Scientific research paper
Should the Church Love the (God’s) World? A Response to The Cape Town Commitment Point Seven
Gregory S. Thellman ; Visoko evanđeosko teološko učilište, Osijek
|Full text: pdf (239 KB)||pg. 53-71|
This paper is a response to point seven, sub-points A) and B) of The Cape Town Commitment (TCTC), and attempts to answer the question “is love the proper Christian response to the nonhuman creation, and/or to human nations and culture?” Based on a summary of the concepts of “love” and the “world” in the biblical texts, it is shown that the biblical concept of “love” strongly emphasizes heartfelt and caring commitment for another within human relationships and divine-human relationships. The “world” in scripture can be construed in positive, neutral or negative senses, depending on the term and context, and Christians find themselves both in a fallen creation which awaits liberation and within human nations and cultures in a state of sin and rebellion against God. While the Bible never commands believers to love the nonhuman creation or collective human entities like nations and cultures, Christians may yet appropriate love for God and neighbor through their attentive care of creation and through their contribution to culture in a way that glorifies God. In these ways, Christians may “love” creation and culture, but only in a contingent sense with their foundational love focused on God and neighbor.
Christianity; love; world; creation; culture; new creation
Hrčak ID: 237566