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Creation as a Gift: A Neglected Approach to Creation Care

DOUGLAS HAYHOE
S & CB 29 (2)
October 2017

Abstract

Our Christian responsibility for ‘every living thing’ (Genesis 1) has long been framed as a matter of creation care. This frame fits well within the broader secular concepts of stewardship and sustainability that have been espoused by many, from development organisations to government funded schools. In recent years, Christian theologians and thought leaders have expanded on the frames within which to address issues of the environment and climate change. These include loving our global neighbours, sharing God’s mission, celebrating the community of creation and embracing a covenant framework. Here, I argue for placing more emphasis on another, complementary perspective, that of considering creation as a gift. Although this idea has been considered by postmodern philosophers and theologians and Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic leaders and scholars, it has only been briefly referred to in passing by conservative Protestant Christian theologians and scientists concerned with creation care. I suggest, however, that only within biblical Christianity can this approach be fully appreciated, as one that motivates us both to give thanks and to give ourselves to the care for a creation that is under serious threat.

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