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14 March 2019

Can We Serve the Earth Without Worshipping it? Mission, Missions, and Monkeys in South Asia

Mission Round Table Vol. 9 no. 1

Lowell Bliss

Lowell is the director of Eden Vigil, and the author of Environmental Missions: Planting Churches and Trees.  He and his wife Robynn were church-planting missionaries with Christar in India and Pakistan for fourteen years

Our Swiss teammate Marie walked into our weekly meeting with a troubled expression on her face. “I’ve just seen something very strange,” she said. It wasn’t an unusual greeting for our team meetings. We were a group of young missionaries, all Western at the time, trying to establish ourselves in one of the most ancient and chaotic cities of India. Each week, we prayed together. Each week, we talked business. But we also told each other stories of what we had witnessed out in the ghallies and the ghats, that is, in the streets and on the riverfront. We helped each other process these stories and our emotions about them. Our most gratifying moments were when a fellow teammate could hold that story up to the light of Scripture, and we all then felt we were being “thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim 3:17). After all, we were “servants of God,” as per that same verse. We didn’t want to be complainers in our host culture. We didn’t want to be cowed by perplexity or fear. We wanted to be good servants.

Marie launched into her story. “Two weeks ago,” she said, “I was riding past the jhug gi [a small slum area] and there was a dead body of a man lying right in the middle of the street. No one was attending to the corpse or anything. Two days later I rode past there again, and he was still there.” By the end of the week, city workers had apparently come by and disposed of the body. “But today riding here,” she told us, “there’s a dead monkey, and it’s lying in the same exact spot. But someone has covered the monkey with silk brocade. They are burning incense all around it, and people are offering money and marigolds to it.”

“Whoa,” I thought at the time, and still do, “that’s so wrong.”

Admittedly, I like monkeys a lot, did then and still do. As anyone who has lived with an urbanized population of Rhesus monkeys in an Asian city can attest: they can be a nuisance. They steal fruit from the handcarts in the bazaar. They pull laundry down from the line and crack the buttons with their sharp teeth. We were once in a train compartment stopped in a quiet Himalayan station. All of a sudden, a fellow passenger said, “Eek! A monkey,” and pointed to where a mother monkey with a baby clinging to her belly had come in through the door of the train, made her way to our middle berth, and grabbed our sack lunches from where they were hung from a hook on the wall. The monkey scampered out the door again, but the worst part of it was that she climbed up onto the roof of the train directly above our own window. For the rest of our stay in the station, we watched crusts and scraps of our lunch fall past our window. Nonetheless, for all the nuisance they cause, I have never once felt that monkeys are anything less than a wonderful piece of God’s creation. “Monkey breaks” were in fact an important part of my first year of language study when I would look up from my books and cassette tapes and stare out the window to watch their antics. They are so strong and agile. They seem to care well for each other in families and groups, or “troops” as they are officially called. I suspect if there had been a campaign in our city to eradicate the monkeys, I also would have felt some place in my heart say: “Whoa, that’s so wrong.”

My family is now based in the United States (for reasons I will tell you shortly.) As a way to be involved in our community here, I volunteer as a board member of our small, local zoo. I am the chair of the Conservation Committee and we raise thousands of dollars annually to be spent on wildlife conservation projects both locally and around the world. If asked to say it, I suppose I would say it unapologetically: our Conservation Committee does in fact serve monkeys, as we do other animal populations, some quite endangered. Our two newest exhibits at the zoo are black- handed gibbons and Amur leopards. Mission Round Table readers in Thailand or Indonesia might know that gibbons are the world’s most endangered primates, their habitat increasingly lost to palm oil plantations. Readers in north-eastern China may have heard that there are likely only twenty to thirty-five Amur leopards left out in the wild in the entire world, and maybe 150 more in captivity in zoos like our own. When I visit the Amur leopard exhibit at the zoo and try to comprehend the complex beauty of their markings, the kinetic power of their muscling, it makes me want to worship their Creator. Their impending extinction makes me feel as if a cherished page is being ripped out of a hymnbook. I am motivated, as are the rest of the members of the Conservation Committee, to serve this species.

