Creation is part of Christian conviction, yet for the most part Christians continue to struggle with how to express engagement. On other social movements there is often an underlying Christian template of justice or redemption that can sustain political conversation, however on green issues and climate issues there is a missing story.
Of course, it’s not for want of trying. Our Christian language defaults to the celebration of the variety of creation, so Ps 148:
7Praise the Lord from the earth,
you sea monsters and all deeps,
8 fire and hail, snow and frost,
stormy wind fulfilling his command!
9 Mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars!
10 Wild animals and all cattle,
creeping things and flying birds!
This missing internal voice has two consequences: first, it defaults to external frameworks, leaving Christian voices more as allies rather than as contributors to the discussion. Second, there is an internal turn to focus on Creation, ante-Redemption. This recovers a voice but leaves the larger story of God’s intervention and rescue in Jesus Christ as a minor part.
Conservative voices have been reluctant to pick up the green or climate change issues, since at best it seems little more than politics, and at worst a surrender to a sort of panentheism.
Out of all this, there may be one more item to bring to mind. In an era of climate change, and that often of a disastrous nature, the Christian may bring another, more pertinent voice: that of tragedy. With the change and its destruction comes the grief, the sense of loss: how does one stand before catastrophe? How does one hope? Here, perhaps is where the Christian tongue may be released, not in a language of celebration or of politics, but of lament, of knowing that loss is not the final word.