Redeeming Nature’s Song

EMQ » April–June 2023 » Volume 59 Issue 2

Afghanistan: Snow covers the Pamir mountains. Photo by Marc Ewell. Courtesy of WGA.

By Heather Pubols

Throughout the Scripture, we can read about the response of all creation to God’s glory. In its smallest mentions, the earth is commanded to praise and rejoice (2 Chronicles 16:31). The Psalmists prolifically exhort every aspect of the natural world – the sun, moon, stars, clouds, mountains, and animals of all kinds – to shout joyfully and sing praises (Psalms 66, 96, 148).

Isaiah looks ahead to the mountains bursting into song and the trees clapping their hands (Isaiah 55). And then in the first chapter of Romans, Paul declares that God’s created world testifies of what God has done so clearly that people are without an excuse for knowing the truth.

However, God’s creation is also permeated with the effects of our sin. We live in a time when this is more obvious than ever. Immense human initiated destruction to the land, seas, and creatures of this world is bringing dissonance into nature’s song and silence to its testimony. And people are suffering without water to drink, food to eat, clean air to breath, or the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the good earth God made for them.

But what does this have to do with missions?

In an event for missions leaders I recently attended, a speaker asked us these thought-provoking questions:

  • “Does our mission have anything to say to the nonhuman creation?”
  • “What is our theology of place?”
  • “Does our gospel have anything to say to the wider creation?”[1]

Participants in the Lausanne World Evangelical Alliance Creation Care Network (LWCCN)[2] have wrestled with these matters for more than a decade. In this issue of EMQ, they – along with others who have engaged deeply in this area – will share their insights and discoveries with you. Amongst their convictions is that the redemptive work which Christ calls us to does not end with saving human souls. It must spread to all he has made to truly manifest his kingdom.

After reading the challenging words of our authors related to our theme, head over to the extras section for articles on other topics. This quarter you can read about the gaps in Great Commission comprehension, the missional nature of Bible translation, and two different aspects of quality member care.

Heather Pubols
Editorial Director

[1] Jo Herbert James, World Evangelical Alliance Mission Commission Global Consultation presentation, February 2, 2023.

[2] Find them online here:

EMQ, Volume 59, Issue 2. Copyright © 2023 by Missio Nexus. All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced or copied in any form without written permission from Missio Nexus. Email: