Caring for Creation

Through the biblical idea of the interwoven created order - in both its cultivated and uncultivated parts - we recognize nature's significance and worth, and our membership in it. Our contributors commend practices to help us faithfully care for creation.

Jame Schaefer explains how early theologians valued creatures intrinsically for their unique goodness and instrumentally for the sustenance they provide to others, yet valued most highly their complex interrelation in the world. Elizabeth Theokritoff develops the ancient Christian idea that the natural world may reveal the ways and will of God, if we are prepared to read it rightly. "From the scenic wonders of designated wilderness areas to the ordinary oak forests and cattail marshes adjoining suburbs that link them in a natural tapestry," Susan Bratton agrees, "the entire network is an important spiritual resource, an interactive exercise in understanding God's will and original intentions for creation."

Caring for all of creation must begin close to home, in the particular places that we come to know and love, Jeff Bilbro emphasizes. Indeed, "The food we eat, both what we eat and how we eat it, may be the most significant witness to creation care we perform," Norman Wirzba writes. We can become more mindful of creation through activities as simple as a community garden. Elizabeth Sands Wise chronicles her congregation's first attempt at gardening to provide fresh vegetables and herbs for members, neighbors, and the poor in the community.

The study guides and lesson plans integrate Bible study, prayer, and worship to help us care for creation. The guides can be used in a series or individually. You may download and reproduce them for personal or group use.

Download the entire Caring for Creation issue and the set of five Study Guides. Or, download individual pieces by clicking the titles below.

Articles

Art

Hymn and Worship Service

Inspirational Pieces

Book Reviews

  • "Reading Scripture Greenly," by Presian Burroughs
    • Richard Bauckham, The Bible and Ecology: Rediscovering the Community of Creation
    • Ellen Davis, Scripture, Culture, and Agriculture: An Agrarian Reading of the Bible
    • David G. Horrell, Cherryl Hunt, and Christopher Southgate, Greening Paul: Reading the Apostle Paul in a Time of Ecological Crisis
  • "Christian Vision for Creation Care," by David C. McDuffie
    • Steven Bouma-Prediger, For the Beauty of the Earth: A Christian Vision for Creation Care (second edition)
    • Fred Van Dyke, Between Heaven and Earth: Christian Perspectives on Environmental Protection
    • Noah J. Toly and Daniel I. Block, eds., Keeping God's Earth: The Global Environment in Biblical Perspective

Study Guides and Lesson Plans (Download the set of five Study Guides)

Further Reading: