Taiwan Church News
July 24 – 30, 2017
Professor Richard Bauckham Shares His Thoughts On Stewardship In God’s Creation
Reported by Chen Yi-fan
In a celebration of the 20th anniversary of PCT’s Environmental Sunday, Professor Richard Bauckham, a distinguished New Testament scholar and British Anglican theologian, was invited to share his thoughts, entitled as “The Bible and the community of the creation”, at the Ko-pei Presbyterian Church in the afternoon on July 23. Through an exploration into the scriptures of the Genesis, Bauckham lead the audience to examine the relationship between the stewardship mandated to human being and the creation of God as a communion.
Supported by substantial statistics, Bauckham raised a warning that many biological species were heading toward their extinction in an unprecedented speed while the population of human being were kept in expansion. So, what is the relationship between such mass species’ speedy extinctions and the very ironical human flourishing, Bauckham questioned. “We, human being, are not an independent creature, and we cannot survive in a world most species are annihilated. The whole creation, including us and the other species, is a co-existent communion created by God”, Bauckham said.
Bauckham criticized a prevalent misunderstanding about human being’s stewardship as dominion over all other species. This dominion mentality was apparently wrong per our actual environmental exploitation and pollution, Bauckham said, adding that we have to treat all the creatures as partners and not as properties to avoid more ecological disasters. From a Christian point of view, human being is never the hub of the creation, because the communion of life is created by God and centered around God from the beginning to forever, Bauckham remarked.
Bauckham affirmed the uniqueness of human being, but stressed it should be appreciated from a rich contexts of bio-diversity, “because in fact we are an inseparable part of our mother Nature”. If reading the Genesis makes us feeling superior to other species in the creation, it is absolutely an abuse of the Bible, Bauckham advised.
Translated by Peter Wolfe