Professor Tim Gorringe of Exeter gave Operation Noah’s annual lecture last week. Doesn’t seem to have got the publicity it deserves – and in particular seems to have been missed by the Church Times.
He argues that climate change should be a ‘confessional’ issue for the modern Church, in the line of the 1934 Barmen confession (opposition to Hitler from the German church) and further confessions in that tradition – where the Church agrees that a certain issue is sufficiently important and critical that Christians should morally take a certain line on it. For Gorringe, climate change is such an issue. The current economic system may be another, although this point is not made explicitly. It is certainly critiqued as a driver for climate change and problems of inequity. The lecture makes a strong case for reform, notably in the area of debt.
The challenge is made to the church both to speak out on this issue and doing something about it:
Recognising climate change as a confessional issue … involves … repentance on the part of the church, examining our complicity with, and reliance on the present financial system and doing something about it. A church which embraces Mammon cannot witness against it. For the sake of God’s creation the church has to set its own financial house in order and develop different investment and economic strategies.
Worth reading the lecture in full.