But with all this talk of service, I am too enthralled with Jesus Christ, and too appalled by some of my memories in India, to ever care to worship monkeys, gibbons, or leopards. I am a veteran of fourteen years of traditional gospel-preaching, disciple-making, church planting missions in India and Pakistan with Christar, our mission agency. We returned to the U.S. in 2007 and I am now the director of a project called Eden Vigil, which seeks to integrate creation care and church planting among least-reached people groups. As the author of a new book entitled Environmental Missions: Planting Churches and Trees, I am on public record as a missionary who is also an environmentalist, a conservationist, a “greenie.” I like monkeys. I am a servant of them. But what this means is that I occasionally return to my house and tell my wife, “A strange thing happened to me talking to my friend at the coffee shop.” “What’s that?” she asks. “He told me he is worried I am becoming ‘one of those liberal earth worshippers’.”

Is it possible to take up a calling to also serve the ecosystems of this world, its non-human flora and fauna, and yet not overthrow order into chaos: monkeys above men, creation above the Creator, environmentalism above evangelism? In this article, I will present three ways that we missionaries can serve the earth while staying faithfully distant from worshipping it. Each of these ways is a suitable approach for missionaries, but only the last one draws you fully into God’s heart for his creation, as revealed in his word.

Those three ways are:

  • Serving the earth as a way to serve evangelism is not worship of the earth.
  • Serving the earth as a way to serve humans is not worship of the earth.
  • Serving the earth as a way to serve God and his mission is in fact worship, but it is worship of God— the Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer of all creation.

FIRST A WORD ABOUT SERVICE AND THE GREAT COMMISSION

By service to earth, I mean “striving to safeguard the integrity of creation and to sustain and renew the life of the earth.” (I’m “pre- quoting”, if you will, a statement we’ll look at shortly.) But what is the relationship between service and my missionary commission in the first place? After all, I’ve been commissioned primarily as a member of a church planting team. What additional “service” is expected of me?

I am an American who is married to a Canadian. We must humbly ask our non-North American colleagues to not underestimate how late my countrymen are at arriving at an understanding of missio Dei and “the mission of God’s people.” For example, it was only after I returned from India in 2007 that I truly engaged the adjective “missional.” I’m more familiar with “missionary,” and what I call “missions with the –ess still on it.” Proclamation evangelism, disciple-making, church planting—these activities make sense to me and to my supporting churches which tend to be fairly conservative in their evangelicalism. Apparently however, the word missionary is 1500 years newer than the three journeys of the Apostle Paul to which we apply it. Only in the 16th century did Jesuits begin to use the term as they were sent out to Northern Europe to reconvert it to Catholicism. Protestant evangelizers quickly took up the word.1 Eddie Arthur recently tried to introduce mission to Wycliffe Global Alliance in a blog article entitled “Missio Dei and Bible Translation.” He wrote, “Over the last 200 years, the evangelical concept of mission has tended to be defined by people such as William Carey and Hudson Taylor and has focused on the ‘Great Commission’ of Matthew 28.”2  (Arthur’s quotation doesn’t bode well for me, a missionary to India according to the order of Carey, writing to an audience like you in the image of Taylor!)

