“Loving the Least of These: Addressing a Changing Environment,” a 56-page discussion paper by the National Association of Evangelicals, explores the biblical basis for Christian engagement, the science of a changing environment, how climate affects the poor, and practical ways to move forward.
Here are personal insights from a few of the authors:
“My father was a minister in the Christian Reformed Church, and my mother was educated as a high school mathematics and English teacher. I grew up in a house full of books and ideas and arguments, and many of all three dealt with God and religion. My parents were totally committed to Covenant theology and raised their children from birth as members of God’s family. All seven of us went to Christian schools; in these schools, we were taught that everything in the world belonged to God and that whatever career we chose was God’s work. I then attended Calvin College. My years at Calvin were a pivotal period in my life, not only because of the fine education that I received, but because of the witness of my professors, who showed me that intellectual excellence and Christian conviction could exist in harmony” —- Thomas Ackerman, Professor of Atmospheric Sciences, Director of the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, University of Washington.
“For the people whom World Vision serves throughout the world, climate change is not a fictitious or a far-off threat. It’s a very real intensifier of poverty today. For those already struggling under the weight of poverty, climate change increases vulnerability to environmental shocks that are outside their control, and it decreases the resources that would help them cope. The effects have already undone years of development investment by driving people climbing out of poverty back down the development ladder” —- Christopher Shore, Director, Environment and Climate Issues, World Vision International.
“Precisely because we are pro-life and pro-family, we are not content to roll the dice with our own and our neighbors’ future. We take appropriate precautions. We pray for God’s deliverance, and we seek to align our lives with our prayers. Providentially, some of the behaviors that would mitigate climate change are also beneficial for other reasons” — Galen Carey, Vice President, Government Relations, National Association of Evangelicals.
“If there is reasonable evidence that our actions may be harming vulnerable populations and future generations, then we violate prudence and justice to insist on “absolute proof” before taking steps to lessen the harm. We risk being counted among “those who destroy the earth” (Revelation 11:18). God grant us the grace to rise to this challenge with wisdom, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who together hold all things” — Ken Wilson, Senior Pastor, Vineyard Church of Ann Arbor, Michigan.