The response of churches to climate change
LE3 .A278 2011
Doctor of Ministry
Acadia Divinity College
“We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labour pains until now” (Romans 8:22). All Biblical references are from the NRSV unless otherwise noted. The central controlling idea of this thesis is that climate change is an imminent threat to the earth that belongs to the Lord God and we have an ethical obligation to conserve His creation. To frame out this conviction an analysis of both positions will be presented: the anthropogenic view of climate change and the perspective of those who deny that climate change is human induced. Moving from this debate, the stance of various church bodies, councils and denominations will be examined. Representative action plans from a range of groups will be offered. This dissertation has been written to serve as a guide to inform pastors, church leaders and Christians in general so they can choose where they stand on the issue and respond to the crisis at hand. A church can use this material to formulate a responsible action plan. A conviction behind this research is that churches should be well informed on current issues to provide pertinent responses. The argument will be put forth 2 that God is the creator and hence, the earth belongs to Him. Building on this premise is the assertion that creation is a revelation of who God is and to deface it is tantamount to discarding the Bible. If evangelicals defend the inspiration of Scriptures, they should with a similar degree of conviction protect the environment, given that, we are stewards of what God has made. The position will be further reinforced by presenting the works of notable theologians and Christian writers to demonstrate that a love for nature and a reverence for life will lead us to combat the human causes of climate change and uphold the rights of the earth. All of this will culminate to assert that Christians have a moral responsibility to act to conserve what God has entrusted to us as stewards.
The author grants permission to the University Librarian at Acadia University to reproduce, loan or distribute copies of my thesis in microform, paper or electronic formats on a non-profit basis. The author retains the copyright of the thesis.