Details of the September 2021 version of this course can be found at the new dedicated website Christian in Creation (Climate Change) Online Course.
‘The Christian in Creation’ fortnightly online course ran from November 2020 to July 2021. You can follow the course for yourself, using the videos below, and the course material is available for free by contacting Simon Bartlett, the course creator.
At present the church’s message about creation is mostly that we – humankind – have to care for it. That’s true! But there’s more to be said.
Caring for creation
In the first half of the course we look at scripture. We’ll look at the responsibility God placed on man to care for what he created. We’ll look at some of God’s specific instructions related to agriculture. And we’ll look at why caring for creation is so much a part of caring for others.
But we will also look at some other areas of scripture that don’t sit naturally under the heading of ‘caring for creation.’
For example, we find that in the Old Testament God repeatedly communicated his displeasure through acts in creation. That is very relevant to understanding our present environmental crisis.
We may think of creation as ‘the world out there’ and not think of our own bodies as a part of creation. But if we accept that we have a responsibility to look after creation then we logically have a particular responsibility to look after our own bodies. Scripture has some interesting and surprising things to say on that.
We’ll also include some fun and open-ended subjects. For example, did you know that in Genesis, God set a ‘lifespan limit’ of 120 years? Would you make living to 120 a goal? We’ll discuss that!
If we accept that we have a responsibility towards creation then we need to think about what we are doing about it. It would be impossible in this course to think deeply about many forms of creation care, or take action in all areas simultaneously. But perhaps it’s possible to think and take action in one area.
In the second half of the course we’ll look at climate change. We’ll look at some of the science, at the situation we’re in, and at possible strategies we could follow to make changes. Some strategies are controversial. Would we consider civil disobedience in order to make a point? We’ll look at that.
If you haven’t thought through these issues then this course is important.
Life is more important than lifestyle. The world is more important than the world economy. If we do harm, we are culpable.
Is there a need for such an online course?
I believe so. As Christians we should think about this area. And I am not aware of any Christian courses on creation which cover this area of teaching, or are available online.
And about me?
I’m a Baptist minister in Bournemouth. Before becoming a minister, I lived in Azerbaijan for 17 years. I have prepared and run many training courses.
I don’t claim to be an expert in the subjects I’ll be covering, but I’ve given a lot of thought to them.
If you are interested in joining this course the next time it is run, please contact me, and check out the new website dedicated to The Christian in Creation Course.
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Keywords / Tags: environmentalism; global warming; Green Christian; online course about environmental issues for Christians; ecology; environment; climate change; eco church; food security; creation care; stewardship; ecosystem.
Rosebery Park Baptist Church, 812-814 Christchurch Road, between Boscombe and Pokesdown, Bournemouth, BH7 6DF. Also online church.