And  so  the  great  British  missiologist  Andrew  Walls  (et.  al.) presents to us the “Five Marks of Mission”:

  • proclaiming the good news of the kingdom
  • teaching, baptizing and nurturing new believers
  • responding to human need by loving service
  • seeking to transform unjust structures of society,
  • striving to safeguard the integrity of creation and to sustain and renew the life of the earth3

In all honesty, here are my five initial responses as a conservative missionary sent out from North America:

  • Proclamation as the first mark makes sense to me,but why didn’t Walls just say “the gospel”? “The good news of the kingdom” seems to imply more.
  • The first three marks make sense to me. I could comfortably call them “missions”.
  • The last two marks are new to me; I certainly didn’t study them at my Bible college or seminary. Nonetheless, I’ve done enough biblical study of my own to affirm them.
  • And so, I’m glad that the Lord is raising up workers who are dedicating themselves to the last two marks and I’m willing to support them as best as I can. For that matter, while I do “respond to human need by loving service” (the third mark) when opportunity arises, I’m not, for example, an officially designated “medical missionary” nor an orphanage worker, but I’m happy to bless their expertise and their calling, which just happens to be different than mine.
  • Walls put the marks in the form of a list, and so I am glad that proclamation and discipleship are at least at the top of it. If nothing else, we need to preserve priorities.

Perhaps you can find yourself as well in one or all of my responses. But of course, Walls is not describing five different categories of missions or five different possible callings; he’s describing five marks of a single mission, and therefore five marks of a single missionary. I might call myself a missionary but am I a proclaiming, teaching, serving, transforming, safeguarding missionary? What role does service, justice, and creation care play in my ministry?

The writings of the late John Stott have been very helpful to me in sorting out my responses. Evangelism was his great passion, a fact which the news media noted in covering his death in 2010. The Los Angeles Times, for example, could have called him a theologian, a biblical scholar, an evangelical leader, but the headline read: “The Rev. John Stott dies at 90; Influential Anglican Evangelist.”4 Stott along with Billy Graham are considered founders of the Lausanne Movement. As draftsman of the original Lausanne Covenant, he wrote, “We are deeply stirred by what God is doing in our day, moved to penitence by our failures and challenged by the unfinished task of evangelization. We believe the Gospel is God’s good news for the whole world, and we are determined by his grace to obey Christ’s commission to proclaim it to all mankind and to make disciples of every nation.”5

Stott’s book Christian Mission in the Modern World immediately followed the First Lausanne Congress. In it, this committed evangelist declares that he finds the greatest commission to be the Johannine one: “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you” ( John 20:21; cf. John 17:18). Jesus was sent into the world as both savior and servant. Since, as Stott notes, “We are not saviours,” we take up the other vocation expressed by Jesus in such verses as Luke 22:27: “I am among you as one who serves.”6  And so now we find ourselves among the nations on a planet in ecological crisis as those who serve. Stott wrote that:

The Great Commission neither explains, nor exhausts, nor supersedes the Great Commandment. What it does is to add to the requirement of neighbour-love and neighbour- service a new and urgent Christian dimension. If we truly love our neighbour we shall without doubt share with him the good news of Jesus. How can we possibly claim to love him if we know the gospel but keep it from him? Equally, however, if we truly love our neighbour we shall not stop with evangelism. Our neighbour is neither a bodiless soul that we should love only his soul, nor a soulless body that we should care for its welfare alone, nor even a body-soul isolated from society.7

Stott concludes, “Therefore, if we love our neighbour as God made him, we must inevitably be concerned for his total welfare, the good of his soul, his body and his community.” If writing today, he would likely add: “and his ecosystem.”8  ( John Stott’s final book written before his death is entitled Radical Disciple. In it, he devotes an entire chapter to creation care as one of the eight most neglected parts of discipleship.)9  I suspect I’ve always instinctively known the link between service and the Great Commission. When people used to ask, “Where do you serve as a missionary?,” I answered, “I serve in India.” Now mind you— Stott does additionally write:

The word mission, I have so far suggested, is properly a comprehensive word, embracing everything which God sends his people into the world to do. It therefore includes evangelism and social responsibility, since both are authentic expressions of the love which longs to serve man in his need. Yet I think we should agree with the statement of the Lausanne Covenant that “in the church’s mission of sacrificial service evangelism is primary” (para. 6 The Church and Evangelism).10

