Fully Human in a Broken World
The Earth, the Garden, and a Reason to Hope

On March 26, 2015, A.J. Swoboda, Leah Kostamo, and Ross Hastings discussed ways to confront both the beauty and the degradation of our natural environment. Watch the video below.


Sweeping vistas and gorgeous views do more than take our breath away. They point to a wildly creative design—and designer. A moment in the sun can be as healing as a good conversation with an old friend. A breath of fresh air does wonders for the immune system. But when natural disasters or overflowing landfills flit across our screens, how do we react? A blind eye is the easiest route. An anxious heart the next. Maybe a cynical shake of the head is the last resort. But what if there were another way, one sprinkled with hope and spurred on by the love of God?

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About the Panel


Leah Kostamo

Creation Care Practitioner

People live inside with technology. They aren't personally connected to creation— they're not outside. Creation care doesn't speak to them because it's not what they care about. But ironically, it's what sustains them. —Leah Kostamo

Leah Kostamo and her husband Markku started A Rocha Canada, the first Christian environmental centre in Canada. She’s also the author of Planted: A Story of Creation, Calling and Community



Ross Hastings


The first and most foundational invitation from God to participate in his mission is not the great commission, or even the great commandment. It is the cultural mandate to steward his creation. When we care for creation, we are most human, fulfilling our purpose as image bearers and co-creators with God. —Ross Hastings

Ross Hastings, who holds PhDs in chemistry and theology, is Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology at Regent College. His areas of expertise include ecclesiology, the intersection of science and religion, and the work of theologians Jonathan Edwards and Karl Barth.



AJ Swoboda

Professor, Author & Pastor

Hope is the gift of Christianity to the environmental conversation. We believe in the re-creation, in an earth that will be restored and renewed. Lesslie Newbigin says that 'The single greatest lacking commodity in the Western world is hope.' Without hope, we become cynics. —A.J. Swoboda

A. J. Swoboda is a professor, author, and pastor in urban Portland, Oregon.  His doctoral research explored the never-ending relationship between the Holy Spirit and ecology. A.J. has authored several books, including Tongues and Trees: Toward a Pentecostal Ecological Theology and Introducing Evangelical Ecotheology 


About the Moderator



Writer and Editor

Katelyn Beaty is managing editor of Christianity Today magazine. She is cofounder of Her.meneutics, CT’s website for women, and previously served at the editorial director of This Is Our City, a three-year documentary series spotlighting the common-good work of Christians across the country. A graduate of Calvin College (Honors BA Communications, 2006), she lives in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, where she is writing a book about women, work, and vocation, due out in spring 2016.