What does hope mean for A Rocha? The question matters as we give an account of our own Christian calling to care for creation. There is an increasingly urgent need to be able to articulate our own convictions and the hope to which they give rise.
I spent [the 2005] New Year’s Eve in Chennai, a city of 8 million where perhaps 200 were swept away by the tsunami. This terrible event shook me. The scale of human suffering, the raw power of nature, the lack of warning.… I was shaken as somebody born in India, as a Christian believing in a loving Sovereign God, and as an environmentalist, who spends his time talking about how wonderful nature is.
On 26 December 2004, ‘Tsunami’ replaced ‘Sushi’ as the best-known Japanese word in the world. Since that tragic day, there have appeared a number of articles and letters in newspapers all over the world questioning the credibility of faith in God in the light of such a terrible event. Some Christians add fuel to the cynic’s fire by making naive statements about ‘God’s will’, ‘God’s judgement’, ‘God’s end-times’, and so on. Even well-meaning expressions of gratitude to God for rescue and safety lead us to wonder what purpose is served by saving some but leaving so many thousands to die.
The ocean is experiencing tremendous threats from human activity. What is our response to these threats? We must root marine research and conservation in theology in order to live integrated lives and base our hope ultimately in God. Download Robert Sluka’s paper from the Journal of Ecotheology: Volume 2, Spring 2016