A number of years ago, Jaroslav Pelikan (Luther theologian) stated, “The two biggest problems facing Christianity today are the dichotomy of the individual in society and of society in creation.
In the past we made the “individual-in-society” and “either-or” situation, thus the dichotomy. Yet even if individuals of integrity become integral parts of society, we still need to fit each individual and all of society into the whole of creation. That is the dichotomy there.
Each person has an impact on God’s creation. In Genesis, man was given dominion to be stewards of God’s creation. Dominion and stewardship mean to cultivate, to take care of—not to exploit.
Even beyond our care and tending of the earth, people need an underlying feeling of closeness to God’s creation. This closeness was easier when people lived on the land in the agricultural stage. It is an awareness that many city people lose. But our survival may depend on keeping and renewing this closeness to creation.
Ever since the Tower of Babel, man has come under God’s unwritten law of civilization. The builders at Babel became overawed with the tower they built, so they were doomed to live amid a jumble of languages. It was with Babel’s dawn and doom that the rise and fall of civilization came into being. British historian Arnold Toynbee used a rise-fall theme when he wrote his History of Civilization. He identified about twenty-one.
Are we headed for a fall? Or will we remain close to God’s creation and fit into it with respect and awe? For it is truly awesome, especially when we see those pictures from space of our beautiful blue and white earth.
This earth, this world, is ours. IN TRUST. Will we acknowledge that God has entrusted His creation to us?