To help you better understand Bauckham’s statements against E. Calvin Beisner and the Cornwall Alliance, it would be helpful if you listened to Beisner’s lecture first before listening to Bauckham’s lecture. You can find Beisner’s lecture here.
At the recent national Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) conference in November 2012 in Milwaukee, WI, Richard Bauchkham spoke in the third plenary session on “Reading the Bible in the Context of the Ecological Threats of Our Time.”
On a negative note, I think Dr. Bauckham unfairly represented Beisner’s position by tying him to Francis Bacon. Even though Bauckham is not a Scientist himself, he ignored the quotes from specific scientists made by Beisner, simply dismissing Beisner’s position as that of raping and pillaging the land. Beisner did not argue such things (You can find Beisner’s lecture here). Thus, I learned from Bauckham how not to treat my brothers and sisters. We have a responsibility to accurately represent our brothers and sisters in Christ.
On a more positive note, I appreciated Bauckham’s passion for caring for creation. He obviously was so dogmatic in his position because he believes human lives and human livelihood are at stake in the global warming issue. Bauckham never met many of these people that he spoke of, but he obviously loves them. I too should love my neighbors with such passion. . . all my neighbors, including Beisner.
Bio: Richard J. Bauckham MA, PhD Cambridge, FBA, FRSE (born September 22, 1946) is a widely published scholar in theology, historical theology and New Testament. He is currently working on New Testament Christology and the Gospel of John as a Senior Scholar at Ridley Hall, Cambridge.
Zondervan recorded the plenary sessions, and offers them here. Dr. Bauckham is introduced at 01:03:40, and starts speaking at 01:05:48.
Summary of Main Points
We all know that the “Jesus didn’t exist” position is unfounded. Climate change denial is the equivalent of the “Jesus didn’t exist” position in the scientific world. The overall majority of Scientists agree that man-made global warming is an alarming threat to the continued existence of our planet. In order to answer the global warming crisis, Christians should view creation in the same manner God does as described in Genesis 1. We must learn to add without devaluing, to add without replacing or destroying the creation God has entrusted to our care. Human creativity must be exercised within the limits of our creation. Freedom is always limited. We live in a culture of excess, where nothing is ever enough, especially in the West. The Baconian project destroyed much that is good in the name of progress. We are exploiting the world’s resources instead of meeting human needs and worthy aspirations. We must seek to enable and enhance human life by living within creaturely limits. We do not need to remove mountain tops to mine coal, burn fossil fuels much longer, etc. We do not need to waste energy and food on the colossal scale that we do. We do not need the consumer goods a corrupt economic system has deceived us into wanting. God has made humans resourceful enough to find much better ways to live and flourish.