David Neff: Can We Separate Creation Care from Political Action?

David Neff, Editor in Chief at Christianity Today, highlights the unique nature of the upcoming Flourish 2009 Conference and probes the question, “Can We Separate Creation Care from Political Action?” in his post at the CT liveblog. He’ll be headed to the conference in May to find out.

In addition to pointing out the novelty of the Flourish conference’s speaker line-up (“It blends people who don’t usually appear on the same platform because of their differing constituencies and mixes veteran environmental presenters with other well-known speakers who haven’t addressed this issue with their publics”), Neff makes the following point:

The attempt of the Flourish Conference to separate the church ministry and personal faithfulness elements of creation care from the political action and global warming factors is a savvy strategy. Potentially, it can open the door to congregational activity that is not polarizing but which can still make a significant impact in a local community.

Big environmental problems may still require big solutions coordinated on a national or even international stage. But neighborhoods are also environments where more direct and manageable efforts can make a difference. One of the Flourish speakers, pastor Leroy Barber sees “greening the hood” as an integral part of caring for urban neighbors in need.

He notes that Flourish’s goal of equipping churches to care for creation without demanding political action on the part of churchgoers is paralleled in other causes–such as hunger, poverty, and HIV/AIDS–where political divisiveness has been minimized and Christians have made effective change.

And he hits the nail on the head about what speakers like Andy Crouch, Matthew Sleeth, Ed Stetzer, and Margaret Feinberg will be addressing from May 13-15: “Flourish is all about finding the right way to integrate environmental care into Christian living and congregational life.”

To read the post, go to Christianity Today’s Liveblog.

Visit www.flourishonline.org/flourish-2009-conference to learn more about the Flourish 2009 Conference

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