Book Review Friday: Should Christians Be Environmentalists? by Dan Story

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In Should Christians Be Environmentalists?, apologist and environmentalist Dan Story presents a persuasive argument for a biblical approach to the topic of creation care.  Story notes that one of the problems with developing a theology of creation care is that many evangelicals view environmental issues as a left-wing political issue that is only of interest to liberals.  This faulty thinking has caused many Christians to pass over a theology of creation that stands deeply rooted at the core of the gospel narrative of the text.

Rather than seeking to dive into the political and environmental concerns of today’s world, Story takes an apologetic approach to the topic.  After establishing the problem of Christians brushing off environmental concerns as a left-wing issue, he begins to discuss differing worldviews’ approaches to the topic of environmentalism.  Story explores pre-tribal religions, animism, pantheism, Buddhism, and Hinduism as they approach the topic of environmentalism.  This is a very thought-provoking discussion that leads Story to conclude that all these worldviews cannot logically sustain a view of environmental care.  These worldviews lead people to either fear the environment and the evil forces behind it or lead them to take advantage of the environment for greater personal and spiritual gain.  The failure of these worldviews forms the foundation for the importance of a comprehensive biblical theology of creation care.

Story frames his theology through the popular paradigm of creation, fall, and redemption.  The story of the gospel has effected all of creation – not just humanity.  Sin negatively effected the created world, and Jesus has come to restore the cosmos.  This holistic theology ends by presenting the idea of humanity’s role as a steward of the created order.  Creation is presented as God’s artistic expression to display His glory that He has given humanity the responsibility to steward.

This theology of creation care leads Story to challenge the church to be leaders in creation care.  The church’s leadership would serve as an example of good stewardship to the watching world and would form an environmental apologetic.  This environmental apologetic is showing people who have a concern for creation care the truth of the gospel as the only hope and worldview that consistently allows for a view of environmental care.  This apologetic, like all apologetics, would form a common ground from which someone could discuss the power of Jesus Christ through the gospel to change a life.

Should Christians Be Environmentalists? is a thoughtful and biblically-grounded book.  Story does an excellent job of combining solid theological exegesis with pertinent examples and quotes from Christian leaders throughout the centuries on the role of creation care in a biblical theology.  This book calls Christians to embrace a holistic worldview, which must include a biblical theology of creation care.

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