tians. There is a tragic division there. We
assume to be Christian is to have one set
of concerns and the other set of concerns
are for people who are liberal. The climate
change issue is squarely there for whatever
interesting historical issues. I think it is
FT: There are of course conservative Christians
who care for the poor and creation, but we hear
you. Is there a way to convince the reluctant
parts of our community to care more?
LW: It’s the same [thing] that Ron Sider
pursued when he began to be concerned
about hunger issues [Sider published Rich
Christians in an Age of Hunger in 1978 and is
still a prominent Christian activist]. He was
able to bring Evangelicals along by simply
showing that it was a central biblical issue,
not a fringe issue that we’re just trying to
get Evangelicals to help with. It is driven
by Scripture and an understanding of what
it means to be redeemed humans here.
We must restore a better understanding
of what the whole biblical story is all about.
Our place in the world is much bigger than
simply telling others how to be saved.
Being saved involves a task in creation.
We are saved for creation, not from creation. But often that is how it is presented.
As someone has said we tend to leave
off the first two chapters and the last two
[of the Bible]. The last two talk about a
restored creation, the City of God coming
to a restored Earth, and the first two are
linked back to a good creation at the beginning, yet much of our faith has been
kind of gnostic, leading us away from an
The answer is to make it clear to people
that the concern for things like climate
change and environmental issues generally is not an ideologically driven thing. It
should be a theologically driven thing. It is
very close to the centre of our faith. It is
what we are here for. One of my pet peeves
is we talk about Christian environmental
things, but we are talking about creation.
We’ve almost spoiled the doctrine of
creation with arguments about how God
did it and when God did it, when the doctrine of creation is much bigger than that.
FT: Other writers have talked about things like
“nature deficit disorder,” that in fact we need
THE FT INTERVIEW