Finally, a theology of creation care extends that care in a holistic manner to the land and plants (Ex. 23:10-11; Lev. 25:4-5), both domestic and wild animals (Gen. 9:8-11, Ex. 23:12, Deut. 5:14-15, 22:6-7, 25:4), eco-systems (Job 39:5-8, Ps. 104:10-12, 16-18) and environment (Deut. 20:19-20). Many of the laws given to the people of Israel were fulfilled in Christ and not meant to be specifically applied today (e.g., dietary laws). But what is present in each and every one of the environmental directives is the heart of God in the matter. It was uniformly related to the care and ongoing sustainability of creation.
So here is the foundational theology behind creation care:
Creation belongs to God.
We have been charged, as Image bearers, to care for creation.
Creation is included in God’s redemptive plan.
That care involves responsible stewardship.
But theology is meant to be applied. Here’s how Wendell Berry, in his book What Are People For, made the application:
The ecological teaching of the Bible is simply inescapable: God made the world because He wanted it made. He thinks the world is good, and He loves it. It is His world; He has never relinquished title to it. And He has never revoked the conditions, bearing on His gift to us of the use of it, that oblige us to take excellent care of it. If God loves the world, then how might any person of faith be excused for not loving it or justified in destroying it.
And I pray to God that the people of God would begin applying it before it is too late.
This article on he theology of creation care originally appeared here and is used by permission.