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THEO 303 (Sp '16) T28-29 - Environmental Ethics

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Hartmut Scherer

on 21 April 2016

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Transcript of THEO 303 (Sp '16) T28-29 - Environmental Ethics

Sources and Image Credit
Adopted key thoughts from Dr. Ray Bohlin, "Christian Environmentalism"; accessed June 23, 2015; http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/probe/docs/ecology.html;
John C. Bergstrom, "Principles of a Christian Environmental Ethic: With Applications to Agriculture, Natural Resources, and the Environment"; accessed June 23, 2015; http://www.leaderu.com/science/bergstromenviroethics.
Ted Peters, "Expanding Christian Ethical Principles for a New Millennium: An Exploration of Proleptic Ethics"; accessed June 23, 2015; http://urantiabook.org/archive/studyaid/christian_ethical_principles.htm;
Francis Bridger, "Ecology and Eschatology: a Neglected Dimension"; accessed June 24, 2015;
Environmental Ethics
Deep Water Horizon Accident
- more than 200 million gallons
of crude oil was pumped into
the Gulf of Mexico
- oil is still washing up on shores
- 16,000 total miles of coastline have been affected
- 11 people died, 17 got injured
- $20 billion spill response fund (President Obama)
The Six Degradations of the Earth
General Principles of a Christian Environmental Ethic
1) Principle of Creation Value
2) Principle of Sustained Order and Purpose
3) Principle of Universal Corruption and Redemption
Conflicting Views of the Environment
Biocentric view
Anthropocentric view
- environment has intrinsic value
- environment has value because
of human beings
- environment has intrinsic value
because it is God's creation
placed under human dominion
Principle of Creation Value
- God created all things (Rev. 4:11)
- God loves and enjoys all that He has created
(Psalm 145:16-17)
- God is the owner of all his creation (Ps. 24:1)
God places value on nature
- Jesus Christ's physical body was resurrected
Theocentric view
Principle of Sustained Order and Purpose
- all elements of nature fit and function together in
an orderly fashion
- God sustains all of creation within particular orders
- Gen. 1:28 biblical hierarchy: God, people, nature
- people are under the authority or dominion of God
Principle of Universal Corruption and Redemption
- in Adam all people have sinned
- all of creation has been corrupted by sin
- universal corruption is separation of people
from God, from each other and from nature
Tentative Summary
- (principle 1-3): stewardship/ecology ethics based
on the concept of dominion (Gen. 1)
- goal: preservation of the created order
4) Principle of Future Oriented Fulfillment
Principle of Future Oriented Fulfillment
- ecological ethics from an eschatological perspective
- rooted in the kingdom of God which is to come
- original creation is seen as a prototype of the new
- an act entirely of God's power
Living with an Eschatological Perspective
1) living between two decisive acts of God
2) the coming of the kingdom vindicates the natural
3) the coming kingdom should highly motivate
us today
Creation and New Creation in Christ
- creation and consummation existed in the mind of
God from the beginning
Romans 8:18-30
- (v.18) set personal pain in a longer perspective
- (v.21) entire created order (incl. the material
creation) hopes for redemption
The Basis for an Ecological Ethics
- our ecological responsibility lies in the connection
old and new creation
- in loving and expecting the King, we will do today,

what pleases the King
(Matt. 25:14-30)
- we are called to be
of the earth
- in acting to
the created order
we are pointing to the
coming rule
of God in Christ
Caring for God’s World in View of God’s New Creation
- role of people: caretaker, manager, steward
Colossians 1:15-20
- Christ is the image of God and the firstborn of all
- creation owes its existence, continuance and goal
to Christ
- connect the past, present and
Romans 8 and Colossians 1:
- include the material order
"Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created."
The earth is the LORD's and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein,
You open your hand; you satisfy the desire of every living thing. 17 The LORD is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works.
And God blessed them. And God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth."
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