The Methodist Church in Britain website hosts a Climate Change page, which links to the Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT) page focusing on the environment. These represent ideal starting places for sourcing theological resources on these issues.
A key Methodist/JPIT document is Hope in God’s Future – a report and study guide to help individuals and local groups:
- understand the position of The Baptist Union, The Methodist Church and The United Reformed Church on climate change
- become aware of a vital connections between climate change and the Christian faith
- transform lifestyles through studying, praying and acting on the issues
- inspire others in the community to live in harmony with the whole of creation
Also read the 2007 Methodist Conference Resolution ‘Caring for creation in the face of climate change’ (download here as PDFdownload here as PDF)
Song of the Prophets: a global theology on climate change
(Christian Aid, 2014)
Christian Aid’s 2014 publication, downloadable here as a PDF, seeks to underpin theologically the charity’s work on climate change and offers theological reflection that brings both challenge and hope. It affirms that climate change is being caused by and contributing to the injustices and inequalities of our world and “begins from the experience of Christian Aid’s partners, many of whom already live with the most challenging realities of climate change”.
Significantly, the report listens, and gives voice, to theologians from the global South, from the contexts where climate change is having its greatest impact. In this way, the publication is well illustrated, not only visually but also in terms of its case studies.
This is a genuinely engaging website, with a host of practical ideas designed to support local churches, whether or not they have joined the Scottish award scheme (equivalent to Eco Church awards in England and Wales). There is all you need here, from top tips for saving energy or attracting wildlife to wide-ranging ideas for “greening” church spending.
Ideas for action are arranged under three headings: Spiritual living, Practical living and Global living – each including an extensive series of links to other organisations and resources.
All this material is underpinned by the section on Theology and the Environment, which offers green theological perspectives from a wide range of sources. The site editors write that “exploring ‘green Christianity’ can be a positive, enjoyable and fulfilling part of Christian discipleship” but note that, “as with all theology, Christian care for the environment needs to be rooted in a consideration of the Biblical heritage.” Their own documents, Theology and the environment and Evolving Christian understanding of God in Creation offer a helpful introductory read.
The John Ray Initiative
A wide range of briefing papers is available from the John Ray Initiative. These covers key early statements by Sir John Houghton on the “Christian challenge of caring for the earth” and “Global pollution and climate change” to more recent statements e.g. “Is fracking good for us?” and “One year on: Donald Trump, the environment and the Church”.
Other papers explore environmental issues as expressed in the biblical books of Exodus, Micah and Revelation.
Useful for small groups are Bible studies and group resources:
- Mission and Creation Care for Christian Disciples: five studies with accompanying leaders’ notes, designed “to mobilise congregations and churches in living out the mission of God and to see individual lives, communities, and the environment flourish”
- A Christian Look at the Environment; five Bible studies by Dena Burne
All Operation Noah’s resources are clearly listed by category and type. Theological resources come as written documents and in other media, such as the audio recording of a talk given by Bishop Richard Cheetham in 2015: “Your God is too small”.
Sustainable faith: A green gospel for the age of climate change by Nicky Bull (Operation Noah’s Chair) and Mark McAllister is featured, but lists for further and wider reading are also offered.