What does it mean to be stewards of God’s creation? It’s a hard topic to discuss these days. The question of how to care for Creation has been all too often co-opted by partisan politics and extremist activists.
The Genesis account of Creation makes it clear that humans live in relationship with the Earth around them—not in the New Agey “Mother Nature” sense, but in the sense that God places man in a position of authority over Creation. From Jesus’ example, we know that Biblical leadership involves an attitude of service… so how do we apply that attitude of servant leadership to our environment?
Earth Day is as good a time as any to think on these questions. We’ll be pointing out a few resources about Christians and ecological stewardship this week, but for starters, here are some excerpts (both in PDF) from two recent books that address the issue in depth:
- The opening chapter of Living the Good Life on God’s Green Earth, “Christian Theology and Creation Care,” talks about how caring for Creation fits into the Christian call to discipleship. (The chapter begins on page 9 of the PDF. Learn more about the book here.)
- The introduction to Our Father’s World: Mobilizing the Church to Care for Creation talks about the important role that every believer—no matter how “important” or “small”—has to play in the grand task of Creation care. (Read more about the book here.)
These two excerpts should get you started thinking about (or re-thinking) how environmental stewardship fits into the Christian life. This week, put aside your stereotypes about environmental activists or political extremists, and ask yourself: how does God want us to relate to the world around us?