Original Research

Ecological crisis and the church: A proposal for biblical stewardship as a nexus for environmental protection

Christopher Magezi
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 45, No 1 | a3140 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v45i1.3140 | © 2024 Christopher Magezi | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 04 March 2024 | Published: 14 June 2024

About the author(s)

Christopher Magezi, Department of Missiology, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Mahikeng, South Africa

Abstract

There is a growing global concern for environmental issues, and stakeholders, including governments, are trying to address the situation in various ways. However, not many churches are involved in climate change endeavours, regardless of the prevalence of eco-theologies that challenge them to act as responsible custodians of God’s creation. Given this, the aim of this article was to propose and discuss biblical stewardship as a nexus for environmental protection. This literature-based study reviewed existing studies on the current ecological concerns. The study investigated how various stakeholders, including the World Council of Churches (WCC), as a representative voice of many churches, were combating environmental degradation. Further, the article discussed stewardship from a biblical redemptive historical approach, so as to challenge the Church and, consequently, Christians to start partaking in environmental protection initiatives, or continue to do so. The article concluded by advancing that if the Church adheres to its holistic mission, instead of solely focussing on evangelism, it would be possible for society to practise sustainable environmental management.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: The article focussed on current ecological crisis and Church responses. It discussed the concept of biblical stewardship from systematic and missional theological perspectives, so as to stimulate the Church to join other stakeholders in seeking ways to address the pervasive environmental concerns. The article contributed to environmental discourse by examining the existing literature on the current ecological concerns and evaluating various stakeholders’ efforts in combating related disaster.


Keywords

God; ecosystem; environment; biblical stewardship; global warming; climate change; climate-related disasters; World Council of Churches; Church responses to environmental concerns; Christocentric ethics

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 13: Climate action

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