Ecological Catastrophe and the Uneasy Evangelical Conscience

I noticed that there hasn’t been much response to the oil spill in the Gulf from Church leaders. Is there a theological perspective to inform how we are to think about the present disaster, and how our country meets its energy needs in the future?

Click the link below to read a thoughtful blog post by Dr. Moore, Dean of the School of Theology and Senior Vice-President for Academic Administration at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. I’d love to hear your take.

Moore to the Point by Russell D. Moore.


5 Responses to Ecological Catastrophe and the Uneasy Evangelical Conscience

  1. Derick says:

    Absolutely. Pursuing God-honoring and responsible ways to use energy, and supporting the efforts to clean up the latest mess we’ve made of creation should be at the top of the Church’s agenda in the public square, along with the old staples that Christians are stereo-typed (perhaps it is our own fault) as being narrowly hyper-focused upon.

    Our response has been seemingly non-existent, and I beleive that is shameful. What could we be doing?

  2. Men,

    I did not like this article at all.

    While I can appreciate his local ties to the Gulf Coast and the emotion that it brings, I think he is off base in several points.

    1. Commitment to free markets did not cause this accident.
    2. Abortion is still, and will be until made illegal, the transcendent moral issue of our time. He speaks of it as an issue that “previous generations” had to ask about.
    3. Not one line was mentioned about the eleven workers who died in this tragedy or their families. Did I read it too fast? As a minister of the gospel, shouldn’t he have at least acknowledged the families and used this as an opportunity for the gospel to go forth?

    Derick, what should our response be? Well, national tragedies, in different eras, were met with prayer, fasting and repentance. The Piligrims did this a lot…with all due respect, the environment should be lower than the church waking up and stopping child sacrifice.

    So, as serious as this tragedy is, as devastating the effect on the economy, and the ecology of the Gulf, my hope is that evangelicals can keep their heads and pursue a balanced and biblical approach as a solution. Do you want to boycott BP? Fine. Have you prayed and ministered at an abortion clinic lately? Have you boycotted Planned Parenthood and it’s affiliates? For if we get all wound up about BP and not for the unborn, our priorities are way, way off.

    Scott is out

    • David Wilson says:

      Thanks for weighing in on this article. I think you’ve made some great points.
      I’m not sure that he said that commitment to free markets caused the accident. Seemed like he was made a good case for prudent government engagement of those free markets.
      Has anyone seen any other response to the oil spill from church leaders? Part of the reason I posted this article was because it was the only one I had come across.
      I have no plans to join a boycott. Just looking to arrive a a biblical perspective to view this situation through.
      Thanks again for contributing to the conversation,

  3. I agree. Even if you were, I would still love you, as I love the writer of this piece. My issue is that I fear many evangelicals are not guarding the gospel when it comes to the environment, “social justice,” and abortion. Luther said said we must preach exactly at the point where the devil is attacking. I think that in 2010, American evangelicals are very confused about foundational issues and disasters like the oil spill, or well articulated but biblically inaccurate statements/promises by Candidate Obama show us how not-informed we really are.

    Scott is out.

    • David Wilson says:

      Your comment reminds me of this quote I recent read in Tim Challies’ review of the book “Humanitarian Jesus.”

      “There is a time and a place for humanitarian work, no doubt. Christians can have great ministries serving the poor and the oppressed and in so doing can have remarkable opportunities to share the gospel. And yet still the history of Christianity shows that when Christians do this, the gospel quickly becomes secondary and the work itself becomes the gospel. I still see the Bible primarily emphasizing charity given to other believers; when I look at Acts and the epistles, this is what I see most–Christians helping other Christians as a sign of love and fraternity. Now of course there will be some who engage in humanitarian work outside the context of the local church, but it seems to me that the closer we come to making this a necessary part of the Christian mission, the more likely we are to see the gospel diminish.”


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