SERVING THE EARTH AS A WAY TO SERVE EVANGELISM IS NOT WORSHIP OF THE EARTH

There are three primary ways that the fifth mark of mission— “striving to safeguard the integrity of creation and to sustain and renew the life of the earth”—relates to the other four marks and to the whole of Andrew Walls’s vision of integral mission. In my experience, these three ways also represent three stages that a conscientious missionary often moves through toward a greater integration of creation care into their service. First, we can use the fifth mark to serve the first two: evangelism and church planting. A few years ago I was invited to consult at the offices of a large denominational mission board. The directors I met with wanted to talk about what environmental missions could mean for their Asia-Pacific region. You may remember the hard summer of 2009. The monsoon that had failed in India had instead overwhelmed the Philippines. Studies had been released that very month on the dire impacts of climate change on rice production. I shared many stories and projections about environmentally related suffering, but in the end, I could watch the leader of our meeting transform into business mode. There was a humble, almost apologetic sheepishness to his question. Maybe he had been moved by the tales of devastation. Maybe he was embarrassed by being the denominational behemoth talking to a poor faith-mission start- up. He asked, “To tell you the truth, what we want to know is ‘What can you do for us?’ We particularly want to know how to get visas for our workers into closed countries?”

Fair enough. In fact, one of my joys in promoting missional creation care is the opportunities that an environmental approach can create to bring the gospel across borders shut tight to other approaches. My only experience on a disaster relief team was for the Pakistan earthquake of 2005. At one point, the Pakistani military came to our team leader and offered us a three-year project to rebuild the entire medical infrastructure of the district. We were being offered protected access to 361,000 Muslims living in an area previously besieged by the Taliban. Service in the face of environmental distress opens closed borders; it can also open closed hearts. “Allah will surely grant you paradise because you have come to serve our Pakistani people,” a policeman told our team. I’m happy to talk about creative access visas or strategically meeting felt needs, but I get a little uneasy when I have to start there. If you plant a value (like creation care) in the soil of utilitarianism (i.e. procure a visa), it may sprout happily, but then it gets too easily neglected if we have a mentality which dictates that creation care isn’t part of our “real” work. And utilitarianism can  creep  into  our  recruitment  of  the  next  generation  of church planters. The younger generation seems to value good stewardship of God’s creation. If we begin to recruit missionaries from biology and engineering departments at our universities, then we must allow them to express authentically the passions which God himself has placed in their hearts. There’s even a term which describes falsely presenting something as environmentally- friendly just in order to make a sale: we don’t want our mobilizers to “greenwash” our mission agencies. The next generation values authenticity even more than they value creation care.

SERVING THE EARTH AS A WAY TO SERVE HUMANS  IS NOT WORSHIP OF THE EARTH

If I had just retold the last portion of Marie’s opening story— that part about a monkey corpse to which devotees were making offerings—it would have been a graphic image of idolatry. What makes the story so disturbing, I think, is that additionally the monkey was lying on the exact spot where two weeks previously the body of a man was being grossly neglected. Humanity possesses dignity by virtue of being created in the image of God. When that dignity is violated, we feel it personally and viscerally. Walls’s third mark of mission—“responding to human need through loving service”—makes sense to us, and so does, therefore, putting creation care to the loving service of our fellow humans.

What is called the “Creation Mandate” is primarily derived from Genesis 1:28, and also from Genesis 2:15 which reads, “the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it (Hebrew âbad ) and take care (samar) of it.” The book Earthkeeping in the Nineties was an early statement on missional creation care and the authors note that âbad “is often translated ‘till,’ but it is sometimes translated ‘work’ or ‘serve.’ … The significant thing about both words [âbad and samar] is that they describe actions undertaken not primarily for the sake of the doer but for the sake of the object of the action. The kind of tilling which is to be done is a service to the earth.”11  But environmental skeptic Cal Beisner will have none of that. Even exegetically he explains, “although âbad may rightly be translated to serve or work for another in some contexts, it is properly translated thus only when it is followed by the accusative of a person or persons.” He concludes, “While indeed all of man’s tilling of the earth should be service to God, it is inaccurate to say that it is service to the earth itself. Rather, man’s cultivating the earth is designed. . . to cause the earth to serve man.”12  In other words, while Beisner is comfortable with creation care in service to mankind, he’d rather we not use the phrase “serving the Earth” at all, except in the same way we say that we are taking our automobile in for “servicing,” so that it might maintain its usefulness as the family car.

