Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Eco-Theology: Part 1
What is eco-theology? Unfortunately it's not something that the church or theologians have thought much about. It asks the question: "What is God's command toward his people in regard to the natural creation." I think the church and Christian/biblical theology has fallen far behind in responding to the sick state of God's beautiful creation due to human greed. Eco-theology is an exciting and desperately needed realm of theology for the American church to become serious about. First of all, does God care about global warming, extinction of thousands of species of animals, the fouling of our air and our water? These are questions we must first answer. Hopefully now that global warming is a fact, hurricanes have increased and worsened, and heat waves of this summer and recent other summers are actually killing thousands of people, we will realize that God must and does care about the environment in which his people and his creation live. I wrote a paper on the theology of Karl Barth and eco-theology. Below is how I started the paper. I hope that I can get a bit of a conversation going.
In The Church Dogmatics, III.4, Karl Barth creates a framework for doing special ethics from a theological point of view. Throughout this volume the degree of specificity in BarthÂs topics is at first surprising. From the beginning Barth makes clear that he is not concerned in this volume with theological ethics that stay in the realm of metaphysics. Barth is concerned with the command of God, which involves the whole person in creaturely existence. From the introduction on, Barth makes clear that ethics have to do with all of creation. He says creation Âis marked as a form of the divine Yes, which is the quintessence of all His works.Â