Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What should we be doing?

I've been trying to crystalise what I think a Christian environmental think tank should be doing. I wanted some alliteration but the following will have to do:

Inform - as much as it is needed, people don't want to be told they need education, often even if they are committed to life long learning. With a constructivist emphasis on learning, informing people about the damage that has been done, is being done and will likely result due to land clearing, over fishing, global warming, habitat loss and fragmentation is needed so that people can count the cost and feel the loss.

Informing also relates to the various complex factors of human society that relate to 'the environment' (or more properly for Christians, the rest of creation) including poverty, economics, development, trade, culture, etc.

Explore - as a Christian think tank, our mission is in part to explore the theological basis for Christian action, critiques of the market, of technology, of 'Green' philosophy, etc and offer a solidly biblical alternative that is part of the solution not part of the problem as so much dualistic, individualistic and apocalyptic Christianity (enough ics for you?)

Engage - we need to engage with the church in a prophetic manner, calling it to account, and with society in an apolgetic manner, and with other groups in a cooperative manner. For the former two groups, this can involve engaging with those who don't see the creation as an issue for Christians or that Christians are part of the problem. For the later group, interfaith action isn't precluded by a particularist theology, i.e. it doesn't equate to universalism.

Inspire - guilt paralyses but hope energises. Inspiration comes from good theology (think Rm 8 and ouur shared hope with the rest of creation), but stories of hope, of innovation and creative living need to be shared, no matter how large or small.

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