The Bible & Theology Toward Christian Maturity
Leading Wesleyan Theologian Visits Seminary Class
Creation and Care
By Hannah Notess (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Seattle Pacific University’s Camp Casey on Whidbey Island is well-known for its natural beauty. This year, the first-year master’s degree students of Seattle Pacific Seminary had a chance to spend time in the natural beauty of God’s creation there, even as they were thinking about God’s creation theologically.
One of the texts for their one-week intensive course, “Christian Formation in Discipleship: Acts of Piety,” was Salvation Means Creation Healed, by leading Wesleyan theologian Howard Snyder. Snyder’s book challenged them to consider the story of God’s salvation through Jesus Christ, as a salvation that heals our broken relationships with creation as part of our reconciliation with God, “healing the divorce between heaven and earth.”
Seminary students also studied Snyder’s book during Autumn Quarter in Mike Langford’s “Theology and Ethics” course, which begins their theological journey with the doctrines of God and creation. More than that, students had a chance to discuss the book with the author himself, when he visited their class. They talked about ideas in the book, particularly the idea that the gospel of Jesus Christ includes a healing and renewal of creation.
“It’s a very holistic and broad understanding of salvation, and it helps students think about how they live out that salvation day to day,” says Langford, assistant professor of theology, discipleship, and ministry. “Snyder’s view is that the new creation is the renewal of this earth and the healing of this earth.”
Snyder is also currently working on a book about the founding of Seattle Pacific as it relates to the history of the Free Methodist Church and its founder, B.T. Roberts. The book will be produced in conjunction with the celebration of SPU’s 125th Anniversary in 2016.