earth. God's perfect future, as illustrated in Jesus's use of the concept of the kingdom of God, is bringing God's good governance to the Earth. We will be looking tomorrow in our group and plenary discussions at what that means for our engagement with the environment. It highlighted once again the deeply ingrained Greek dualism that much theology has assumed: the separation of the "supernatural" and the "natural". Whereas the Bible recognises the distinction between the spiritual and the physical, it doesn't have categories such as supernatural and natural.All this of course means that the life and death and resurrection of Jesus Christ have deep significance for our treatment of the environment. The book of Colossians state very clearly in chapter 1 verse 20 that everything was made by Christ and for Christ and that his ultimate purpose is to bring all things in heaven and on Earth to reconciliation with him through his death on the cross.