Thoughts after Earth Day 2010


Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.”
(Genesis 1:26-28 NRSV)

Context matters. Because the Hebrew scriptures present a variety of witnesses to the steadfast love and faithfulness of Israel’s covenant God and a variety, also, of responses and reactions from different times and circumstances to the promises of that God’s love and faithfulness, we need to be very wary of modern interpretations that absolutize biblical declarations as though they had no context within human life and history, no relation to circumstances current at the time, and no elasticity in speaking God’s truth or faith’s response in ever-changing times and conditions.

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