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16.8.02

Christianity And The Survival Of Creation

We will discover that the Creation is not in any sense independent of the Creator, the result of a primal creative act long over and done with, but is the continuous, constant participation of all creatures in the being of God. Elihu said to Job that if God "gather unto himself his spirit and his breath; All flesh shall perish together . . . " Job 34:15). And Psalm 104 says: "Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created.... " Creation is God's presence in creatures. The Greek Orthodox theologian, Philip Sherrard, has written that "Creation is nothing less than the manifestation of God's hidden being." Thus we and all other creatures live by a sanctity that is inexpressibly intimate. ... We will discover that, for these reasons, our destruction of nature is not just bad stewardship, or stupid economics, or a betrayal of family responsibility; it is the most horrid blasphemy. It is flinging God's gifts into his face, as of no worth beyond that assigned to them by our destruction of them.


This is a very long essay, but an interesting one. The author is responding to environmentalists who have rightly pointed out the ways Christianity has been complicit in the desctruction of the world through history, but who have wrongly concluded that this attitude is truly Christian, that the religion is unsalvageable. He looks into the Bible and finds a religion promoting deep respect for nature, one that rejects the popular dualism of creator/creation and spirit/body. And he points out that truly religious action involves not going through rituals but recognizing and respecting the holiness of creation in all our actions. His Christianity is at heart a nature religion. And I like it.

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