FWD: Extinction and education

Mark Walker MWalker at gensym.com
Wed Sep 23 00:43:43 EDT 1998

Michael Gochfeld wrote:

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Michael Gochfeld [SMTP:gochfeld at EOHSI.RUTGERS.EDU]
> Sent:	Monday, September 21, 1998 7:09 AM
> To:	leps-l at lists.yale.edu
> Subject:	Re: FWD: Extinction and education
> I was very interested in Mark's biblical interpretation.  I have 
> relatives who adhere to the bible and deny that "dominion" means 
> "stewardship".  They interpret it more as "right to exploit". 
> 	I've never made any semantic headway, and Webster defines 
> "dominion" as "rule or power to rule or sovereignty".
	Thanks for the question Mike.  First of all, keep in mind that in
spite of the "rule" and "subdue" language that is used in Genesis 1:26-28,
we were designed to be vegetarian, and therefore not inclined to _subdue_
other creatures unto death.  So God placed us as ruler over the living
creatures, but we were actually living in harmony, to rule as would a Good
Shepard over His sheep.  It was the plants and the seed that were given to
us for food (Genesis 1:29-30), and note that similar language was not used
here (that is, we were not made to rule or subdue the vegetation).  Now, in
Genesis 2:15 you read that man was responsible for cultivating and "keeping"
the wonderful and plentiful garden that God had provided.  That is, we were
entrusted to recieve this gift, but given responsibility for it as well.
When we separated ourselves from God at the fall, we did not absolve
ourselves from this responsibility, and I believe we will be held
accountable for it.

	Later, God instructs his chosen people Israel how to plow over their
fields every seven years in order that they maintain a healthy, nutrient
rich soil.  They are also taught not to be wasteful, and to store up their
goods during times of plenty.  From the awesome design apparent in creation,
I have no doubt that God is indeed an environmentalist.  There is also no
doubt that humankind apart from God has no clue how to take care of the
planet they have been entrusted with.  But the message of the gospel is that
God indeed loves us more than the rest of His creation, and wants very much
to be reconciled  to us.  He recognizes the beauty of his creation (Matthew
6:25-34), but promises much more to those that would be willing to be called
His children.  The Bible goes on to say that God will ultimately destroy
creation (and I believe humans are already kicking off this process), but
will recreate a new heaven and a new earth.  I certainly don't deserve it,
but I'm jazzed that I'm going to get to be part of it, simple mind and all.

	Mark Walker. 

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