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« Pentecostals and Ecology - part 1 | Main | Pentecostals and Ecology Part 3 »

May 08, 2006


Deborah Taggart

good stuff again :)

Would it be pushing things too far to focus on the idea that God gives us gifts/power for a purpose?

Then we can maybe link traditional Pentecostal hallmarks with a gift of stewardship/authority over creation....

eg. Spirit baptism/tongues/power -> boldness in witness
Spiritual gifts -> building the body into oneness
imago dei/'dominion' -> co-carers (with God) for creation

...but the caring in practice was somewhat stifled with humanity's sin and consequent exile from Eden, but stirred up again with the outpouring of the Spirit, with and in whom we once again are able to empathise and identify with all creation's groaning for restoration (Ro 8:22-23).

Chris Petersen

Very well said. I definitely look forward to future posts from you guys. Keep up the great blogging.


Interesting paper Shaneo,

From a historical perspective I would always debate the necessity to equate fundamentalism with theologically illiterate and narrow Scriptural literalists.

I have a family connection to a farmer with post graduate qualifications in science who would probably define himself as a fundamentalist and a creationist. Does that me he does not care about the environment? Most definitely not. In fact it is this surprising linkage of science and Scriptural hermeneutic that has led to some remarkable breakthroughs in farm management. Why? Because he cares about not only his livelihood but also the earth God has entrusted him with.

I'll forward this blog onto him and I'll get him to circulate it amongst his friends. As Pentecostalism is not primarily a written tradition but an oral one it is best to get comments of this nature from the horse's mouths.

Enjoy Hansei and Korea.


B Stevens

Dear Shane,
Great stuff. I will look forward to hearing the full paper in Korea. I think that a proper ecological theology needs to take seriously the resurrection of Jesus as first fruits of the new creation. The resurrection body, is more than an indicator the freedom to come but is the 'very stuff' of a new creation in which every believer is destined to partake. Is the present simply destined to be burnt up and replaced by the new, or is there theologically a meeting of new and old in transformed humanity and by implication a renewal of creation, leaving behind the deteriorating effects of sin.
Rough thoughts but I will continue to think about it because it has implications for pastoral counselling as well as nearly everything else.


Pentecostals talking Ecotheology...this is exiting!

Shane, I am really enjoying reading what you have posted thus far of your paper, and in particular your redirection of focus from the Creation/Evolution debate and onto this pneumataological theology of creation.

This redirection of focus highlights the Spirit's active role in creation, and points forward to the hope of new creation as transformation and liberation of the old. Therefore we groan together with the rest of creation in anticipation of this hope, and the Spirit (the in-breaking of this future reality) works within us now to work towards such a goal.

The implications for our concept of dominion are incredible, not to mention the whole range of social issues.

I do look forward to the continued discussion of these matters.

Chris Baker

Yay, finally, a grown up version of "myspace"! Now all we have to do is add pictures....

Shane I like your work and you've brought up many positive and constructive reflections. I particularly liked your balancing of humanity between the extremes of being just creature and being above nature. This I think is the point of the account in Gen1. Is it possible to say that our being made in the 'image' or 'likeness' of God is indicative of our separate status, while our 'dominion' or 'stewardship' is reflective of our identification as creatures? Further, could we say that our likeness with the triune God must be reflected in our stewardship over creation (I have in mind here a social trinitarian perspective), so therefore there exists an interdependency between these two themes which further emphasises the need for balance?

Rock on.

(I think we're going to be confused with the number of 'Chris's' on this blog!)

Joshua Ballard

Well, I am glad to see that this Blog is finally up and running, and with a great topic to start off conversation. I think my blogging topics will start to be shaped by this blog and the concepts that are stimulated by it.

Integrating trinitarian concepts into ecological concerns is a sure fire way to fry the old noodle, so the only question that will remain is "soft noodle or extra crispy"

Have fun over at Hansei...

David Porter

Cool Shane,

Great reading so far, but I am wondering how far you are going to push the redemptive aspect of the Gospel into the restoration of the environment. The reason that I ask this is becaue as Pentecostals we hold a belief in healing, and other miracles etc. This to some extent comes about as we view the Gospel as being a total redeption of the human being. Of course the Gospel is more than a total redemption of the human being it is also a redeption of all sin's effects including the fall of creation. Hence there are now some (mainly post-millennial Charasmatics from my experience) who would hold that if we are saved and restored physically then a fortiori the environment will be restored too. They point to the deserts of Iraq, which they blame on Islam to the perpetual paradise of America (which means meiguo or beautiful country in Chinese) beautiful because it is Christian. Does Christianity causally lead to a good enviroment and to what extent if it indeed does?

I am sure you have considered this already though.

Joshua Ballard

In my typical fashion of picking on points that probably have NOTHING to do with the direction of the discussion...I have posted my meager reflection on the draft paper at my blogspot...

Please forgive the ignorance, but I hope that it is a START for my engagement with this topic. God knows Todd did compiled a HEAP of information on the subject, none of which I actually looked at.

I am eagerly awaiting the third installment.

David Parker

Fascinating paper! How does the apparent shift in eschatology, particularly in the mega churces of Pentecostalism, impinge on your juxtaposition of dispensationalism's otherworld focus and a growing concern for social action? Have you read Richard Bauckham's Jesus and the Wild Animals (Mark 1:13): A Christological Image for an Ecological Age in J.B. Green and M. Turner Jesus of Nazareth Lord and Christ Eerdmans 1994, 3-21?


Chris Tilling

Just got round to reading this. Really enjoyed it - I found it very thought provoking.

I wonder, do you think there is any positive point in discussing evolution when, as you say, it is so entrenched as an anti-Christian view? Should it just be avoided? Can it be done constructively?

Shane Clifton

Wow - there is so many brilliant comments here, not sure how to reply. Let me make a few brief responses in reverse order:

Chris - insightful question - challenging since, as you suggest, i have tried to avoid that debate. Let me say that the matter should definately be discussed, especially if we want our theology to be relevent to the contemporary context. We just need to choose the appropriate time and place. In this case, i did not want a discussion of the environment to be bogged down in a debate of evolutionism

Dave - havent read that book, but will do so

Josh - read your post and commented. Hope my response was useful

David - see my next post on redemption (and in the full paper i also discuss healing). Not sure i fully understand your comment on Islam

Chris - excellent commments. I think stewardship actually shows both our difference and our connection (only we have this function). I could definately do more with the trinitarianism and our relationship with God's creation

Josh - thanks

Bruce - wow, brilliant thoughts. In fact, i have now added this idea to my hansei paper (and referenced you of course!)

Ben - i actually think that my attempt to avoid the evolution debate proves your point that you can be a 6 day creationist and environmentally aware. I would say, however, that not many pentecostal christians actually are!

Chris - thanks for your encouragement

Deb - great insight. Follwing your logic, i reckon that Spirit baptism can definately be linked with our purose - if the spirit is the spirit of life, then surely our baptism extends to participation with the Spirit in his work throughout the creation!

Again - thanks for all your responses. keep em coming.

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