Douglas Moo on a Christian Worldview of Creation
Last week I posted a link to a paper by Douglas Moo on the environment (PDF). This week I have the privilege of going through the book of Romans in a seminar with a group of pastors in Lake Geneva, WI.
As we worked through Romans 8:18-22, Moo spoke passionately about our need for a distinctively Christian view of creation. He and his son are writing a book on this topic. Here is a summary of some of his comments.
The Old Testament speaks often about the land, the world around us, land, and the non-human creation. The New Testament does not speak of this as much, except in passages like this one. This has led to the wrong idea that the New Testament is unconcerned with the world of nature. This has had disastrous consequences for a biblically robust worldview. Some seem to think that God is only interested in saving souls. Nothing, Moo says, is farther from the truth.
According to Romans, our glorification will be the trigger of bring the whole creation into glory. We tend to overemphasize the destruction of creation from 2 Peter 3:10; Romans 8 reminds us that creation will not just be destroyed; it will be liberated. It will be purged or renovated, not done away with. Paul does not use replacement language. We fail when we do not see the implications of this passage for creation. Creation has not lost its importance in God’s world. It still matters to God, which has huge implications for how we treat it.
We need a distinctively Christian view of creation that embraces two beliefs: humanity as the pinnacle of creation and the theological importance of creation. Some environmental views miss the first point, and see humanity as a blight on the environment. But too many Christians miss the importance of the value of non-human creation to God. God will judge us for this oversight. We have a unique and distinct opportunity to have a voice on this issue.
If scientists are right, environmental change will kill more people than abortion. If we love our neighbor, we have to be concerned for how climate change will affect those who live, for example, in Bangladesh a few feet above sea level.
There are three key lines of thought that we need to think about in coming to a Christian worldview:
- Romans 8:18-22 – creation is waiting to be redeemed
- Colossians 1:20 – God reconciles all things
- Galatians 5:14, Romans 13:8-10 – love for “the neighbor”
We must think about how this works out, but we cannot avoid this issue.
I’m looking forward to reading this book when it comes out. It’s certainly something that Moo is passionate about!