Nature’s enduring value is not in what it can provide us

I saw two bumper stickers on a truck this morning. One read:

Earth First! We’ll mine the other planets later

The other one read:

Strip mining prevents forest fires.

There were other bumper stickers on the truck: NRA, Ducks Unlimited, and a few others I couldn’t read (I was driving after all). It would not have surprised me to see a fish symbol (ΙΧθΥΣ) or some other Christian sticker in the mix, but I didn’t.

Natural resources are available to us for wise, sustainable use, but these two bumper stickers are the opposite of what I view as a Biblical perspective on creation care. A better way of looking at creation is found in a short article on Christianity Today’s Her.meneutics blog (not a blog of feminist theology, but a blog for women).

The article is Humans in Creation: Another View.

I love the subtitle of the article: Nature’s enduring value is not in what it can provide us. According to Genesis One, the creation was good even before God created humans!

Earth [the current Disney documentary] and films like it serve to remind viewers that we are only one part of creation, and are given the task to bear God’s image, which includes being steward caretakers of Earth. We are interdependent with all of creation and need a healthy Earth to flourish. We love others — both human and non-human — as we care for ecosystems that sustain life. What is good for forests and polar bears ends up being good for people, too. Earth reminds us, for instance, that God created trees not primarily for humans to turn into houses or fuel, but to help keep the atmosphere in balance by absorbing CO2 and releasing oxygen. And trees are home to a myriad of birds and insects that God delights in and loves. God designed creation so that all its inhabitants could flourish; humans are just one species, with the unique responsibility to see that others flourish.

Humans are valuable; God placed us at the pinnacle of creation. But this only minimizes the value of the rest of creation if we have a distorted view of what it means to be at the top.

HT: The Wonder of Creation

Grace and Peace

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