The Joyful Environmentalists: Andy Crouch Interviews Eugene Peterson and Peter Harris

“Creation care is a hot topic among Christians, but it is nothing new for longtime friends Eugene Peterson and Peter Harris,” writes author Andy Crouch in his Christianity Today interview with these two “joyful environmentalists.” Eugene Peterson is the author of numerous books, most recently The Pastor: A Memoir, a book “saturated in environmental themes and metaphors.” Peter Harris, along with his wife Miranda, founded the international conservation organization¬†A Rocha.

In the interview, Crouch and the two creation care activists talked about everything from the difference between “saving the planet” and biblical creation care to how the call to care for creation connects to the everyday lives of urban and suburban people. Read the whole interview for Peterson’s and Harris’ answers to:

  • Is urbanization something good, bad, or neutral from a Christian perspective?
  • In the biblical sense, what is conservation trying to conserve?
  • Does prioritizing environmental concerns limit economic growth and therefore limit the prospects of the poor?
  • What are the deepest risks in our current interest in environmental concerns?

Questions for Discussion

  1. Before reading the interview, discuss the questions above with friends or family members. Compare your answers with Peterson’s and Harris’ responses.
  2. At the end of the interview Harris says that one of the most prominent traits of environmentalists is anxiety. Compare that with Crouch’s choice to title the interview “The Joyful Environmentalists.” Should Christians feel anxiety about creation care? In what way do joy and gratitude play a factor in our work to steward creation?
  3. Is there a relationship between a flourishing ecosystem and robust economies, healthy communities, and alleviation of poverty? What is that relationship?

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