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Climate Change and Christian Stewardship: Towards an Alternative Framework for Understanding Questions of Creation Care

By Johnny Wei-Bing Lin

American Scientific Affiliation, 2014 Annual Meeting, 25–28 July 2014, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada. Oral presentation on July 26th.


Perhaps there is no contemporary environmental issue that has fostered as much debate amongst Christians as climate change. The debate, however, has yielded limited fruit in mutual understanding between the various sides; sometimes, one gets the sense that much of the time we are talking past one another. In this talk, I propose the outlines of an alternative framework for understanding questions of creation care. I begin by summarizing the understanding of climate change as given by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which, while not without its flaws, provides a reasonable summary of the current state of knowledge about climate change. Next, I discuss the limits of what science can provide to inform policy debates and argue that much of the debate regarding climate change are disagreements over extra-scientific questions. Finally, I outline a more complete framework for determining what a "considered obedience" to God's creation care commands looks like and use this framework to tentatively examine what Christian creation care would look like with regards to climate change.

Updated: April 14, 2016. Author: Johnny Lin <email address>. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 License.