Monday, November 02, 2009

Increase and multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it

For we know that every creature groaneth and travaileth in pain, even till now. And not only it, but ourselves also, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption of the sons of God, the redemption of our body. -- Romans 8:22-23
Creation has a human heart; that is the staggering claim that the biblical tradition makes. All creation has a human heart, a heart, however, which has fallen from its moorings in God into what the the author of the First Letter of John calls "the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life." Thus fallen, creation -- in both its human and non-human forms -- is reckless, heedless, destructive of others and self-destructive.

The command to "subdue the earth" is the task of "humanizing" the created order. It is a task that can only be achieved by a humanity that is itself in the process of being "divinized" -- that is by a humanity that is being drawn into the self-donating and self-sacrificial mystery of the Triune God. Every other attempt to manipulate nature in the name of "progress" will carry with it unintended consequences directly proportional to the pride and lust of which it has not been purged. Only to the degree that humanity has been "divinized" can we responsibly take up the task of curing nature -- to whatever limited degree possible -- of its blind indifference to individual life.

Just a thought.

1 comment:

Dean said...

Increase and multiply Check√

Fill the Earth Check√
Check√
Check√

Subdue it. Check√

More on the triune god:
here