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Jonathan Merritt, author of Green Like God, R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Cal Beisner, national spokesman for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, discuss how concerned Christians should be about environmental care.

Creation Care: As Much as God Is

Jonathan Merritt

If we are concerned about the gospel, we should be concerned about the environment. While the two issues might not immediately strike one as connected, I have come to believe they are inextricably so.

Creation care is a launching pad for the gospel. I correspond with missionaries around the world who are glad to see American Christians championing "creation care." In many foreign countries, missionaries don't begin with Jesus, an unknown, when witnessing to others. Rather, they begin with creation and the Creator, who is clearly evident to all (Rom. 1).

Creation care strengthens our gospel witness. In Western countries like ours, where we see a growing sensitivity to environmental problems, people view environmental stewardship as the mark of a "good person." When people see Christians selflessly caring for the planet and advocating for those who depend on Earth's resources, our gospel message becomes convincing. That's why church planters across the United States are beginning to incorporate environmental stewardship practices into their congregations' DNA.

Non-Westerners carefully observe the historically Christian West and form opinions about our faith based on our lifestyles and practices. For example, Americans make up only 5 percent of the world's population, yet consume over a third of Earth's paper products. How does this influence the gospel message in countries like Nicaragua, Honduras, ...

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June 2010

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