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Over the past 50 years, the conversation around whether humans have damaged the earth has become more prevalent. The issue has divided many, even within the church. Is there a Christian vision of conserving the environment and how we should steward creation?

It’s often said that many Christians—particularly evangelical Christians—don’t care for the environment precisely because they are so focused on end times. If God is going to come and destroy all this anyway, why should we invest our energies in preserving it? . . . How can a people focused steadily on the last days find the theological motivation and will to steward the natural world “with a skill to leave the resources needed for future generations”?

Creation as promise to keep

Theologian John Haught of Georgetown University claims that Christians should not bracket their beliefs about last things when thinking theologically about the environment. There is a fear among theologians who specialize in thinking about the environment that too much talk about the End (for that matter, any talk at all) will undermine care for the Creation. But . . . “It ain’t necessarily so.”

As the great German theologian Jürgen Moltmann wrote in Theology of Hope:

From first to last, and not merely in the epilogue, Christianity is eschatology, is hope, forward looking and forward moving, and therefore also revolutionizing and transforming the present. The eschatological is not one element of Christianity, but it is the medium of Christian faith as such, the key in which everything in it is set, the glow that suffuses everything here in the dawn of an expected new day. . . Hence eschatology cannot really be only a part of Christian doctrine. Rather, the eschatological outlook is characteristic of all Christian proclamation, of every Christian existence and of the whole Church. There is therefore only one real problem in Christian theology . . . the problem of the future.

The rest of this article can be read HERE.