This analysis will utilize Toulmin’s model of claim, ground, warrant, rebuttal, and qualifier to help explain the Christian’s responsibility to the environment and how it should be formulated. The paper will briefly discuss one of the fundamental issues that relates to the current interpretation of environmental protection, conservation, and respect as it exists among certain sectors of Christianity today…
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In regards to the claim, it is the stance of this brief essay that at its very core, Christianity places a high emphasis on that stewardship should necessarily define the way in which the Christian interacts with the world around him. Although Christianity in and of itself places the primary motivators upon the need to live as Christ, the writings of Paul and others indicate that a primal focus with respect to resources and their utilization must be adhered to in order to better exhibit a Christ-centered relationship. As will be expanded upon in greater depth within this analysis, this fundamental concept of stewardship with regards to the way the Christian should interact with the material world traces its understanding not only to the life and example of Christ or the writings of Paul but back to the very beginnings of humanity with the creation and instruction given to Adam and Eve (Bookless 39). In keeping with Toulmin’s model, the ground is the second part of the argument which must be developed upon and considered. As such, the ground supports that stewardship, although a New Testament Doctrine is also exhibited elsewhere under different names throughout the Bible. One of these is of course indicated during the creation story as God charges Adam to look over the creation and tend to it (Grizzle 233). Obviously, man and woman were created above the animals and were given dominion over them; however, this dominion, as exhibited in the Old Testament book of Genesis, did not indicate that humanity could exploit the resources given to him for no other benefit than his own self gratification. Rather, man was given dominion over the animal kingdom (and by extension the environment) as a means to use his God-given talent and superior intellect to seek to further the needs of these animals. By extension, the animal kingdom was given to man originally as a special charge; one in which mirrored the charge that God had with mankind – a unique relationship whereby the creator uniquely loved and cared for his creation. In this way, the ground for the argument is made even stronger that God attempted to engage mankind with the seriousness of stewardship through giving him charge of the lesser creatures that God had created. Similarly, Toulmin’s argumentative logic continues on to the issue of the warrant. In this stage of argumentation, Toulmin would have the reader link the preceding claim and ground to a verifiable connection that leads to a verifiable end. In this way, the author of this analysis has thus far laid out the fact that stewardship in the New Testament lays a fundamental framework through which the Christian is charged with integrating with and watching over the material resources he/she is responsible for in this life. Accordingly, the ground went on to give
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