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From the Desert to the City: Christians in Creation Care

The colours of the wind are changing. The green grassland is brown with desertification. The blue sky is yellow with sandstorm and the cities grey with smog.  With deep pathos, the Chinese singer Tan Weiwei screams a stern warning in her song :

Why has the sky turned grey?
Why is the land not green?
Why is human heart not red?
Why are the snow on the mountains black?
 
We can add more questions in this present Anthropocene age where the good earth is degraded with the worsening climate crisis: What will it take to awake Christians to the crisis which is not only environmental but ecological; not only missiological but theological; not only social but also deeply spiritual?

It appears that Christians struggle to justify why we need to engage in environmental care as it appears to be a secular issue. On the contrary the issue is a spiritual one. Our care for creation stems not from practical and social concerns for the ecological crisis alone but also from a theological understanding of our roles in Christ’s New Creation.  Our Christian hope based on the Cross of Christ planted on the devastated earth with the harassed humanity, challenges our vision of discipleship and refreshes our mission of care and compassion. This is a call for a renewed Christian spirituality adequate for our environmental engagement.


About the Author

Lawrence Ko is the National Director of Singapore Centre for Global Missions.  He has been a pastor, social entrepreneur, corporate trainer and missions director in Asia for the past 30 years. Lawrence founded Asian Journeys Ltd, a social enterprise, to network and nurture young leaders towards a vision of a creative and responsible community. He has organized urban missions projects as well as environmental stewardship efforts in various parts of Asia. His book “Can the Desert be Green? Planting Hope in the Wilderness” was published on Earth Day in 2014 to encourage Christians to be good stewards of the environment and priests of God’s creation. He researches on Asian cultures and urbanism and is the editor of Ethnic Rhythms: Life in the A Global City (2015) as well as Urbany: Gospel at Street Level (2017).  He serves as Director of the Asia Evangelical Alliance’s Mission Commission and also on the executive committee of Asia Lausanne Committee for World Evangelisation.

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