It’s Out!


A month ago or so, I mentioned that a “small catechism” version (about thirty pages or so) of Together With All Creatures: Caring for God’s Living Earth appeared in time for our church’s National Youth Gathering (on right and below).

Well, this past week the “large catechism” version (on left) is now out and has been sent to our pastors and congregations. It provides a more thorough treatment of the subject. The first half explores where we fit within creation by providing brief historical overview and then developing a theology of our place within creation for today. The second half then explores how we might live within creation by suggesting that we rediscover our connection with creation and by asking how we live within our creaturely limits.twac-sc-small2

So what distinguishes this document from other books? As I stop to think about that, I’d probably say several things stand out. First, it develops a theology of human creatureliness that emphasizes our responsibility to care for God’s earth as creatures among fellow creatures. Second, it places our common creatureliness and our responsibility for creation, within the context of God’s entire story, a story that stretches from God’s creation to Christ’s rescue of all creation, to the Spirit’s renewal of creation. Third, it stresses the importance of rediscovering our connection to creation so that we delight in it as a wonderful gift from God. Finally, it concludes with the importance of caring for creation so has to enhance the beauty and glory of God’s handiwork in anticipation of Christ’s return.

This latest report is available from Concordia Publishing House for only $3.00 (item no. 09-2621)! The smaller version is available for only $2.50 (item no. 09-2622)!

3 Responses to “It’s Out!”

  1. Paul A. Nelson Says:

    Visit Paul A. Nelson

    I have yet to review this latest publication, though I’m eager to do so. It seems timely that modern theologians wrestle with the topic of Genesis 1:28 in relation to the modern (postmodern?) form of pantheism – environmentalism.

    While we affirm our creatureliness in commonality with all of the rest of creation (as opposed to the Greek division of reality into spiritual and physical), is there a danger in this co-creatureliness feeding in to the mantra that humanity is just a glorified/evolved animal rather than a fundamentally different category of creation linked to the “image of God”? How do we maintain a healthy and appropriate tension between these theological truths?

    I look forward to reading this, and appreciate your efforts in this important and relevant topic. I also applaud your work in helping to transform the Seminary campus into both a functional as well as beautiful place with the various garden plots. My first parish after leaving seminary converted a substantial portion of unused property into a garden two years ago, ultimately donating over 700 pounds of fresh produce to a local food bank (as well as quite a few pounds to our own members as well!). What a wonderful opportunity for the seminary and for congregations with land on their hands to demonstrate care for creation by helping to feed it!

  2. arandc Says:

    Visit arandc

    Hi Paul! Thanks for writing. The question that you raise is pertinent and well put. Could our co-creatureliness feed into the mantra that humanity is a glorified/evolved animal? Perhaps if one focuses ONLY on that. The danger always arises in theology of refuting one error by saying the opposite of it. I think that the great thing about Lutheran theology is how it can live with tensions and seeks to hold together certain tensions. Let one of them go and we get into all kinds of problems. Thus for example, what if one affirms law without gospel it can lead to legalism or affirms gospel without law it can lead to antinomianism or universalism. The same applies here. The document affirms and holds together our common creatureliness as well as our distinctive creatureliness. Focus on only the first and we can end up going in the direction that you mention. But if we focus only on our distinctive creatureliness we could go in a platonic spiritualizing direction that distances itself from the first article. Therein lies our challenge (as it always has been!). So over and against a pantheist I will stress our distinctiveness. But over and against a gnostic I will stress our embodiment and creatureliness. BTW, thanks for your thoughts about campus. We are trying to think of more ideas that we can do. I was impressed by the 700 lbs of fresh produce that your congregation donated. Wow.

  3. William Says:

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    Hi, I was browsing for good reads then stumbled upon your site. With all the things happening with our environment and our planet as a whole, “Together With All Creatures” looks like the book which everybody should read to get in touch again with the whole creation and to sincerely care for it.

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