Environment

You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet: all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.” – Psalm 8:6-8

Our secular society believes humanity is in charge of its own destiny and has to save ourselves from impending disaster. In contrast, the Bible comforts us with the assurance that God is always watching over His creation. But that does not promote indifference. On the contrary, we have a calling to fulfill our mandate as stewards of the earth.

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23 Aug 2021 A Policy Framework for Environmental Stewardship

  Last week we examined the seventh principle in biblical environmental stewardship: that although cost-benefit analysis is an important tool to determine the wise use of resources, cost-benefit analysis cannot be completely comprehensive. Today wraps up this article series by drawing upon biblical principles from economics and politics to sketch out a general policy framework for dealing with environmental problems.   A Policy Framework for Environmental Stewardship Environmental issues often result from the tragedy of the commons Many environmental issues arise from a classic economic problem, the tragedy of the commons.[i] The tragedy of the...

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16 Aug 2021 Biblical Principles for Environmental Stewardship: Weighing Costs and Benefits

Last week we examined the sixth principle in biblical environmental stewardship: that God created the environment to be simultaneously resilient and dynamic. Today we look at the seventh and final principle. Principle 7: Although cost-benefit analysis is an important tool to determine the wise use of resources, cost-benefit analysis cannot be completely comprehensive. Many attempts to preserve or exploit the environment stem from an incomplete assessment of the value of the environment. Carefully weighing the costs and benefits is required in effective environmental stewardship.[i] Of course, the challenge is to account for...

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10 Aug 2021 Biblical Principles for Environmental Stewardship: The Resiliency and Fragility of Creation

Last week we examined the fifth principle in environmental stewardship: that although God allows humanity to suffer the consequences of poor environmental stewardship, the end of history will occur according to God’s sovereign plan. Today we look at the sixth principle. Principle 6: God created the environment to be simultaneously resilient and dynamic.[i] God created every individual organism, plant, animal, person, and the wider environment with an astounding resiliency. The human body, for example, can survive weeks without food, can heal cuts to its skin, and can run a marathon. The earth...

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03 Aug 2021 Biblical Principles of Environmental Stewardship: God’s Sovereignty and Human Responsibility

Last week we examined the fourth principle in biblical environmental stewardship: that God commands humanity to multiply and fill the earth. Today we look at the fifth principle. Principle 5: Although God allows humanity to suffer the consequences of poor environmental stewardship, the end of history will occur according to God’s sovereign plan. A society’s view of eschatology – how the world will end – will inform its policies on environmental stewardship. Secular environmentalists, ignoring the creation and providence of God, attribute the end of the world to human action or some...

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26 Jul 2021 Biblical Principles for Environmental Stewardship: Multiplying and Filling the Earth

Last week we examined the third principle in biblical environmental stewardship: that God commands that humanity both exercise dominion and care over all of creation. Today we look at the fourth principle. Principle 4: God commands humanity to multiply and fill the earth. In the cultural mandate, God also commands humanity to multiply and to fill the earth, exercising stewardship – fruitfulness, dominion, and care – as they go.[i] Indeed, He scattered humanity when they failed to spread out around the world.[ii] Humanity’s capacity for multiplying and filling the earth expanded markedly...

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19 Jul 2021 Biblical Principles for Environmental Stewardship: Dominion and Care

Last week we examined the second principle in biblical environmental stewardship: that all creation is valuable, but humanity, as the image-bearers of God, is the most valuable created being. Today we look at the third principle. Principle 3: God commands that humanity both exercise dominion and care over all of creation.[i] In the cultural mandate of Genesis 1:28, God commands humanity to have dominion over the earth and to subdue it. Theologians point out that the original Hebrew word for subdue (kavash) is a “fairly strong term” that “means to overpower, to...

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12 Jul 2021 Biblical Principles for Environmental Stewardship: The Value of Creation

Last week we examined the first principle in biblical environmental stewardship: that God, the Creator of all things, has commanded mankind to exercise fruitful stewardship over His creation. Today we look at the second principle. Principle 2: All creation is valuable, but humanity, as the image-bearers of God, is the most valuable created being. Scripture demonstrates that the whole of creation has intrinsic worth in the sight of God.[i] After each day of creation, God declared his creation to be good – day and night, land and sea and air, plants, sea...

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06 Jul 2021 Biblical Principles for Environmental Stewardship: The Command of Fruitful Stewardship

Environmental issues have become centerpieces in recent elections, policy-making, and public discourse. A 2018 Angus Reid poll found that 66% of Canadians believe that climate change is primarily driven by human causes, compared to 19% of Canadians who believe that natural changes primarily drive climate change. Nine percent of Canadians think that climate change is a theory that has not yet been proven.[i] Canadians are vehemently divided on whether new oil pipelines should be built. Environmentalist crusader and Swedish teen, Greta Thunberg, was named Time’s 2019 person of the year...

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25 Jun 2020 Ruth the Can Collector: The Case for Restoring Old Testament Gleaning Principles

If Ruth the Moabite lived today, she would probably have resorted to collecting empties from recycling bins and on the sides of roads to feed herself and her mother-in-law, Naomi. Few Bible stories warm my heart like that of Ruth. When Ruth moved to Israel from Moab with her mother-in-law Naomi, she was vulnerable on a number of levels: widowed, without children, a foreigner, and the caregiver of her mother-in-law, who was also widowed.If Ruth the Moabite lived today, she would probably have resorted to collecting empties from recycling bins and...

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07 Dec 2015 Climate Change Fall 2015

Please see the attached pdf at the bottom of this article for the formatted version. Below is the text-only: Respectfully Submitted Policy Report for Parliamentarians In announcing his newly-elected cabinet, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau broke with the past by lengthening the title of the ‘Minister of the Environment’ to now include ‘and Climate Change’. This was meant to signal to Canadians that the new government is making climate change policy a priority, worthy of a key cabinet post. One of Minister Catherine McKenna’s first tweets as Minister was, “Canada agrees the science is indisputable, and we recognize the need for urgent/greater action that is grounded in robust science.” The Association for Reformed Political Action (ARPA) Canada shares the Minister’s passion for grounding climate policy in “robust science” and encourages the Parliament of Canada to re-examine the facts and ideologies directing climate change policy. The idea of climate change – specifically catastrophic anthropogenic (man-caused) global warming – was brought to public attention when high-profile environmentalists and politicians publicized statistics showing a rapid increase of the earth’s temperature since the industrial revolution. The signing of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1992 and Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth documentary popularized the cause. Based on computer modelling of historic weather patterns, cataclysmic predictions were made: total polar ice-cap melts, dramatic increases in sea levels, flooding in some areas and severe droughts in other areas, the extinction of animal and plant species, and the increase of natural disasters, plagues and famines which will alter the lives of billions of people across the globe. Such predictions are understandably alarming.
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