In truth, it is a wonderful function of God’s design in creation that the natural world does provide services for us human beings. This is most apparent in domesticated species of plants and animals. Dogs that assist the blind are in fact called “service animals.” Out in the wild, ecosystem services is also accepted terminology.

Behind the scenes, plants and animals are doing beneficial labor for the human beings who live in or near an ecosystem. Bees and butterflies pollinate the crops which feed us. Grasses and reeds around a body of water help filtrate and purify the run-off which fills that pond. We don’t pay for these services, though we would be wise to pay for their protection and maintenance. For instance, for decades ecologists had been warning government officials that the marshland grass buffer on the Gulf Coast of the United States was essential for the safety of New Orleans. Because we did not heed those warnings, because we did not properly “serve” those marine grasslands, they did not serve the citizens of New Orleans when the storm surge of Hurricane Katrina hit. We paid in the end. The most recent wildlife conservation crisis in India involves the vulture. In the past decade, India has lost an astounding 97 to 99 percent of its vulture population. The culprit is an anti-inflammatory drug, Diclofenac, that farmers were using to treat their cattle. Vultures who fed on the carcasses of these cattle quickly died of kidney failure.13 The disposal of carrion is an important ecosystem service. Carcasses, not just of cattle, now rot in village fields and contaminate drinking water sources. Rats and wild dogs have stepped in as carrion eaters, but these species carry pathogens while vultures, according to the metabolism that God created them with—suppress pathogens. Today in India, serving reintroduced vulture populations and enforcing the Diclofenac ban is a way to serve people.

Creation care is a means, and an increasingly important means, by which we love our neighbours. A year after we returned to the States, I received news that my best friend in India, a Hindu man, had died of cerebral malaria. My love for him means I must extend that care and concern for him to the air space which surrounded him, to the stagnant waters of the Gangetic plain in which that infected mosquito was born. Whenever I encounter an uneasiness about environmentalism among my Christian friends, I affirm their wariness about any “-ism” in general, but I encourage them to press through to essential things. The root word of environmentalism is environment, and I often define it as simply “that which surrounds the people we love, the people for whom Jesus died.” If a missionary can find his or her way to serving the Earth as a way to serve the loved ones of his or her adopted people group, I (and Scripture) bless that very important step. And yet, we should say in line with Scripture, “there’s more.” We can in fact adopt the fifth mark of mission as an integral part of what we do as missionaries. We don’t have to justify it in terms of its utility to the other four marks.

SERVING THE EARTH AS A WAY TO SERVE GOD IS WORSHIP, BUT NOT OF THE EARTH

Our dead monkey helps us explore this point in two ways. First we can ask, “What is the value of Rhesus monkeys anyway?” What ecosystem services if any do they provide? Considering their nuisance, would the world really suffer a loss if the Rhesus monkey became extinct? The same could be asked of the black- handed gibbon or the Amur leopard. There are numerous species whose value to human beings (or to evangelism) is vague or seemingly  negligible.  Secular  environmentalists  are  spending millions of dollars in research money in a frantic dash to first identify and then argue the utility of various endangered species. “What if the cure for cancer is hidden away in some undiscovered Amazonian wildflower?” they ask in their appeal to preserve the rain forest. Others attempt to ascribe a monetary value to specific ecosystem services in the hope that an economic argument will speak to the world’s legislators. Others simply refer to the wisdom of the great American conservationist Aldo Leopold who wrote: The last word in ignorance is the man who says of an animal or plant, “What good is it?” If the land mechanism as a whole is good, then every part is good, whether we understand it or not. If the biota, in the course of aeons, has built something we like but do not understand, then who but a fool would discard seemingly useless parts? To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent tinkering.14

