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Free «The Environment and Christian Ethics» Essay Sample

Environment and Christian Ethics explores on utilitarianism. It is an ideology that argues that modernity is about fulfilling the desire of the majority in the society. Northcott describes it as, ‘the greatest good for the greatest number.’ The principle exists because of two main reasons. Human modernity is defined by economic development and technological innovation. Another factor is that happiness is only measured in monetary terms. Utilitarianism does not value societal goals and it undermines the Christian environmental ethics (Northcott, 2001, p.76).

Shape of Argument in the Book

Northcott has spoken strongly about the environmental crisis. This is simply the destruction of the ecosystem and the exposure to human agony arising from various issues. These include materialism of life, agriculture revolution and contemporary economic system.  He also adds that the mess has been created by the conflict between the church and the state. The Church is fighting for the spiritual being of the earth while the state strives for the physical body of the world (Northcott, 2001, p.41).



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Christians have been criticized by the author in the book.  The church is supposed to be the moral example in the society. But from the story, this has not been the case. Michael points out that the Church has failed to avert materialism in the world. This is because of laxity to address some of the social evils in the society. At the same time the gospel has been distorted into an irrelevant Christian truth.

Modernism concept has been discussed. This is described as the rise of money economy that led to the abandonment of moral, ethical and religious norms in the society. The belief does not accept the relationship between humans and nature. It gave room for a utilitarian environment where there is no value for God. In this regard, man looks for happiness from the industrially manufactured goods and marketed services.

Northcott has also communicated on restoration.  He has revealed that the recovery of environment require redemption and belief of God as the basic hope for mankind. The author has directed the world to the Cross where Jesus Christ was crucified.  He concludes by saying that restoration between human and God is only possible through Christ (Northcott, 2001, p.187).

Characters and Movements in the Story

Protestant Reformation has been used to narrate the key concept in the narrative. This was a movement that was formed to champion the Christian attributes in the society. It was an attempt by the Body of Christ to assert their authority to restore the fallen nature of man. They fought for the identity of God in the life of people and nature.

Environment is another key character in the story. It is used to explain the place of contention between the Christians and the government. The surrounding contains land, people and all the other things that can be mentioned on earth. State is yet another character used by the author. It symbolizes the governing authority who manages the physical body of the environment. Church is one of the characters mentioned.  It represents the saints who are expected to be good examples in the society according to Northcott.


Essay has analyzed the Book. The concept of utilitarianism has been clearly highlighted. The major arguments of the author have been indicated as well as the outstanding characters and movement. Christians should live godly lives to turn away materialism.


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