"Let all creation rejoice before the LORD, for he comes." Psalm 96:13
The Bible is bathed with images of God caring for his creation in all its complexity. Yet in the face of climate change and other environmental trends, philosophers, filmmakers, environmentalists, politicians and senior scientists increasingly resort to apocalyptic rhetoric to warn us that a so-called perfect storm of factors threatens the future of life on earth. Jonathan Moo and Robert White ask, "Do these dire predictions amount to nothing more than ideological scaremongering, perhaps hyped-up for political or personal ends? Or are there good reasons for thinking that we may indeed be facing a crisis unprecedented in its scale and in the severity of its effects?"
The authors encourage us to assess the evidence for ourselves. Their own conclusion is that there is in fact plenty of cause for concern. Climate change, they suggest, is potentially the most far-reaching threat that our planet faces in the coming decades, and also the most publicized. But there is a wide range of much more obvious, interrelated and damaging effects that a growing number of people, consuming more and more, are having on the planet upon which we all depend.
Yet if the Christian gospel fundamentally reorients us in our relationship to God and his world, then there ought to be something radically distinctive about our attitude and approach to such threats. In short, there ought to be a place for hope. And there ought to be a place for Christians to participate in that hope. Moo and White therefore reflect on the difference the Bible's vision of the future of all of creation makes.
Why should creation rejoice? Because God loves and cares the world he made.
Jonathan A. Moo (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is assistant professor of biblical studies at Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington. He holds graduate degrees in wildlife ecology (MS, Utah State University) and theology.
Robert S. White (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is professor of geophysics in the University of Cambridge and a fellow of the Royal Society. He is on the committee of the Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics, is a founding director of the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, Cambridge, and is a director of the John Ray Initiative, an educational charity that works to develop and communicate a Christian understanding of the environment.
This is a book that speaks to a great need of our time, the need for hope that does not depend on illusion. It takes very seriously both science and exegesis. It has the potential to mobilize authentic Christian hope in fearful and perplexing times.
-Richard Bauckham, FBA, FRSE,
professor emeritus, University of St Andrews
[Let Creation Rejoice] is an extremely valuable addition to the literature and theology of creation care. Where evangelical Christianity has tended to see in eschatology an excuse for avoiding environmental questions altogether, White and Moo take the opposite approach. It is in the hope that is in Jesus' promised return to restore all things that they see our biggest reason for acting now. Yes, we live in an age of potential despair--but what hope there is in these pages. The honest, careful and encouraging exegesis here should bless all who read it.
-Rev. Ed Brown,
Care of Creation Inc.
[Let Creation Rejoice] is a marvelously lucid study of Scripture and current ecological concerns. Those skeptical about the magnitude of the threats facing the earth will be challenged by the sober, balanced account of climate change and related issues; those skeptical of Christianity's relevance to such concerns will equally be challenged by the elegant exposition of the Bible's affirmation of the created order. I cannot imagine a more clearheaded and timely treatment of the topic.
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
If your mailboxes, physical and digital, are like mine, they are filled with apocalyptic rantings. Religious groups point to the signs of the end times. Environmentalist groups warn us we must act now, before it's too late. Here's a different message. While not every reader will agree with every perspective in this book, all of us can be provoked by its winsome engagement with tough issues from a biblical perspective. Whatever your position on matters such as climate change, this book will prompt you to think through how your biblical hope intersects with the problems of the day.
-Russell D. Moore,
president, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Southern Baptist Convention
This book shows why The Cape Town Commitment, from the Third Lausanne Congress, Cape Town 2010, was absolutely right to say that 'we cannot separate our relationship to Christ from how we act in relation to the earth. For to proclaim the gospel that says "Jesus is Lord" is to proclaim the gospel that includes the earth, since Christ's Lordship is over all creation. Creation care is thus a gospel issue within the Lordship of Christ.' To be able to make such an affirmation requires that we have a fully biblical vision of what the gospel wholly and actually is, and this book richly provides such a vision with extensive biblical support. It takes us through the whole Bible story, from creation to new creation, and shows how our attitudes and actions in relation to the earth must be shaped by what God has done and will do for all creation through the Lord Jesus Christ. The book presents and explains the sober facts of our present ecological crisis. But, as the title makes clear, it does so not to induce despair, but rather to show how radical and transformative is the hope for all creation that is truly part of the 'good news' of the biblical gospel.
-Christopher J. H. Wright,
This powerful book is full of godly wisdom. Jonathan Moo and Robert White have given us an authoritative account of the current scientific data together with an inspirational review of a wide range of profound biblical resources. It is truly important reading for anyone seeking for hope in our troubled environmental times.
The authors give a careful and comprehensive scientific analysis of contemporary threats to the environment, such as those posed by climate change. To this they add an extensive discussion of biblical material relating to human hope and responsibility. Many Christians will find this book a helpful approach to serious problems of our age.
-Rev. Dr. John Polkinghorne, KBE, FRS
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