History of New View
Let me tell you how this page and theology came to be. I'm a follower of Christ ('Christian' of evangelical persuasion), who has always had a deep concern for nature and for collective environmental responsibility, and deep intuition that God has this same concern. But was I right? For forty years I have had a deep awareness that my own interests and views should take second place to what God has revealed in the Bible. But also that we ourselves must take responsibility for how we interpret the Bible.
I found that traditional evangelical theology - of many kinds - did not give me sufficient grounds for getting involved in a major way in environmental matters (see my story). But I also noticed that huge chunks of Scripture are glossed over or even ignored by these evangelical ways of seeing things. So I wanted to find out whether, without forcing it to my view, Scripture does in fact give grounds for environmental concern and action. I found it did. Initially three main things stood out:
- Oft-ignored passages like Leviticus 25 (jubilee) point to real concern for justice for the earth as well as humans.
- The word once translated 'dominion', Radah, is likely to mean rule over the rest of nature, not for our own sake, convenience or pleasure, but for its sake and blessing.
- The Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are also central to environmental responsibility in addition to God the Father: Christ brings salvation to it as well as us; the Holy Spirit makes us of that attitude by which we fulfil radah for its sake instead of our own. See Romans 8 and Galatians 5:22-23.
So I began to put these pieces together, with some other things, and the 'new view' theology emerged.
Created: 21 May 2006
by Andrew Basden.