Such strategies, while they may prove effective politically or philosophically, are not enough to satisfy the Christian who has studied Scripture in order to understand the heart of God. The same friends who I meet at coffee shops and who worry about me lapsing into earth worship will ask, “Is your creation care earth- centric or anthropocentric?” My answer is, “Neither! Creation care must be theocentric.” Looking back on how my team received Marie’s story about the monkey, I have to confront myself: was I more offended that a monkey was receiving worship which was due God alone, or that a monkey was receiving care that was better due a human? When we begin with God, we ask “What does he value? What does he want? What does he command us to do? How would he have us serve?” Colossians 1:15–16 says, “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.” Before we realized that marine grasslands were created to serve New Orleans, before we found out that vultures were created to serve disease control, before we learned that dogs can be trained as service animals, they were created “for him.” “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Rev 4:11, KJV ). If God demands service to his creation as a way to serve and worship him, who are we to deny him?

“God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number.’” You may think that this is that portion of the Creation Mandate given to Adam transcribed, as previously mentioned, in Genesis 1:28. But actually these are words that God spoke to the animal kingdom (birds and fish in particular) six verses earlier, one day earlier, in Genesis 1:22, after he saw what he had created and called them good. Blessing, a flourishing, the breath of life, and an intrinsic goodness—it’s God’s design for his whole creation. Our mandate in Genesis 1:28, which in addition to blessing and flourishing includes subduing and ruling, does not supersede the blessing given to the natural world. Godly dominion in fact incorporates that blessing and flourishing into its stewardship. In obedience to God’s commands, we look out for the welfare of the natural world. It’s difficult to think that we’ve been doing a good job when species are becoming extinct at a rate one thousand times faster than they have naturally done so up until now. Ecologists in fact are calling our era “the Sixth Great Extinction.”15 (The fifth extinction was when the dinosaurs died out.) Stewardship is a good, even biblical, way to understand creation care and mission. John Stott writes “For the earth belongs to God by creation and to us by delegation. This does not mean that he has handed it over to us in such a way as to give up his own rights over it, but rather that he has given us the responsibility to preserve and develop the earth on his behalf.”16  If we maintain this perspective, Stott says, we will avoid the extremes of deifying nature on the one hand, or exploiting it on the other. Instead, “the third and correct relationship between human beings and nature is that of cooperation with God,” meaning that we are given the high privilege of being invited into the missio Dei, the mission of God. “It is a noble calling to cooperate with God for the fulfillment of his purposes, to transform the created order for the pleasure and profit of all. In this way our work is to be an expression of our worship since our care of the creation will reflect our love for the Creator.”17

The most iconic of all Indian wildlife conservation efforts (“service”, if you will) is for the benefit of the Royal Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris). What utility has the tiger? The acreage of preserved habitat necessary to maintain their survival is regularly encroached upon by India’s burgeoning human population which has its own demands for livelihood. In the saltwater marsh forests of the Sunderbans (coastal West Bengal and Bangladesh) perhaps one in ten tigers have become man-eaters. Biologists believe this unusual aggressiveness is the result of the salinity of the water which is an irritant to a tiger’s throat and skin.18  The Joshua Project estimates that Christians make up only 0.007 percent of West Bengal’s Southern 24 Parganas district (Sunderbans).19 This  would  suggest  that  a  tiger  conservation  project  might greatly serve evangelism in the region, in fulfillment of the Great Commission. The deep fear of man-eaters, a fear strong enough to turn the Sunderbani Muslims into idolaters who also worship the Hindu goddess Bon Bibi as a protectress, suggests that carefully managing the tigers can greatly serve the human honey collectors and woodsmen who work in the Sunderbani forests, this being done in fulfillment of that part of the Great Commandment which would have us love our neighbor as we love ourselves.

