Is conservation a genuine Christian concern

Some leaders of the Religious Right and Left have recently reached a common understanding that something needs to be done about global warming. Long before an essay by Samuel Casey Carter, called “What Scriptures Tell Us About Environmental Stewardship,” is the topic of conversation at the National Center Blog (the same Center that published the essay.) It assaults an extreme view of Christian liberals obsessed with conservation, which the author says constitutes worshiping the earth as a form of idolatry.

As it was said in the beginning, Christian environmentalists have turned the world on its head. In using language reserved for God to show their concern for the Earth, they have only bred contempt for man and made a mockery of real religion. What they have not done is to make the Earth a proper object of worship. It can’t be. But more to the point, theirs is not a genuine religious concern. They have simply invoked religious rhetoric to give new urgency to their worldly agenda. Sadly, for those who don’t discern this agenda, this manner of speaking will make an idol of the Earth.

While the essay does discuss theological questions of scriptural authority, it fails to address solid theological discussion which, genuinely addresses conservation. All the same, the essay falls on one side of the political spectrum, fighting against an extreme view of the other–nonetheless, the middle ground seems lost here.

When God created earth, God charged Adam and Eve to look after the garden. I would agree (to some degree) that the earth is here for human use and enjoyment; but that does not make the earth a human creation–it will remain God’s. Venerating the Creator shouldn’t stop when you walk outside of church doors–it should continue by showing respect to Creation, and thus, the Creator.

What do you think? Is conservation a genuine Christian concern, and why?