Friday 14 December 2007

Christians and the environment

There has been a flurry of good posts about the environment in recent weeks, especially the topic of global warming. It is encouraging that there has been so much discussion generated by the recent federal elections in Australia. The ratification of the Kyoto Protocol by our new Prime Minister has also been well received here and overseas. Of course, it's easy to sign documents and set policies, implementing them is another thing. As Christians we need to be well informed about the various environmental issues that are facing us (in fact the whole world). And this isn't just about our own comfort and efforts to head off disaster before it costs nations and individuals financially. There are significant moral issues and decisions to be made. Policy decisions taken by Australia and other developed nations will have an impact not just on our citizens but on other nations. As Christians we need to keep our governments accountable to make just and right decisions. Andrew Errington wrote an interesting article about the Christian and government in the last edition of Case.

Byron Smith has been writing about these issues for quite a while and has a series of related Blog posts on the topic on his Blog (one of my favourites). You might not agree with everything that Byron writes here, but the posts and the various comments in response to them are an interesting discussion of the issues.

Andrew Cameron also provides a short biblical analysis in an Anglican Media piece, The environment - a Christian response, that is an extract from a longer piece he has done for the Sydney Diocese' Social Issues Executive (SIE).

It's hard to keep up with the environmental commentary at the moment but I for one am making an effort to engage with the issues and I'd encourage all readers of CASE to do likewise.


byron smith said...

I know this is over two years late, but I've just come across this link that I missed at the time, and I'm curious: which part(s) of my talk did you disagree with? Or which point(s) do you suspect some of your readers might? In that particular talk, I didn't think I was intending to be particularly controversial to Christians.

These questions are probably quite unfair, since it was a few years ago, so don't feel the need to re-read my material. Only answer if you can remember off the top of your head.

Trevor Cairney said...

Hi Byron,

Great to hear from you (even if 2 years after I posted this!). I wasn't referring to a specific point, but rather the general sense that some Christians don't see the same need for political concern about the environment. That's not my view (which my post made clear), but sadly for some there is a level of disinterest and a belief that the degrading of our earth is all part oif the inevitable consequence of man's sin, so why get too excited about doing anything. Again, it's not my view that we shouldn't be worried about environmental degradation (and of course all the consequent justice issues related), but one held by a small (I hope) minority.

Thanks for asking the question.


byron smith said...

Ah yes, thanks for clarifying.