Faith Today: In Making Peace With Creation, you
say that the way we view creation has radical
implications for how we live in the world. Tell
us about that.
Loren Wilkinson: There are two sets of texts
in Genesis 1 and 2 which are often quoted
– that we are given dominion or power
– and yet that is modified in Genesis 2 by
saying that this power needs to be exercised in care and keeping of creation.
The foundational picture of our place in
the world is that we are called not to own
it, not to simply use it as resources, but to
care for it. That works out in everything we
do. To use creation in a way that doesn’t
diminish it, but if possible makes us even
more aware of what a miracle and gift it is.
It should make us aware of the impact
on creation of everything we do and use.
Our food, the way we build our cities, our
transportation. The biggest thing now in
the whole world is how the use of fossil
fuels has changed the atmospheric con-
tent and the acidity of the oceans. It’s
easier to prove the connection between
human activity and that, than global
warming, actually. In the U.S. something
like 80 per cent of evangelical Christians
just don’t believe in global warming.
F T: Why do you think there is a wariness within
some parts of the evangelical community
about things like climate change?
LW: I think there are two things going on.
One is just a general suspicion of science,
which is deeply unfortunate. Science has
complex origins, but it grew partly out of
a Christian understanding of creation. It’s
tragic that science has come to be seen as
a suspicious enemy. Somehow in conservative Christian culture a deep suspicion
of science has arisen.
There’s a larger issue, a more complicated one that has to do with the culture
wars, the idea that is so obvious in what is
unfolding south of the border – that there
are certain ideas and problems considered
to be legitimate Christian concerns, like
abortion and pornography, but then there
are other concerns like justice for the poor
that might even be far more central in the
biblical picture, but are seen as problems
for Democrats and not conservative Chris-
If you know Regent College, then you know LOREN
WILKINSON. The now emeritus professor of interdisciplinary
studies and philosophy at the West Coast theological
school is known for creation care, and instilling that love in
generations of students. Making Peace With Creation is his
new DVD release, created with students, that explores how
central that is to the well-lived Christian life. Faith Today
spoke with the poet and theologian.