Religio-environmental implications of Planet B [study]

If someone was promised a ‘New Earth’, as a replacement, would they be less inclined to look after the current one?

This was one of the questions posed in a 2010 paper for The Expository Times. The author, Professor Edward Adams of King’s College, London, UK, points out that :

‘In accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth’ (2 Pet 3.13). This promise has given hope, comfort and inspiration to Christians throughout the history of the church. But it seems to offer little encouragement for positive environmental action. If Christians are awaiting a new earth, why would they involve themselves in activities aimed at preserving the old one?

After a detailed analysis of the relevant Biblical texts, the professor argues that :

“[…] the hope for a new cosmic creation in these passages is not wholly lacking in environmental appeal. ‘Waiting for’ the new heaven/s and earth does not mean abdicating moral responsibility and is not incompaible [sic] with pro-environmental action.”

See: Does Awaiting ‘New Heavens and a New Earth’ (2 Pet 3.13) Mean Abandoning the Environment?

Photo credit. The photo above is not featured in the paper – it’s a partially modified version of NASA’s The Blue Marble. 

Research research by  Martin Gardiner