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Center for Faith and Culture

Creation Care Colloquium: Perspectives in Dialogue

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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.

On Friday, August 28, 2009 the L. Russ Bush Center for Faith and Culture hosted a colloquium titled Creation Care: Perspectives in Dialogue. The colloquium featured Dr. E. Calvin Beisner, a founder and the national spokesperson for the Cornwall Alliance for the stewardship of creation and Dr. Michael Northcott Professor of Ethics at University of Edinburgh. Both men are influential voices in the subject of creation stewardship and have contributed much to the ongoing discussion on this topic.

The colloquium's first session opened with a welcome and introductions given by moderator and senior fellow, Dr. Mark Liederbach. Dr. Michael Northcott followed, giving the first lecture, 'Behold I have set the land before you' (Deut. 1:8) Landcare in the Bible and Today. Dr. Northcott's lecture focused on humanity's special relationship to the land  and our responsiblity to replenish the earth as evidenced throughout the Old Testament. He concluded his lecture by applying the Old Testament agricultural principles and practices to today's American farming industry and bringing to light some of today's most critical issues regarding the current food economy. Dr. E. Calvin Beisner gave the second lecture of the afternoon titled, Biblical Foundations for Creation Care. Also, basing much of his argument from the Old Testament Dr. Beisner also contended that humanity has a unique responsibility to creation as image-bearers of God, but emphasized the producer role of humanity. Dr. Beisner, while positing humanity's responsibility to care for creation, also posited the earth's resilience to humankind's use of its resources. The afternoon session concluded with a lively dialogue between the speakers and a question and answer time with the audience.

Following the break for dinner, the Creation Care Colloquium reconvened with Dr. Northcott again commencing the lectures and Dr. Beisner following. The topic for the evening session centered around the issue of global warming. Dr. Northcott made a case for the reality of global warming while Dr. Beisner contended against it. Again the speakers engaged each other regarding the topic at hand and then received questions from the audience.

The colloquium presented an opportunity for an increased and clearer understanding of the issues and concerns embedded in this much debated subject. There were two sessions with each concluding in a Q & A time. This event was the second of three creation care initiatives with funding provided by The Energy Foundation. Please join us for our third and final creation care event, the Creation Care Conference: A Theology of Stewardship on October 30-31, 2009.

Speaker Biographies

Dr. Michael Northcott

Dr. Michael Northcott is Professor of Ethics at the School of Divinity in the University of Edinburgh, and an ordained Anglican priest. Before moving to Scotland he taught in a seminary in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He is the author of more than 60 scholarly papers and a number of books including The Environment and Christian Ethics (Cambridge University Press, 1996) and A Moral Climate: The Ethics of Global Warming (Orbis Books, 2007) and the editor of Theology After Darwin (Paternoster Press, 2009). Dr Northcott is a well known speaker and writer on environmental and moral issues and was recently a keynote speaker in June 2009 at the international festival of Science and Religion in Grafton, New South Wales, Australia, and a plenary speaker at a conference on the theological interpretation of the book of Genesis in the University of St Andrews, Scotland in July 2009.


Dr. E. Calvin Beisner

E. Calvin Beisner, Ph.D., is national spokesman of The Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation and a well-known author and lecturer on the application of Biblical world view, theology, and ethics to economics, the environment, and public policy. He has testified as an expert witness before Senate and House committees on climate policy; presented a paper for the Climate Change and Development Conference of the Vatican; presented papers at the First and Second International Conferences on Climate Change; and spoken for churches, colleges, schools, and conferences. He is a former associate professor of interdisciplinary studies at Covenant College and of historical theology and social ethics at Knox Theological Seminary. His books include Where Garden Meets Wilderness: Evangelical Entry into the Environmental Debate, a history and constructive critique of evangelical environmentalism; Prospects for Growth: A Biblical View of Population, Resources, and the Future, and Prosperity and Poverty: The Compassionate Use of Resources in a World of Scarcity. He is an elder in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. He is married, has seven children, and lives in Pembroke Pines, Florida.

 

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