Can we do both or must we choose one or the other? In the coming weeks we will have a discussion of this interesting and, in my opinion, important topic.
Archives for May 2007
In a very thought provoking post the Adventist Environmental Advocacy blog discusses an Adventist theology of ecology based in the Sabbath. We often hear about making the doctrines “practical” and often by that we mean making it relevant to daily life. Here is a post that is “practical” in that it takes the Sabbath and applies it to our communal responsibility and hopefully changes behavior.
This post definitely places the Sabbath into the conversation about ecology and I would recommend all to read it. Here are a few quotes from the post:
If we were to stop there and consider how Christians, and more specifically Seventh-day Adventist Christians might approach ecology, the first answer would have to do with the charge to care for what God creates.
(…Ecological stewardship, on the other hand, is something that we don’t often hear from the pulpit. Perhaps a good starting point would be the simple recognition that it is up to us – it has always been up to us – to tend to that which is God’s.)
Creation Care is not only part of our commemoration of God’s creative work each Sabbath, it is not only fulfillment of God’s charge to care for what He has made, it is also a way in which we continue to look for and to pay attention to the many, many ways in which God reveals Himself to us.
One of the fundamental components of the Black church is that it has been called a “All Comprehending Institution.” By that, it is one that deals with the whole being. The Pastor in the Black Church had to do more than his or her white counterparts. The pastor might dabble into educational endeavors of people, health, and politics. The pastor was to help the whole person and not just the spiritual endeavors.
In other words, you cannot separate someone’s physical, emotional, and other needs from ones spiritual ones. Sometimes we say that we must engage in works of social betterment because it opens the door to evangelism. However, I think we must engage in these acts because our very doctrine, the belief that you cannot separate the physical from the spiritual, requires us to engage the whole person in ministry.
We cannot place these physical concerns above spiritual ones, but neither can we do the opposite if we are to minister to the whole person. So the teaching of the state of the dead not only provides a theological basis to attack any kind of dualism. But also because we cannot separate mind from spirit from body then we must recognize that ministry to a human being must include ministry to the mind, body, and spirit. This means that we cannot fall into the trap of eliminating physical concerns and only dealing with physical ones. This doctrine can serve to promote social action because it makes social ills just as important as issues of individual piety.