Acton Institute Powerblog

On Environmental Science, Moral Witness Requires Clear Thinking

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When it comes to environmental science, we can’t avoid tough science and policy questions by simply arguing from Scripture or Tradition, says Rev. Gregory Jensen in the first of this week’s Acton Commentary.

Yes theology and science “have different points of departure and different goals, tasks and methodologies” but they “can come in touch and overlap.” For this convergence to be fruitful we must resist “the temptation to view science as a realm completely independent of moral principles.” Science can, and often does, serve as “a natural instrument for building life on earth” (Basis of the Social Concept of the Russian Orthodox ChurchXIV.1). However when we limit ourselves merely to the findings of the natural, social and human sciences, we risk confusing expediency with prudence and diluting the Church’s witness.

The full text of the essay can be found here. Subscribe to the free, weekly Acton News & Commentary and other publications here.

Joe Carter Joe Carter is a Senior Editor at the Acton Institute. Joe also serves as an editor at the The Gospel Coalition, a communications specialist for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and as an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. He is the editor of the NIV Lifehacks Bible and co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator (Crossway).


  • Mary Gray Moser

    “ignorance of science can be as harmful as ignorance of Christ’?????????

    • Dylan Pahman

      Given the context, I think the implication is “ignorance of science can be as harmful [for public policy] as ignorance of Christ.”

      • Sorry for the confusion, I was referring to public policy not salvation!

      • Mary Gray Moser

        Thanks to you, Dylan Pahman., I now understand

  • Bishop David Sterry Mahaffey

    I cannot fully address the flaws in his argument in a “comment” section. I wish I were able to contact Fr. Gregory directly, but on the OCA website he has no email address. But briefly, he fails to understand that the science has already proven this project dangerous, we are already fighting for native rights, and it is clear Fr. Gregory has not spoken to anyone directly involved in the Pebble Mine situation from the Alaskan Orthodox standpoint, he is writing on what he has read infused with his own take and criticism of what has been done. I would love the opportunity to speak with him directly and enlighten him on the facts.