The Native Tourist
reformed/biblical observations on Christianity and culture

Thursday, October 27, 2005
Some Helpful Distinctions
and historical insights on understanding "environmentalism" from a post by Calvin Beisner in this "umpired debate" on Christianity and Environmentalism at the pcanews.com site.

From Beisner:

Historically, "conservationism," which honored the dominion mandate and saw creation as God-given resources to be managed well for the common weal, gave way in the mid-twentieth century to "preservationism," predicated on the view of man principally as a threat to earth, which in turn gave way to "environmentalism," which saw man as a destructive interloper and tended toward biological egalitarianism, naturalism, and sometimes Eastern mysticism (e.g., in the "Deep Ecology" movement).

Maintaining the distinction between "conservationism" and "enviromentalism" seems very promising. Christians should recapture this word and use it to promote a view which truly balances pro-development/cultural transformation and maintenance of the earth's beauty and fruitfulness ("work" and "keep" -- Gen 2:15).