Four Nature Theologians

January 11, 2011


Dean Ohlman at Wonder of Creation features four prominent theologians of nature in four successive posts. In each Ohlman provides a short introduction and then excerpts a sample out of one of their major works. The posts are a good introduction and a who’s who in the history if creation care. The theologians are:

Francis Schaeffer, author of the incredibly influential work “Pollution and the Death of Man” and the founder of L’abri Fellowship. Schaeffer writes:

“If God treats a tree like a tree, the machine like a machine, the man like a man, shouldn’t I, as a fellow-creature, do the same — treating each thing in integrity in its own order? And for the highest reason: because I love God — I love the One who has made it! Loving the Lover who has made it, I have respect for the thing He has made.” (Pollution and the Death of Man, Ch. 4)

Jurgen Moltmann, of whom Ohlman writes, “The Bible scholar who made this [the cosmic nature of Christ] most clear to me was Jürgen Moltmann, the German theologian who came to Christ in a prisoner-of-war camp: Norton Camp in the UK—a wonderful story told in his bookThe Source of Life: The Holy Spirit and the Theology of Life.

Wendell Berry farmer, essayist, and author of numerous books. Ohlman writes of Berry that “he is an astute reader and interpreter of what the Scriptures say and imply about nature.” Berry writes:

“A community is the mental and spiritual condition of knowing that the place is shared, and that the people who share the place define and limit the possibilities of each other’s lives. It is the knowledge that people have of each other, their concern for each other, their trust in each other, the freedom with which they come and go among themselves.”

Alister McGrath, author and professor of Theology at Oxford. Ohlman: “In his book The Reenchantment of Nature, McGrath has written one of the most comprehensive reviews of the historic Christian understanding of the meaning of nature as the general revelation of God. Hardly anything that Alister writes is less than comprehensive! Among the important points he makes about the significance of the material world is that God took on himself the form of material man in the person of Christ: the Incarnation.”

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Ben DeVries January 11, 2011 at 12:50 pm

I love Dean’s posts, and have benefited from them a great deal. He has such a good sense of the theology and overview of the creation care movement, and how we came to be where we are today, including some of our forgotten voices along the way. Thanks for highlighting – Ben

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