If the world is at stake, stewardship of creation must be global. And with an evangelical passion akin to world missions, Ed Brown is preaching ecology to the nations.
One region at a time.
Following initial consultations in Jamaica in 2012, Brown became the Lausanne Movement’s catalyst for creation care and helped build out the Lausanne/World Evangelical Alliance Creation Care Network (LWCCN). The goal was to amplify a conviction forged two years earlier in Cape Town, South Africa, at the third Lausanne Congress: Creation care is a gospel issue within the Lordship of Christ.
Since then, LWCCN has conducted conferences in 12 regions drawing delegates from over 120 nations. Concluding earlier this month in Jordan for the Middle East and North Africa, Brown and his colleagues addressed local issues for a region experts warn is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world.
And the UN is cued in. Its 27th climate change conference, COP27, begins November 6 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, with COP28 scheduled next year in the United Arab Emirates’s Abu Dhabi.
Brown served previously as chief operating officer for the evangelical Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies, and today is a fellow at the Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He founded Care of Creation, Inc. in 2005, and is author of Our Father’s World: Mobilizing the Church to Care for Creation.
In Amman, he spoke with CT about the challenge of politics, the response of missionaries, and the drastic impact environmental changes will soon have on ministry to one’s neighbors.
Reflecting on your many meetings, did the message of creation care resonate with the international evangelical community?
Much more so than in the US. We found people hungry and eager to have us come. People in these countries live closer to nature, without the protections from nature that exist in the West. They are much more aware of climate change happening. You can’t hide from it.
We’ve seen this with the floods in Pakistan, and with Hurricane Ian it is coming home to America. But this has been true for people in the Philippines for decades. The weather is changing, and our message is that creation is groaning in a biblical sense.
What is it that they were hungry for, or lacking?
Everywhere we go, the Spirit has been speaking to people about caring for God’s creation. With a conference like this, people are discovering each other. I may be the only one in my church, they realize, but I’m not the only one in [my] country—and now we can communicate with each other.
There is also a thought that individuals and church leaders sensed that something wasn’t right, without knowing the biblical foundation about how the Bible speaks to the issue.
Can you give an example about how we have missed this message in Scripture? The central passage I use is…
This article was originally published at Christianity Today, on October 19, 2022. Please click here to read the full text.