AJ Swoboda, husband to Quinn and father to Elliott, pastors a church in Portland, Oregon called Theopolis. He earned his doctorate in Systematic Theology after studying in Britain at the University of Birmingham. Passionate about creation care, Swoboda is interested in the relationship between Christians and the environment.
Creation care – what is it? (3:31) With the growing threat of climate change and ecological degradation, the church has had to rethink our relationship as humans towards the world. Our approach as Christians is take seriously God’s invitation to take care of His creations. We see even at the beginning of Genesis that God has assigned us to “take care of the garden” and the assignment has never ended. Caring for garden is worship in itself. Swoboda states simply that we must care for things that God cares for.
Swoboda dives into a common argument against creation care which is the mentality that if this place is going to fade, why does creation care matter? (7:33) Admittedly, the question is a loaded one that many people feel is attached to a political agenda. Swoboda notes that kind of mentality is rooted in poor ethical reasoning. As Christians, we are called to care for people and to care for people includes caring for the environment.
Swoboda recounts an incident involving a decaying building at church which opened his eyes to see the importance of theology (17:30). Our environment and land are affected by what we believe about God. Because we believe in Jesus’ return we ought to be good stewards of the earth. We have the responsibility of today, even if Jesus comes tomorrow. Ecological concerns involve everyone but Christians have one thing to bring to the conversation – hope. (22:25) We believe that God can heal the planet and our culture is hungry for Christians to take creation care seriously.
For the Beauty of the Earth: A Christian Vision of Creation Care – Steven Bouma-Prediger
Serve God, Save the Planet: A Christian Call to Action – Matthew Sleeth
Host: Sam Romijn
Guest: AJ Swoboda (www.ajswoboda.com)
Show notes: Eliza Biason
Producer: Jo Ann Muyco
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