This is article is a repost from InterVarsity’s Emerging Scholar’s Blog. Thanks to Tom Grosh for permission to cross-post.
The topic of a recent cover story in Christianity Today is shaking up not only the world of missions, but also academia. The World the Missionaries Made is a report on the work of Robert Woodberry, a sociologist currently researching at the Political Science Department of the National University of Singapore. CT’s Executive Editor Andy Crouch calls it the CT cover story of which he is most proud. Its thesis and Woodberry’s work support a remarkable conclusion – that a generation of “conversionary protestant missionaries” (see note) laid a foundation for democracy around the world. Continue reading
The following is the text of a newsletter just sent out to friends of Care of Creation Inc. (If you are not on our e-newsletter list, please join us!)
We have some exciting news to share with you! The Lausanne Movement has appointed me as Senior Associate for Creation Care. This appointment represents a new chapter in the history of Care of Creation as an organization, and an exciting opportunity for me personally. It also represents a dramatic advance for the evangelical creation care movement.
I have recently returned from a Creation Care conference in the country of Haiti – an event that provides an exciting glimpse into one possible strategy for ‘mobilizing the church to respond to the environmental crisis’ on a nation-by-nation basis. Let me know what you think.
At Care of Creation our strategy, our goal and our dream has been to “mobilize the church” to respond to environmental challenges. More recently, we’ve grown bolder by saying that we wanted to “mobilize the worldwide church to respond to the global environmental crisis.” That’s a statement that serves well as a branding tool, but as an actual goal? Moving the entire global Christian community in any direction seems like a big stretch, even to us.
That is what makes my recent trip to the country of Haiti so interesting. I don’t need to tell you that Haiti is a country where disasters seem to happen almost on a schedule. Where the level of poverty displayed on city sidewalks can shock even seasoned travelers. And where more than one author has used the word “hopeless” to describe one of the world’s worst environmental situations.
But Haiti also has a church. The people of God are represented in this nation. And it might be that they are actually starting to wake up and to take responsibility for their own country in a way that they have not done before. It is dangerous to proclaim that a particular event is historical when it has only just occurred, particularly when that event is a conference. Can a conference actually accomplish something?
One of the highlights of my job is the opportunity to correspond with people from all over the world. If it is true that the environmental crisis pays no attention to national boundaries, it is equally true that the Spirit of God is moving his people to respond to that crisis in every corner of the world. Many of those involved in this kind of ministry are simply following their own instincts as they respond to what they see happening in their own regions. Here’s a neat story from a friend and brother I haven’t met – Damitha – about how he and his family became involved with creation care as a means of ministry. Enjoy – and if you like what you read, ‘like’ his work on Facebook (see the link at the end).
Sri Lanka is a country blessed with rich plant diversity, 4000 plant species and 800 are endemic to the country and long cultural heritage more than 2500 years combined with ancient agriculture and most of these plants were well utilized in building up healthy rural communities.
In Sri Lanka, God has blessed us with a wide variety of indigenous plant species that can be used for food, medicines, buildings, animals and birds. They are connected with ethical, cultural, spiritual and social activities recognized from earliest days of human history useful in solving global acute health problems.
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Happy Easter! This is a wonderful weekend of celebration for the entire Christian church. We’re celebrating the heart of our faith, and reminding ourselves that this “religion” stands on a verifiable historical reality: Jesus rose from the dead! But Easter has particular meaning for those of us who are engaged in the ministry of caring for God’s creation. Here’s why.
It is more than 10 years since I had a memorable conversation while on a business trip to Whidbey Island, near Seattle. Being there over a weekend, I was visiting a local church for morning worship. I found myself being greeted by a friendly guy just inside the door. We got past the “I’m so and so…” and “isn’t this weather great?” and landed on “So, what brings you to our area?”
That is when it got interesting.
This summer Brittany Ederer, a student at UW-Madison, served as an intern in the Care of Creation office in Madison. Based on her interest in camping, education nature and environment, we assigned her to start a survey project of Christian camps in Wisconsin, the upper Midwest and then throughout the country. Are there Christian camps who are actively promoting creation care as part of their camp program? Are they using creation care principles in caring for their properties? This blog post is a preliminary report on a visit to one camp not far from Madison. It turns out one of the best examples of creation care at camp is right in our own back yard. We’re looking forward to a complete report from Brittany later on, but in the meantime, enjoy her thoughts on what’s going on at Timber-lee…