Fall 1992 · Vol. 21 No. 2 · p. 2 

From the Editors: Earthkeeping

Elmer A. Martens

In evangelical Christian churches one seldom, if ever, hears a sermon about the environment. Nor do discussions in Sunday Schools treat the subject in depth. That situation must change.

Preachers in Christian churches have focused on the Bible’s theme of the history of salvation. That theme, without question, is a major one. But it is not the only one. Much in the Bible deals with nature. By being so preoccupied with "history," the church has too easily neglected the Bible’s message about "nature."

The argument for the church to give attention to "nature" is forcefully made by Gordon Zerbe, who examines the New Testament for its ecotheology. Zerbe draws from his essay in The Environment and the Christian: What Can We Learn from the New Testament?, a book which is reviewed by Max Terman. Even more readily can a theology of the environment be established from the Old Testament.

Leonard Siemens is highly knowledgeable about world resources from his global travels in conjunction with coordinating and supervising agricultural programs and research. Siemens lays out the facts on how things are with the world’s land, water and air. Supplemented by reflections from Lee Balzer and Will Friesen, both educators in Christian liberal arts institutions, Siemens' sobering update is in itself a call to action.

In some quarters, theory about rehabilitating the environment has abounded, but practice has been minimal. Not so in Edmonton, Alberta. How word and deed can be wedded is exemplified by the Edmonton Recycling Society, in which the Church through its agency, the Mennonite Central Committee, has modeled an effective strategy. The far-reaching impact of the experiment is reported by Dave Hubert.

This issue comes in a new cost-saving format. Reader comments are invited.

The Spring, 1993 edition, anchored by guest editor Dr. Bob Rempel, will feature the subject of Christian Nurture.