Group Discussion Guide: Caring for Creation

Lesson 3 — A Christian Response

  1. Rick argues here that it will take a “transformational change at all levels of human experience” to face the challenge of climate change.  

    • What are some concrete practices that you as an individual and your community can introduce to promote sustainability?  

    • Rick frames climate change as a matter of civic responsibility; without government regulation, climate change will not be curtailed. Why do you think the politics of climate change have become such a hotly contested issue?  

  2. Rick points to a number of studies to show that Evangelicals are particularly resistant to the science of climate change.  

    • Think about the Christian community to which you belong. How, if at all, is the environment discussed? Is there a theology of creation care in your tradition? What is it?  

    • In your mind, what accounts for the disconnect that sometimes characterizes Evangelical thinking about the environment?  

    • While there is not time or space here to develop a full-fledged Christian response to climate change, what elements of biblical teaching might form a good starting point for thinking Christianly about the future of the environment?  

  3. As Rick illustrates with reference to moral foundations theory, when we encounter new information, we prefer to change the data to fit our view rather than changing our view to fit the data.  

    • We’ve probably all had an experience of “talking past one another” in a debate or a heated conversation. Why is it so difficult for us to change one another’s minds when it comes to contested topics like climate change?  

    • How do Rick’s comments help to illuminate the ways in which discussions of climate change have broken down in a cultural impasse? If we don’t make decisions primarily on the basis of reason, what should dialogue surrounding climate change look like?