The second letter of Peter contains a statement which not only has greatly influenced the Christian eschatological and apocalyptic visions, but also is central of the current ecological debate: “…but the heavens that now are, and the earth, by the same word have been stored up for fire, being reserved against the Day of Judgment and destruction of ungodly men” (3:7). Contemporary scholarship has offered two main interpretations of the verse: ‘destructionist interpretation’ and ‘transformationist interpretation’. Against this background, the research proposed an ecological reading of the text in or- der to discover its call to action. In the awareness that the hermeneutical cycle is not complete until the text is contextualized for the contemporary readers, the research fur- ther examined the relevance of the text in the eschatological preaching and ecological sensitivity of the Baptist Church in Ghana.
The communicative approach proposed by Ossom-Batsa was employed as the theoret- ical framework. The approach consists of three steps ─ the analysis of the reality, the analysis of the text and the engagement between the reality and the text. Interview, personal observation and focus group discussions were the tools utilized for the analysis of reality, the Accra North Baptist Association of the Ghana Baptist Convention. The Rhetorical Analysis as proposed by Moller was employed for the analysis of 2 Peter 3:1-13.
The analysis reveals that the text does not justify the destructive exploitation of the earth. Instead, the pericope focuses on the moral conduct of the real readers. Contrary to the narrow Baptist concept of morality, the text offers a call to holistic morality, that includes ‘ecological ethics’. The engagement with the text challenges the Baptist Church in Ghana to an ‘ecological conversion,’ to pattern its moral doctrine after the
holistic approach proposed by the text. This in turn demands a form of holistic evange- lism and social justice aimed at saving the entire community of creation.
Finally, the study recommends further research into ecological reading of apocalyptic and eschatological texts of the New Testament for better understanding of the concept from the Baptist perspective. It further recommends that environmental issues be made part of Baptist preaching and catechesis at all levels and that ecological consciousness should inform building and organization of activities of all Baptist congregations.