The Cape Town Commitment was a historic document in many ways, but no more so than in its affirmation that ‘creation care is a gospel issue within the Lordship of Christ’ (CTC I-7-A). This little phrase has produced over the last several years the Global Consultation on Creation Care and the Gospel (held in Jamaica in November 2010), a Call to Action (available in six languages), and now, at last, a book on the topic. Creation Care and the Gospel: Reconsidering the Mission of the Church is the latest addition to the Lausanne Library and has been released this month in the US by Hendrickson Publishers.
Creation Care and the Gospel at 350 pages is a substantial contribution to this field. The authors come from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, as well as Europe and the Americas. Structured around the outline used at the Jamaica Consultation, the book addresses creation care and the environmental crisis from the perspectives of God’s Word (theology), God’s World (science), and God’s Work (our response). Topics include environmental missions (‘Does Creation Care belong within an evangelical understanding of mission?’), climate change (‘Is the weather going crazy? Impacts of climate change in the Cusco region of Peru’), economics (‘Planetary Boundaries and the Green Economy’), and cities (‘The Church and Sustainable Cities in East Asia’), as well as a variety of case studies from around the world.
In the book’s Introduction we noted that the Jamaica Call to Action is based on two important convictions: first, that ‘creation care is indeed a gospel issue’, and second, that ‘we are faced with a crisis that is pressing, urgent, and that must be resolved in our generation’. These convictions also drive this book, and should motivate all who read it. To be a Christian also means to care about the things that God cares about—including this world he has given us. And to care means to be willing to take action, to work to stop the destruction engulfing God’s world, and to begin the process of healing.
It is our prayer that this book will serve to inform the global creation care movement, and that it will encourage many other church leaders, pastors, educators, and missionaries to join in this vital task.