ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Mastering Nature vs. the Biblical Mandate to Take Authority Over Creation

Updated on June 25, 2011
Thank you, oh apple tree!
Thank you, oh apple tree!

There is a very fine line between the secular humanist’s attempt to master nature with science, technology and economic activity and the biblical mandate to take authority over and develop creation. It is incredible that we know so much about our universe, and yet, why should we be surprised that our loving God would let us in on his mysteries? “For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding” (Proverbs 2:6, NIV). Every bit of wisdom comes from God and he takes delight in us discovering how He has created the universe.

One major difference is that the secular humanist’s goal is to take control over and manipulate creation for his own profit and gain, rather than to work with it in order to benefit both the human and the land, as well as bring glory to God, who created it. It is clear even in the Old Testament as the laws were being written that God cares dearly about his creation. God commanded that every 7 years after continual reaping and sowing, the land would be allowed to rest for a Sabbath year(Leviticus 25:2-7, NIV). We are not meant to destroy creation, but to live cooperatively with it.

This is the great thinking of such sustainable development activists like Michael Braungart and William McDonough, authors of Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, who believe we can work together, both big industrialists and environmentalists, to create a worldview of “abundance, creativity, prosperity and change” in order to save the planet from our destructive acts (p12). Cutting down the rainforests to build factories, and even demolishing local forests to build parking lots for the new strip mall is not what God had in mind when he commissioned Adam and Eve to have authority over the earth in Genesis 1.

As Richard Middleton and Brian Walsh wrote in The Transforming Vision: Shaping a Christian Worldview, we were intended to be “culture formers.” There is an “eschatological movement from the garden to the city” (p 58). The story of God starts in a garden in Genesis and ends in a city in Revelation. We were created to cultivate and work the land but it is still a very challenging thing to discern how our society can develop this way without allowing science, technology, and economics to take over without the guidance of God (p58).

Unfortunately, the reliance on our own means is already a reality. Looking at the global impact of the recent economic crisis in America, we can see who our god really is. As any false gods do, “[our] gods have failed us” and we find ourselves struggling for economic survival (Middleton, p142).

I find it interesting that we are never told in Scripture that Jesus possessed money. He had to ask the Pharisees for a coin to teach a lesson (Matthew 22:15-22), and he had to make money appear in a fish’s mouth to pay his taxes (Matthew 17:24-27). Instead of the economy and society we have come to understand in our modern culture, the first church demonstrates the power of Christ’s community within the Roman Empire, an empire not so dissimilar from America today:

"And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity - all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people" (Acts 2:44-47, NLT).

What would it look like to live in this way? In a radical, culture shifting community that loves all people and creation with the purpose of glorifying God?


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Madeline Madison profile imageAUTHOR

      Madeline Madison 

      7 years ago from Anywhere and Everywhere. Home-base in CT

      I look forward to posting more!

    • profile image

      Jessica Greene 

      7 years ago

      Great reasoning and insight in a cohesive package! I look forward to reading more. :)

    • Madeline Madison profile imageAUTHOR

      Madeline Madison 

      7 years ago from Anywhere and Everywhere. Home-base in CT

      Thank you! It's primarily all I do!

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 

      7 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      Beautiful Hub! Keep on thinking!!!!!!!!!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)