Our Relationship to Creation
I’m reading the last book written by John Stott before he passed away, titled The Radical Disciple. If you haven’t read it you must. It’s not often we have the privilege to read the intentional final published words (Mr. Stott knew this would be his last book) of such a significant person on such an important topic.
The sub-title to the book is Some Neglected Aspects of Our Calling and true to the sub-title, Stott covers a wide range of neglected discipleship topics, including one chapter titled “Creation Care”. The fact that John Stott, in his last book, covers this topic, only affirms the great respect I’ve always had for him.
Let me share with you just a bit of his perspective on creation care.
“The Bible tells us that in creation God established for human beings three fundamental relationships: first to himself, for he made them in his image; second to each other, for the human race was plural from the beginning; and the third, to the good earth and its creatures over which he set them.
Moreover, all three relationships were skewed by the Fall. Adam and Eve were banished from the presence of the Lord God in the garden, they blamed each other for what had happened, and the good earth was cursed on account of their disobedience.
It stands to reason therefore that God’s plan of restoration includes not only our reconciliation to God and to each other, but in some way the liberation of the groaning creation as well. We can certainly affirm that one day there will be a new heaven and a new earth, for this is an essential part of our hope for the perfect future that awaits us at the end of time (e.g., 2 Peter 3:13, Revelations 21:1). But meanwhile the whole creation is groaning, experiencing the birth pains of the new creation (Romans 8:18-23). How much of the earth’s ultimate destiny can be experienced now is a matter of debate. But we can surely say that just as our understanding of the final destiny of our resurrection bodies should affect how we think of and treat our bodies we have at the present, so our knowledge of the new heaven and earth should affect and increase the respect with which we treat it now.”