The obvious damage that human beings are inflicting on the created world as well as the growing scientific consensus that humankind is contributing measurably to the potentially devastating effects of global warming have thrust the "environment" to the forefront of political and social issues. Yet most evangelicals, including leaders and pastors, lack the theological basis needed to respond biblically to these issues. Most of the theological assessments currently on offer suffer from particular theological and/or hermeneutical biases that render them unpalatable or inaccessible to many evangelicals. To be sure, some fine contributions by evangelical scholars have been written, but many of these are quite general or lack careful biblical-exegetical grounding. Moreover, few of the theological treatments available interact capably with the scientific data. What is needed is a book that grounds theological reflection on the created world in careful scriptural exegesis and which applies genuinely biblical principles to the current situation as described by the consensus of scientific investigators. Bringing together their expertise in biblical studies and science, Doug and Jonathan Moo trace several key biblical themes through Scripture in an effort to situate the created world within biblical theology in general. Specific themes that receive attention in this book are:
- the value and status assigned to non-human creation,
- the relationship of creation to redemption,
- the place of human beings within creation,
- the understanding of and significance assigned to the land in OT law and prophecy, and
- the future of the created world envisaged in the NT.
In a series focused on the significance of biblical theology "for life," it is important to assess the practical implications of this biblical theology. This book offers reflections on the biblical mandate that God's people embody and live out God's own perspective on the created world, as well as consideration of how the command to love others might affect the way we treat the earth upon which we and all other life depends. Moreover, effective Christian response to the biblical-theological teaching about the created world also requires that we attend carefully to the nature and needs of that created world. This means both trying to recapture the joy expressed by the Psalmists in God's good creation and also giving serious attention to the threats facing creation; a summary of the current scientific consensus about the current state of the environment is therefore a necessary part of the volume.