I'm a little slow catching up on all my reading and I just came across this post by David Opderbeck where he is reviewing Fred Bahnson and Norman Wirzba’s Making Peace With the Land: God’s Call to Reconcile With Creation. I parituclarly liked the following:
... A big emphasis for sustainable agriculture of the sort Bahnson and Wirzba promote is the notion of “working with the land.” If a particular region is mostly savannah, say, or rain forest, then agricultural methods and crops appropriate to those regions should be used. Fair enough, as a matter of baseline practical wisdom. But there is also a theological and philosophical claim being made: God made this land savannah or rain forest, and therefore an effort to transform the landscape into a different kind of biome is an affront to the integrity of creation.
Here we run into a significant problem: what is savannah today might have been a swamp, or a sea, or a desert, or a forest, or an ice sheet during other periods of geological time. Part of God’s design for creation is that it constantly changes and that biomes continually flux and adapt. That is the genius of evolution. The notion that reconciling with creation requires preservation of a particular biome as it appears at some moment in geological time therefore seems to me highly problematic.
I should be clear that I am not here agreeing with Christian global warming skeptics who think polluting the atmosphere with globs of carbon is nothing to be alarmed about because creation will adapt. That’s nonsense. We humans are capable of transforming the land in terribly harmful ways, even catastrophic ways. But transformation-qua-transformation isn’t unnatural – it’s how the world is made. ...
I'm continually intrigued by what I can only call sloppy thinking when it comes to Christian scholars reflecting on evironmental ethics. Authors who readily embrace an ancient earth view and affirm evolution invoke a narrative of a literal creation of the natural order 6,000 years to make claims about environmental ethics. To in any way alter things from what they are now is somehow an afront to the way God intended them to be (according to the narrative) and yet for four billion years the earth has been constantly changing (which they say they affirm). I don't get how someone holds these two views of reality together in their head at the same time.