How Some Adventists Address the Creation Crisis


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No question about it, we are experiencing a Creation crisis. It only takes paying a little attention to the media, only a little listening to conversations, to see that things are not well where Creation is concerned.

It is also clear that people conceive of the nature of the Creation Crisis differently.

For some, the issue is primarily informational. What really matters, for people of this persuasion, is that we think rightly about Creation. The point is what one believes. People who conceive of the Creation Crisis this way spend their time in persuasive wrestling matches, hoping to pin down their opponents with logic and reason or the force of authority. The solution to the Creation Crisis for them is getting the proper wording nailed down, ensuring that the language is tightly crafted for the sake of either allowing a broad understanding of Creation or restricting the possibilities of Creation's meaning.

For others, the issue is more formational in nature. What really matters, for people of this persuasion, is that we respond rightly to Creation. The point is what one does. People who conceive of the Creation Crisis this way spend their time caring for Creation, hoping to protect natural environments and fragile ecosystems from being destroyed. The solution to the Creation Crisis for them is fostering sustainable patterns of living in relation to natural resources for the sake of preserving Creation.

This story is about the latter group of people. Seventh-day Adventists increasingly are people of Creation Care. Most prominently, former president Jan Paulsen went on record numerous times in support of ecological stewardship.

This emerging ethos in Adventism is resulting in practical actions. Here are two examples.

First, Vibrant Life is a bi-monthly magazine put out by Review and Herald Publishing.* It offers practical features on holistic health, including vegetarian cookery and environmental stewardship. The website's Going Green Blog shares a surprisingly wide range of helpful approaches to eco-friendly living. Gardening, cooking, cleaning, shopping...all the things that we do every day: greened. Ever thought about how to groom a pet without creating waste? The Going Green Blog has suggestions! Do you know how to clean your bathroom without using harmful chemicals? Produce buying that benefits the earth? Vibrant Life is more pragmatic than inspirational or devotional, and its hands-on approach to the Creation Crisis presents the solution constructively.

Second, the Redlands Adventist Church is planning to construct a new certified green youth facility. The facility will be certified by the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership for Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). According to the Redlands Daily Facts, the church is proceeding ahead of schedule with its remodeling of the main building, a 1940's-era structure. The planned youth complex will meet LEED's platinum certification standards--the highest level of eco-friendly certification. LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system, that provides independent evaluations of energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources. The church's new facility will provide the congregation's long-term response to the Creation Crisis; the church will construct the solution presently.

Theology and praxis are reciprocal in nature. Creation theology is rooted in the physical Creation itself, and Creation Care is an outgrowth of good Creation theology. The two are inseparable, really. Perhaps Adventism will continue to see its theology bear good fruit.

------ *This version corrects the publishing association that publishes VIbrant Life, previously listed as Pacific Press.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/2622