Even though the head of the National Association of Evangelicals and about 100 other evangelical leaders issued a statement declaring that global warming is real and the result of mankind's actions, even though the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has produced four volumes (1000 pages each) of evidence, even though the Co-Chair of the IPCC is Sir John Houghton, an evangelical Christian, even though the research involved thousands of scientists world wide, even though they concluded that "most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities," and even though Houghton tells us that "No assessments on any other scientific topic have been so thoroughly researched and reviewed," many American Christians are still skeptical. In fact, Focus on the Family (the loudest voice in American evangelicalism’s “Radio Orthodoxy”) calls all this evidence “liberal junk science.” (see article at Agape Press).
In a commentary in the current issue of Christianity Today ("Environmental Wager"), Andy Crouch writes,
The…battle between evolutionism and Christian faith has had countless unfortunate consequences…But perhaps no result of the creation-evolution stalemate is as potentially disastrous as the way it has stymied courageous action on climate change."
This makes a lot of sense. We Americans have lived through the Scopes Trial and we are in the midst of battles in certain states over whether or not our schools’ science curriculums should exclusively teach Darwinism.
It makes sense that the ugly history of the battle for origins between science and the Christian faith is now costing us in the battle for our future.
In a lecture at Cambridge in 2002, Houghton said,
[Global Warming] is a problem that is well downstream; many of us will not be much affected ourselves but it is going to affect our children and our grandchildren. We are bound to ask, therefore, questions about the sort of relationship we should have to the earth that is our home and to the rest of Creation with whom we share the earth. Let me suggest that a helpful picture of this relationship can be found in the early chapters of the Judaeo-Christian scriptures. Humans were placed in a garden to care for it. We are encouraged to see ourselves as gardeners of the earth…Christians and other religious people believe that we've been put on the earth to look after it. Creation is not just important to us, we believe also it is important to God and that the rest of creation has an importance of its own: for these reasons we should be good gardeners. But in many ways we are not being good gardeners."
This is not just good environmentalism, it is good theology.