Environmental Stewardship
in Christian Worldviews:

Ideas and Actions

Christian Stewardship of Life Opportunities requires caring for God's Creation —
which includes Our Environment — with Actions about Pollution & Ozone & Energy & Climate.

I.O.U. — This page will be developed more fully in late 2010, probably during November or December,

with summaries about energy topics, and links to:
• the best pages & audios/videos we can find on the internet, plus a few off-the-web books, films, etc;
• pages written by members of the American Scientific Affiliation (ASA) for our website & journal & conferences

It will offer information and links for these areas and topics:

• a social context that includes negative attitudes toward Christians within the community of environmental activists, and vice versa, with variations of attitudes (it's been negative mixed with positive) and changes in attitudes.
Bible-based stewardship — biblical reasons for developing a Christian worldview that will help us more effectively care for a world created by God.
Christian Worldviews — Why is the title of this page "Christian Worldview" instead of "a Christian Worldview"?  It's because, as explained in the appendix below (from the links-page for Christian Worldview Education and Living a Worldview), "each person has a unique worldview" that is shaped by many factors (social, political, and personal) so "Christian beliefs are only one part — although often a very important part — of a person's worldview."  This variation of worldview seems especially important when we look at Christian views about environmental stewardship;  for example, we see differing views about a "tragedy of the commons" and its role in a Christian's ideas & actions.  We'll look at reasons (theological and cultural) for Christians, in America and elsewhere, to develop a variety of views about our environment and our responsibilities.

      Shared yet Unique
      Some parts of a worldview are shared by all Christians.  And some sharing is specific to Catholics (or Baptists, Mennonites,...) and to those who are not Christian yet have experiences with it — some through personal experience, and almost everyone through being influenced by "what they hear" from media, friends, or their own religious leaders.
A person's "Christian worldview" is influenced by their beliefs and faith, and also by other factors — their inherited characteristics and abilities, background experiences and life context, the values, attitudes, and habits they have developed, and more — and these vary from one person to another.
      Therefore, it's not accurate to talk about THE Christian worldview, since each person has a unique worldview.  But we can think of the beliefs shared by all Christians as being "the Christian worldview-component" if we recognize that this component varies from one person to another (and one church to another), and if we recognize that Christian beliefs are only one part — although often a very important part — of a person's worldview.

Christian actions in the past, present, and (potentially) in the future, including direct actions (especially locally) by individuals and small groups, and by organizations (churches & parachurch nonprofits) that promote direct action plus "indirect action" through
• environmental education, by organizations and individuals, informally in the media and on the internet, in schools (K-12 through college) and in the Christian community.

      Most members of ASA are trying to be good stewards through actions in our lives, talks in our meetings (about Serving the Poor by using Science & Technology plus other stewardship topics), pages in our websites, and papers in our journal:
      In Preparing the Way for Action (1994), Cal DeWitt describes Stumbling Blocks [for Christians] to Creation's Care and Keeping:  "While convicted by environmental degradation and scriptural teachings on environmental stewardship, we may find ourselves hesitating to do what must be done.  Stumbling blocks and pitfalls often prevent Christians from engaging in stewardly care and reconciliation of creation.  Once identified and recognized, these things need no longer stand in our way, and we can proceed to act on our knowledge and beliefs about creation and the environment."  And more recently, two interviews with Cal DeWitt in 2006 — by Buzzsaw Haircut and Gristmill — and a talk (mp3).
      In Cultural Transformation and Conservation (2006), Fred Van Dyke describes Growth, Influence, and Challenges for the Judeo-Christian Stewardship Environmental Ethic:  "In a period of less than thirty years, the Judeo-Christian tradition was transformed from being perceived by scientific and popular culture as the cause of the ecologic crisis to being viewed as a major contributor to its solution.  The increasing attention and respect given to the Judeo-Christian environmental stewardship ethic is in large part a result of careful scholarship and effective activism in environmental ethics and conservation by the Christian community."

• This page will contain a summary-overview for each topic above, plus links to selected web resources (ranging from introductory to comprehensive), and it may link to specialty pages for some topics.

      In order to find high-quality pages at each level for many topics, I (the editor of ASA's website for Whole-Person Education) will need help, and hopefully much of the creative work — in deciding what to do and how, and then finding and selecting high-quality resources — can be done by those who are more expert than myself, who know more about each topic-area, and also know "who is doing what" and who has written good pages about it.
      When searching for content-pages, the key is SELECTIVITY.  With a search engine and a few minutes, it's easy to find lots of pages.  It's much more difficult to find the best pages (at all levels, from introductory to in-depth) but this is the goal.  We want to recommend only high-quality pages, so users can learn quickly and well, and they won't be overwhelmed with too many choices.   {more about selectivity}   {if you have helpful ideas, please contact me, Craig Rusbult, craig@asa3.org}
      You can see a preliminary structure of topics in this links-page, and each of the others.  But each structure is tentative, and it will be modified during the process of developing the website.  If you want to see parts of the overall website that are more fully developed, check Thinking Skills or (on a larger scale) Creation Questions.


 This website for Whole-Person Education has TWO KINDS OF LINKS:
an ITALICIZED LINK keeps you inside a page, moving you to another part of it, and
 a NON-ITALICIZED LINK opens another page.  Both keep everything inside this window, 
so your browser's BACK-button will always take you back to where you were.

Here are other related pages:

Christian Stewardship of Life
(homepage for this part of website)

Our Stewardship of Opportunities in Life
includes Christian Environmental Stewardship:
Reducing Pollution and Increasing Quality of Life

Ozone Levels: at Ground Level and in Stratosphere
Energy Conservation and Alternative Energy Sources
Christian Perspectives on Climate Change & Global Warming

This page, assembled by Craig Rusbult (editor), is

Copyright © 2008