Today’s devotional: finding the right perspective on Creation

Efficiency, practicality, productivity… these are the keywords of modern society, and the traits we hope to see in careers, businesses, and governments. But should they be the defining characteristics of Christians’ attitudes toward the world around us?

This Wonder of Creation devotional argues that in our attitude toward God’s Creation, we have adopted a utilitarian perspective that doesn’t fit with the Bible’s teachings:

I believe we modern followers of Christ have also become somewhat blind followers of science and have adopted the same utilitarian view toward God’s good creation that we see in much of science and industry. The utilitarian approach, however, is really the worldview of the Enlightenment and the subsequent Industrial Revolution, and not of a true understanding of the theology of nature.

Interestingly, two of the most significant Reformers, John Calvin and Martin Luther, had been quite successful in framing a sound biblical theology of nature in the 16th century that corrected the faulty dualistic theology of the Middle Ages that saw the material world as something low and degraded that needed to be escaped from (a view that goes all the way back to Plato and is also foundational to Eastern religions). Sadly, however, their followers became the champions of the “Protestant work ethic” that in part led to the Industrial Revolution and the ultimate devaluation of the creation that Calvin and Luther had helped to free from mysticism and dualism.

The full devotional has links and quotes from Calvin and Luther to ponder.

Do you see traces of this utilitarian perspective in the way Christians today talk about Creation? Do Christians put too much emphasis on productivity and efficiency in other areas of life as well?

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