Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

4.2 Creation, Nature, and the Environment

The creation story does not have to be “demythologized.” Rather, it is the first demythologized text that we have. The spell has been broken on stars and nature that were previously regarded as being gods: they are nothing more than God’s creation. The creeping New Age apotheosis of nature is a grandiose lapse. 

Clarification of terms: Creation or Nature?

Genesis 1:28: “subdue:” a harsh term: vbk kabasch: trample down, subjugate; and hdr  radah: kick, rule.

But “the Land is mine and you are mybvwtw myrg (foreigners and strangers):” (gerim wetuschabim: Lev 25:23). 

Therefore, caring for creation is involved. Exploitation of creation is not what is meant, rather what we today might call a “lease contract” – available for use but not owned. 


On the Ambivalence of the Term Environment:  

Apotheosis (deification) of Nature as a Religion-replacement

(Indications of this can be found in product naming, such as Demeter, etc!)

An uncriticized assessment of nature as “good” exists almost everywhere at this point: “natural” = “good.” Nature is a fallen creation and ambivalent: poisonous mushrooms are just as “natural” as edible ones, even if they look similar. Even some doctors see “purely natural” as a quality criterion for medications and recommend them without further thought. Yet, purely natural medications can be just as deadly as pharmaceutical medications. 

Traditional Chinese Medicine, for instance, uses substances such as the highly toxic Aconite (a.k.a Monkshood or Wolfsbane) which, in the exactly right doses can have medicinal benefits, yet in even slightly higher doses can be deadly. Every year, dozens of patients die in a single province because Aconite can have up to 30 times differing potency depending on where it was grown and other factors. The oft demonized pharmaceutical industry however, can manufacture such substances in highly precise doses. 

Subconsciously, sentimentality can creep in: for instance, there are multiple places in the North Sea region of Germany that raise orphaned sea lions. 

Result: Obsessive conservationism can turn its own blessings into curses. Even nature is a part of fallen creation: Rom 8:19-22. Therefore, nature ethics cannot exist for Christians.

The Creation account’s central message includes the demystification of nature, including the stars and stones!