News story on Southeastern Baptist Creation Care Conference

Lauren Crane of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary wrote a synopsis of the conference I spoke at October 31 and November 1. The conference was called Creation Care: A Theology of Creation Stewardship.

…Saturday morning of the conference, Rusty Pritchard, a resource economist and the president and co-founder of Flourish, an environmental stewardship organization that equips churches to care for creation in ways that love God and help people, closed the conference by offering suggestions as to how Christians ought to respond to the creation care issues.

“I have become convinced more and more that the way we live is not just unsustainable, or bad for the planet, but it’s less than human,” Pritchard said. “God delights in his creatures. How can we delight in creation if we pay them no mind? Creation stewardship functions best when it arises organically from a love and respect for creation, but this passion is not self-generating. Somehow, in our fallen state, we don’t automatically love the things that God created good. This is a judgment on us, and not on God.

“We have to cultivate a love for the creatures God created,” Pritchard said. “Do we look at creation? Do we examine it? Do we live in it? Most of us don’t . We need to move – not from respect to reverence (for creation) – but to start with a different “r” which is regard.”

That last observation was inspired by Robert Kingsolver, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky. He got me thinking about our lack of regard for creation over a year ago with a remark he made at Maryville College, and it has come to frame my own diagnosis of why we fail at creation care. We’re not even looking at creation, most of the time. Many of us recognize only a tiny fraction of the birds and trees in our own gardens. How can we love and care for what we only rarely encounter?

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