The excellent Byron Smith commends and comments upon the Methodist Church’s report Hope in God’s Future, describing it as “probably the best brief theological treatment of climate change I have seen”. Praise indeed.
Regarding neighbourly love, the report very helpfully (though not uncontroversially) uses the category of neighbour to include a number of groups containing many members we have not met (and most likely never will prior to the resurrection). First, it includes our brothers and sisters in distant lands (Africa and Pacific island nations are highlighted), who are already being negatively affected by changing climates and sea levels, and for whom the future seems to hold the threat of far worse. Second, we are also neighbours to future generations, the young and as yet unborn. These begin with but extend well beyond our own children. In this context, our children are the symbol and most immediate instantiation of our obligations to the future, but our horizon must be lifted beyond one or two generations since our actions today will have major consequences for centuries and even millennia to come