Creation Care, Earth Stewardship, Christian Ecology
One part of creation care is doing things that keep life functional for humans and reducing the impact that people make on the earth. This includes recycling, consuming less, simpler living, addressing factors that might affect climate change and much more. However, to often in these conversations the care of natural systems and wild places for their own intrinsic value is neglected. Usually when protection of natural area is considered we hear various reasons including water quality, air quality, sources of natural medicines, human recreation and aesthetics. These are all for the benefit of humans.
As followers of God (through Jesus) could there be validity in protecting natural areas simply because of who created them regardless of their value to people? At the Noahic covenant (Genesis 9:8-17) God creates a unilateral covenant between God and Humans AND every living creature. The sign of that covenant is the rainbow. Without question there is a unique place for humans in God’s creation. Yet In some ways we are also an integrated part of an intricate web of life that includes all creatures and plants and minerals that were placed here to demonstrate God’s “invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature.” (Romans 1:20)
Quotes, Questions and Resources
Sense of Place - Revelation through nature
GREAT REVIEWS! If you haven’t already seen it, the Creation Care Team at Northland just completed a wonderful film on the biblical call to care for creation. It’s 26 min long and features Dr. Joel Hunter from Northland, Dean Hirsch, former President of World Vision; Mark Liederbach, Associate Professor of Christian Ethics at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; Bill and Lynn Hybels from Willow Creek Community Church; and more. Here’s the link:
Earth Stewardship Resources (just a sample)
Evangelical Environmental Network
http://www.creationcare.org/Type your paragraph here.
"You can't know who you are until you know where you are". Wendell Berry
What is the appropriate relationship between our spirituality and geography?
Could there be a sacrament of geography?
Dr. Thomas A. Woods, President of Making Sense of Place, Inc., provides a lovely, textured definition of a Sense of Place and its importance to us: "People develop a "sense of place" through experience and knowledge of a particular area. A sense of place emerges through knowledge of the history, geography and geology of an area, its flora and fauna, the legends of a place, and a growing sense of the land and its history after living there for a time.Type your paragraph here."
Belonging to God,
and the earth
God, People, Earth
One way to envision the relationship between God, people, and the earth is a Triangle. The intended relations between each side is:
God to earth - ownership
God to people - relationship
People to earth - stewardship
To begin grasping how geography relates to our spirituality you can start with these questions:
What would the primary local habitats where you live have been before Europeans altered the landscape? This could apply to most continents. How well do you recognize those habitats? What emotions do those habitats evoke? What do the natural dynamics of those habitats tell us about the creator?
Compare Genesis 1:28 against Genesis 9:1-2. What major transitions occurred in history between those two sections of scripture? How might that explain any differences in the two directions from God?