July 7-14, 2014 - 2014 Oxford Study Program
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By Sarah Ashley Sheaffer
On Monday, March 14 the Center for Faith and Culture hosted a creation stewardship informational luncheon for selected faculty and PhD students at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. A secondary purpose was to introduce Dr. Robert Y. George to the larger SEBTS community. Consequently Dr. George was the featured lecturer. He serves as Science Consultant to the Center for Faith and Culture and is the Founder of the George Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability. Dr. George, a long time professor of marine biology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, focused on the congruent relationship between science and Christianity or, as he terms, “theocology.”
Dr. George began by defining “theocology” as a turning to God to help the world in its current deteriorating state. He cited people such as Stephen Neill and Lesslie Newbigin as influencing his thinking that a Christian approach to creation stewardship is the answer to the current ecological problems. Also, Dr. George mentioned the Christian creation conservation organization, A Rocha and scientists such as Calvin DeWitt and Steven Bouma-Prediger as people who exemplify this sort of thinking and as people who embody this “theocological” vision. World-renowned, Harvard biologist, E. O. Wilson’s book, The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth which he said served as an open letter to a Southern Baptist pastor as an appeal to open dialogue between Christians and atheists on the matter of creation stewardship. From this, Dr. George called for the commencement of dialog between theologians and scientists in order to bring the Christian message to the subject of creation care.
Dr. George finished his lecture indicating that creation stewardship from the Christian perspective is an “exhortation to be humble” and that we must begin in our own backyard. This concluding portion of the lecture served as a springboard for Dr. George’s introduction of the Falls Lake Christian Creation Stewardship project currently underway between GIBS, A Rocha, and the CFC, as well as the announcement of the starting of an Open Access Theocology Online Journal that will provide an arena for theologians and scientists to dialog.
The luncheon concluded with a brief time of questions and answers. Questions covered topics such as, the cordiality of scientists such as E. O. Wilson to dialoging with theologians, best solutions for turning back harmful ecological trends, and practical ways the average person can get involved in creation care.