I have been working on a thesis statement for my paper. It looks like the modern emphasis on ecology grows out of a series of historical emphases. I’m trying to prove that the emphasis on ecology since the early-mid 1970’s has shaped the doctrine of God for many contemporary OT theologians.
Evidently there was an idea in the late 1950’s that Christianity had opened the door for the scientific revolution. Becuase of its emphasis on the earth being a distinct thing apart from God[by virtue of him creating it], Judaism and Christianity allowed for the study of the earth apart from the study of God. Pantheists and Panentheists cannot study the observable world without studying God [who they percieve as a part of it]. This moved the study of creation out of the realm of theology and into the secular academy. In this way, Christianity was credited with giving rise to the scientific method. Of course, theologians jumped on the bandwagon, thinking this a wonderful way to show the superiority of Christianity.
But, in the 1960’s science and technology began to be seen as contributing to the downfall of the planet to some degree. So, Lynn White [a historian] commented that Christianty had contributed to the rise of the global crisis by giving rise to the scientific method.
Because this line of reasoning was based upon the idea that Creation is a distinct, separate thing from God [called a monarchic order], James Barr attempted to redeem the name of christianity by changing to an organic model which understands creation as a part of God. In his mind, God could not exist apart from creation. By changing the premise, he understands the problem of global crisis not to be caused by Christianity, but as something which Christianity must help the human race overcome. It seems that many current OT theologians who embrace what they call a biblical ecology, and especially those who drive it towards open theism, build their understanding of God’s relationship to creation upon James Barr’s idea. The problem would be that very few biblical scholars consider his premise to be correct. The text clearly implies that the world [creation] is distinct from the creator…

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