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Center for Faith and Culture

Creation Care: A Theology of Stewardship

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Mission & Purpose

The L. Russ Bush Center for Faith and Culture seeks to engage culture as salt and light, presenting and defending the Christian faith and demonstrating its implications for all areas of human existence.

The Center has a two-fold purpose: (1) To convey graciously and apply effectively the Christian worldview to all areas of culture and to the human condition; (2) To encourage and support the Church in its redemptive work.

SpaceOn October 30 and 31, 2009 the Center for Faith and Culture sponsored a Creation Care Conference at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. This conference examined the current issues related to the care of God's creation from a Christian worldview. It provided a forum for clarifying the issues, a theological lens through which to understand and respond to the issues, and encouragement for open discussion. The conference sought to facilitate a learning experience where Christians can think about their engagement of culture on this matter. Approximately 130 people attended the conference.

Funding was provided by the Energy Foundation.

Speaker Synopses and Audio Resources

David CookDavid Cook
Dr. David Cook is Holmes Professor of Faith and Learning, Wheaton College; Fellow, Green College, Oxford; and Professor of Christian Ethics, Southern Seminary, Louisville. He also serves as an External Fellow for the L. Russ Bush Center for Faith and Culture.

Professor Cook was educated at Edinburgh and Arizona State Universities in philosophy and taught in Nottingham at St. John's Theological College and the University, then in 1979 moved to Oxford to Westminster and Regent's Park Colleges. He was elected to a fellowship at Green College where he served as Chaplain and was the founding Director of the Whitefield Institute. His teaching ranged from Medical Ethics to Philosophy of Religion and Christian Ethics. His writing includes The Moral Maze, Question Time, Blind Alley Beliefs and Not Just Science. He was a member of the Radio Four Moral Maze team and a regular on Thought for the Day, Pause for Thought and the Daily Service. He had his own radio and television series, advised on a BBCI TV drama series and was regularly interviewed on medical and ethical issues. A former member of the BMA Medical Ethics Committee and the Archbishops' Medical Ethics Advisory Committee, he remains a member of the United Kingdom Xenotransplantation Interim Regulatory Authority and has given advice to Select Committees of the Commons and Lords. He was awarded an honorary doctorate by Gordon College, Massachusetts.

Currently David has completed a book on Contraception and is working on Through the Moral Maze, a new book looking at looking at fertility, genetics, sexuality, environment and war and peace. He is also working on books on the ethics of Palliative Care and one on the Beginning of Life.

With Dot Chappell he edited and contributed to Not Just Science which draws from a wide range of the sciences and examines how Christianity influences and affects scientific work. He is interested in neuroethics, genetic engineering, xenotransplantation and robotics as well as medical ethical issues.

Session I: Establishing a Theological Framework: The American Dream- An Environmental Nightmare? Biblical Perspectives                                               

Session I: Question & Answer      

Calvin DeWitt
Calvin DeWittDr. Calvin DeWitt earned his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in zoology in 1963 and is a passionate conservationist. His love of creation was kindled in his earliest days, and has grown steadily over the years. Dr. DeWitt loves to investigate and to speak about the beauty and importance of creation and the necessity of good environmental stewardship. He represents one of the best, most thoughtful evangelical Christian perspectives on environmental ethics. This perspective emphasizes the primacy of scripture as formative for Christian environmental ethics. Yet, as a serious environmental scientist, DeWitt has a unique ability to bridge the gap between religion and science. DeWitt's emphasis on the physical and chemical provisions of life exemplifies his commitment to a vibrant science and religion dialogue that includes both biblical wisdom and also the discoveries of modern science. He is the author of Earthwise: A Biblical Response to Environmental Issues (2007).

Session II: Identifying the Issues I: Creation Care: Responding Biblically to Creation's Degredation

Session II: Question & Answer 

Please visit our Articles webpage for additional resources from Dr. Calvin DeWitt.

Steven Bouma-Prediger
Steven Bouma-PredigerDr. Steven Bouma-Prediger is a Professor of Religion Chair of the Religion Department of Theology and Ethics at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. He also holds the Jacobson Endowed Chair and directs and teaches in the Environmental Studies program. Prior to coming to Hope, he was an assistant professor of philosophy and chair of the department at North Park College in Chicago, Ill.

Bouma-Prediger has also taught at Fuller Theological Seminary, Toronto School of Theology and Western Theological Seminary, and in the Creation Care Study Program at Jaguar Creek in Belize and on Great Barrier Island in New Zealand. A 1979 Hope graduate, he holds an M.Phil. from the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto, Ontario; an M.Div. from Fuller Theological Seminary; and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. His writings include Evocations of Grace: The Writings of Joseph Sittler on Ecology, Theology and Ethics (Eerdmans, 2000) and For the Beauty of the Earth (Baker Academic, 2001) which won an "Award of Merit" from Christianity Today. He is a member of numerous professional societies, as well as the Evangelical Environmental Network and the Macatawa Greenway Partnership.

Session III: Identifying the Issues II: Is Christianity to Blame?: The Ecological Complaint Against Christianity

Session III: Question & Answer

Please visit our Articles webpage to read Dr. Steven Bouma-Prediger's lecture transcript. 

Lowell "Rusty" PritchardRusty Pritchard
Dr. Lowell "Rusty" Pritchard is a resource economist. Early this year Dr. Pritchard became 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. Previously, he has been the National Director of Outreach for the Evangelical Environmental Network and the editor of Creation Care magazine, a Christian environmental quarterly. Prior to being a part of the EEN he was a full-time faculty member at Emory University in Environmental Studies, a program he helped create in 1999, where he maintains an adjunct affiliation. He has taught courses in natural resource economics, environmental institutions, public health, resource use and management, environmental justice, ecological economics, and environmental decision-making under uncertainty. He has given lectures and organized workshops in fifteen countries on five continents. Pritchard has worked with hunter/angler and forestry organizations on developing voluntary, market-based programs for conservation on private agriculture and forestry lands. From 1994 to 1999 he was a program officer with an international global change research program studying the effects of land-use and land-cover changes on the atmospheric system.

Dr. Pritchard holds degrees from Duke University (B.S., zoology) and University of Florida (Ph.D., resource economics; M.S., environmental engineering sciences).

Dr. Pritchard lives in inner-city Atlanta with his wife and three children, where they serve in a multi-racial church doing church-planting, neighborhood evangelism, and community development. He is a regular speaker on creation care, economics, and discipleship at churches, Christian colleges, youth groups, and community organizations. He grew up in North Florida and enjoys gardening, canoeing, fishing, and Southern barbecue.

Session IV: Suggesting a Christian Response: Graceful Environmentalism: How Churches and Families Can Care for Creation by Loving God and Neighbor

Session IV: Question & Answer

Summary Sessions

October 30: Speaker Panel Discussion

October 31: Conference Summary: Speaker Panel Discussion

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