Introducing Evangelical Ecotheology by Brunner et al.

Who is and isn't an Evangelical these days? I don't know. But I do know that many people identify as Evangelicals here in the United States. So, whether or not they do so rightly or wrongly (who's to say?), they do. Therefore, it matters what self-identified Evangelicals think, because they remain a large part of our population.

Last night I heard a talk from Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at Texas Tech University and the director of their Climate Science Center. Hayhoe has been dubbed the "climate evangelist" because she's (1) an atmospheric scientist and (2) an Evangelical Christian. People like Hayhoe are valuable to all of us, because whether or not you identify as Evangelical, there will be those who do for the foreseeable future. Additionally, many Evangelicals tend to trust insiders, but are skeptical of outsiders. Therefore, they won't be giving Al Gore a platform any time soon! But Hayhoe is an insider, a scientist with Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and somehow who may have an audience with Evangelicals who are skeptical of the scientific community. I'm thankful that people like Hayhoe exist! 

Additionally, Evangelicals tend to consume theology branded "Evangelical" from official Evangelical institutions, publishing houses, etc. A while ago I was given a PDF of the book and asked to write "an endorsement". I thought it was for the "back of the book", but that was hubris! I sent one of the authors my praise of the book, but it went unused, so I presume they wanted me to give a "blurb" on a blog, or Amazon.com, or something. I'm happy to do so. The book is Introducing Evangelical Ecotheology: Foundations in Scripture, Theology, History, and Praxis by Daniel L. Brunner, Jennifer L. Butler, and A.J. Swoboda. Whereas someone like Hayhoe can talk to Evangelicals as an expert in the science of climate change, this trio gives theological justification for Evangelicals to do "green theology" by looking not only at the evidence, but the scriptural, traditional, and ethical reasons for why Evangelicals should take care of creation. If you're an Evangelical I recommend this book. It truly is a well written, well argued book that is inviting rather than rebuking. If you know someone who is an Evangelical who tends to distrust outsiders, I hope this book can be offered to them as a way of lowering their guard.

I say all this because while I know there are many Evangelicals doing "green theology" there are also many who for whatever reason reject the need to care for our planet. Sadly, religious people tend to be the more abrasive against climate science and "going green". I hope this book can change some of their minds, because we need them to see that their role in our planet's health.