The “stewards” who work at the NGOs Project Tiger and WWF India persevered until they found a solution which serves both villager and tiger. They knew that man-eating attacks are a tragedy in themselves, but the resultant revenge killings that further endanger the viability of the species, is also tragic. Their solution was to install solar panels in the villages so that the light at night will prevent tigers from inadvertently wandering in among the people. The people are served; so are the tigers. Unwittingly, these secular conservationists are affirming that the first part of the Great Commandment is that we “love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength,” which means doing the hard work of loving all that he loves. (No one said that the problems of responsible stewardship are easy to solve.) What utility has the tiger? The great nature psalm, Psalm 104, might never be read out aloud in the literature classes of our high schools and universities, but we do have William Blake’s poem “Tiger, Tiger”:

TIGER, tiger, burning bright

In the forests of the night,

What immortal hand or eye

Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

We know from Psalm 19, that “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Apparently the Royal Bengal tiger too by his very existence leaves us, as students have often quoted in their term papers, “in awe at the complexity of creation, the sheer magnitude of God’s power, and the inscrutability of divine will.”20  Blake asks about the tiger’s creator, “Did He smile His work to see?” According to his pronouncement of goodness in the Genesis account, God did. And so I’ve finally found my definition of the missionary who serves in all five marks of mission: I want to attend to the smile of God.

NOTES

1 Charles R. Tabor, “Editorial Essay: Mission, Missions, Missionary—the Words We Use,” Leaven 7 (1999): 4 –6.

2 Eddie  Arthur, “Missio  Dei  and  Bible  Translation,” Wycliffe Global   Alliance,   http:/www.wycliffe.net/resources/missiology/globalperspectives/tabid/97/Default.aspx?id=3962#_edn1 (accessed 23 November 2013).

3  Andrew Walls and Cathy Ross, eds., Missions in the 21st Century: Exploring the Five Marks of Global Missions (London: Darton, Longman and Todd / Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2008).

4 Elaine Woo, “The Rev. John Stott dies at 90; Influential Anglican Evangelist,” Los Angeles Times, July 31, 2011. http:/articles.latimes. com/2011/jul/31/local/la-me-john-stott-20110731   (accessed  4 October 2013).

5  The Lausanne Covenant, Introduction (The Lausanne Movement, 1974 ), http://www.lausanne.org/en/documents/lausanne-covenant.html (accessed 4 October 2013).

6 John Stott, Christian Mission in the Modern World (Downers Grove: IVP, 1975), 24

7 Stott, Christian Mission, 29–30.

8 Stott, Christian Mission, 30.

9 John Stott, Radical Disciple (Downers Grove: IVP, 2010), 49–59.

10  Stott, Christian Mission, 35.

11  Loren Wilkinson, ed., Earthkeeping in the Nineties: Stewardship of Creation (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1991), 287.

12  E. Calvin Beisner, When Garden Meets Wilderness (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 15.

13  “Banned Livestock Drug Continues to Threaten India’s Vultures,  Conservationists  Warn,”  The  Guardianhttp:/www.theguardian.com/environment/2011/sep/06/diclofenac-india-cattle-vultures (accessed 26 November 2013).

14 Aldo Leopold, Round River (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993), 146 –147.

15 Elizabeth Kolbert, The Sixth Extinction (New York: Henry Holt, 2014).

16  Stott, Radical Disciple, 51–52.

17  Stott, Radical Disciple, 53.

18   Sy Montgomery, Spell of the Tiger: The Man-eaters of Sundarbans (White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green, 2009).

19 Joshua Project, “India: West Bengal: South 24 Parganas,” http:/ www.joshuaproject.net/south-asia-districts.php?rog5=IN2818 (accessed 22 November 2013).

20  SparkNotes Editors, “SparkNote on Songs of Innocence and Experience” (SparkNotes LLC, 2002), http:/www.sparknotes.com/poetry/blake/ (accessed 25 November 2013).