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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

More points of interest from my theology studies

Some points that may be of interest:

  • Genesis 9:15-17 is a "divine promise of covenantal faithfulness toward the creation for all time to come" (Brueggemann, 2003, p32).
  • "This way of beginning the Bible, moreover, by appeal to creation, prepared the way for the primal drama of the Bible, namely, redescription or the restoration and mending of a scarred, broken creation to the intent of the Creator. These chapters [Gen 1-12] thus make a fundamental theological affirmation, but they also prepare the way for what is to come. In God's own way God negates recalcitrant power present in creation to bring human creatures to obedience that makes the world livable" (Brueggemann, 2003, p33).
  • "The notion of the "image of God" is reinforced by the imperatives that follow, "subdue and have dominion" ([Genesis]1:27-28). These verbs have often been understood to mean that the man and woman in the image of God are free to use the earth as they wish without restraint (White 1967). Contrary to that notion that the Bible is thus a warrant for environmental abuse and exploitation, Wybrow has shown that the "rape of the earth" has emerged, not from the Bible and this imperative, but from the impulse of Enlightenment autonomy that lacks any covenantal restraint (Wybrow 1991). More plausibly that that misconstrual, which has been given wide articulation, this pair of imperatives intends that human persons in human community should be responsible for the care of the earth and its boundless, God-given fruitfulness for the benefit of all creatures. Thus the imperatives bespeak not unrestrained, indulgent freedom, but a mandate for the community to take responsibility for the well-being of the earth" (Brueggemann, 2003, p35).
  • "Its [the text of the creation narrative] purpose is concretely existential. Given that canonical reality about the final form of the text, it is self-evident that the text is not about "the origin of the world" as that phrase is usually employed, and thus it has no particular connection to the "creation versus evolution" debate or, more broadly, to the issue of "science and religion". Such expectations of the text, in my judgement, completely miss the point and function of the text in its original setting or in its durable canonical articulation" (Brueffemann, 2003, p36). 
Brueggemann, Walter, 2003, An Introduction to the Old Testament: The Canon and Christian Imagination, Westminister John Knox Press, Louisville p 32)

I recommend reading the whole of Chapter 2 Cosmic Miracles in Contradiction (Genesis 1-11) if you have access to the text. 

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Important Lessons from the Bible

Why Jesus came:
"that the world might be saved through him"
John 3:17

Who Jesus is going to use to save the world:
"For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God."
Romans 8:19

Our role on earth:
"The LORD God put the man in the Garden of Eden to take care of it and to look after it."
Genesis 2:15

The Five Pillars of A Christian Theology of Sustainability

1. God is the creator, sustainer and redeemer of creation.

2. Covenantal Stewardship (we have a covenant with God as stewards of the earth).

3. The creation-fall-redemption paradigm (God made a good world; human failure broke the relationships between god, man and creation; Christ provides hope for all creation).

4.Bodily resurrection(we will rise with bodies, not as spirits)

5.New Creation (a new Heaven and new Earth refers to a renewal and an earthing of heaven, not starting over).

Adapted from When Enough is Enough: A Christian Framework for Environmental Sustainability, Edited by R.J. Berry, Published by Inter-Varsity Press, 2007, Nottingham p43+