Nearly 200 people attended the lecture, held in the impressive surroundings of the Huxley Lecture Theatre, ZSL London Zoo. Reflecting John Stott’s commitment to ‘double listening’ to God’s word and God’s world, there were two eminent speakers:
Rev Dr Chris Wright (International Ministries Director of Langham Partnership International) spoke authoritatively about the biblical affirmations of the goodness, glory and goal of creation. Creation’s goodness consists of its intrinsic value, its fullness (Isaiah 6) in terms of biodiversity is God’s glory, and its goal is to be included in God’s saving work through Christ. Quoting the Lausanne Cape Town Commitment, Wright made a convincing case that creation care ‘is a gospel issue within the Lordship of Jesus Christ’. Rather than seeing Christ’s work as primarily about humanity, ‘the gospel is the good news that is contained in the grand story of God’s good purpose for all creation, a purpose in which, by God’s grace, we can have a share.’
David Nussbaum (Chief Executive of WWF-UK) told the story of his personal and theological journey into leading a major conservation charity. He challenged the dualism and anthropocentrism of many Christians, asking why it is that the Christian presence in areas of poverty and corruption is so much greater than in tackling biodiversity loss. He concluded by quoting WWF-UK’s strapline ‘a world with a future where people and nature thrive’, and commending this as a vision that harmonized with a Christian understanding of God’s purposes for his world.