My friend Tim wrote a piece that was published as part of an inter-faith environmental series at the University of Wisconsin’s “Inside Islam” initiative. Tim is a pastor and professor from the Pacific Northwest, living in Wisconsin, and soon returning to the Northwest.
Here’s a snippet:
The foundation story of the Jewish and Christian traditions in the book of Genesis makes the unique claim that human beings are both distinct from the natural world, but also intricately bound to it. We share a common origin with all creatures in that we come “from the earth.” However, the story offers another insight about humanity’s relationship to nature, namely that we have a unique responsibility to harness the raw potential of the earth and its resources, and do something with it. Genesis uses the royal image of humanity “ruling” God’s good world (1:26), and “working and caring” for the land (2:15).
Humans have to do something to their environment; we cannot avoid leaving a footprint in the world. The question is whether we will build communities and civilizations that, so to speak, go along with the grain of creation, or will we develop a relationship with the earth that is one-sided, only taking but never giving, preserving, and respecting. There is one clear imperative from this foundation story: the earth does not belong to humanity; it’s a gift to be stewarded, developed, cared for, and enjoyed.
You read the rest here!