Posts Tagged ‘Humility and dominance’

We need creation. So argues Russell D. Moore in an article about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

We need it, because it provides us with everything practical for us to survive. We need warmth and light from the sun, oxygen and sustenance from plants, and mud, clay and trees to shelter us.

We need it because we’re made of it: “….we’re made of Spirit-enlivened mud.” We are not disembodied beings.

More than that, Moore explains that God has hard-wired us to see God’s hand in creation (Romans 1:18-21).

Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made.” (verse 20)

This is not Moore saying that God is creation. Rather, creation is God’s masterpiece – here for us to marvel at and to be thankful to the Creator for its mysterious and magnificent design, and for the way it provides for our physical needs.

What does it mean for me? I can’t help but think of Banjo Patterson’s poem “Clancy of the Overflow”, of the wistfulness expressed about wanting to be outdoors. He writes of Clancy:

"And the bush hath friends to meet him, and their kindly voices greet him
   In the murmur of the breezes and the river on its bars,
And he sees the vision splendid of the sunlit plains extended,
  And at night the wondrous glory of the everlasting stars."

This attitude is shared by others. In a 2008 study of church-going Protestants in Scotland, 82.7% said that they found “being outdoors and appreciating the beauty of nature” was influential in shaping their attitudes towards the environment.

Being earthly beings ourselves, and seeing the wonderful creation God has made (and continually sustains) around us, is it any wonder that we love being outdoors?

As image-bearers of God and co-heirs with Christ, creation is also ours – and we need it to flourish ourselves. Yet Moore reminds us that our dominion of creation should be characterised by humble service. He writes, “….this isn’t a pharaoh-like dominion; it’s a Christ-like dominion.”

What does this mean for Christians – conservative and liberal alike? It means dominion over creation both when we use it and when we conserve it for future generations.


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