The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

The earth is (still) the Lord’s

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Seems like followers of Jesus are becoming more focused on caring for the world around them. Why?

A street scene from my town in OctoberI think it’s a corrective measure – one that re-captures a long-lost attitude of the Creator that all the earth is sacred, and humans are charged with its care. How did that view get lost? Here’s a concise take on it by Don Wallace and Angela Kantola (Wallace), writing in the Emergent Village Weblog.

[By the way, at the left is a street scene from my beautiful little town in October, my favorite month.]

How did the Western church come to a place where we fail to honor creation? Consumerism and materialism have led us far from the command to serve and protect the planet that was given at the beginning of history. We’ve inherited a culture which reflects the modern notion of dominion handed down from Rene Descartes that we “may render ourselves the lords and possessors of nature” (Discourse on Method, 6, 1637). In contrast, the Scriptures say “the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it” (Psalm 24:1a) and “the land is mine and you are but aliens and my tenants” (Leviticus 25:23b).

Equally tragic was the ambition of Sir Francis Bacon to “separate the works of God from the Word of God,” which reflects the sacred/secular dualism that influences us to this day. In response to this error, we affirm that “through him (the Word) all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made” (John 1:3), and that “in him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17b). “God’s signature is on the whole of nature. All creatures are love letters from God to us.”

In searching for other words, perhaps this will do: we have been worldly. We have taken on the outlooks of the kingdoms of this world, rather than the kingdom of God.

But we’re beginning to return.

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Written by Monte

August 24, 2006 at 12:48 pm

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