This past Wednesday, Dr. Arand again shared words of wisdom centered on the questions, "What is the Christian care of Creation about?" "Who are we?" Why are we here?" How do we relate to creation?" Dr. Arand spoke about the need for Christians to tell the larger story to dislodge the misconception that Christians only care about going to heaven in the end. He continued to explain that humans have a common origin, life, promise, Lord, future, and longing with all other creatures. Thus, we must care for the environment as we are creatures as well. In the second part of his lecture, Dr. Arand spoke about our place in creation with the thesis, "God calls us to care for His earth as creatures among creatures." Dr. Arand tied everything together by explaining that "it is not humans' job to save everything but it is our goal to keep everything going until Christ returns."
Dr. Arand's lecture virtually followed the order of the LCMS document "Together With All Creatures" (TWAC) which we have been reading in Honors. The content of TWAC was truly brought alive in Dr. Arand's lecture with his many examples and connections with life. I also appreciate the ability to have knowledge of the Christian's purpose on earth should be and what his/her attitude should be towards the environment since this whole semester has had environmental issues weaved throughout. Dr. Arand also clarified what "subdue," "have dominion," and "cultivate" means which tied into the reading we had by Lynn White. This is one thing I noticed in White's article was that none of these terms were defined and were twisted to mean what worked for his argument. Dr. Arand had an excellent definition of these terms which serve to negate many arguments that Christians have a mindset of solely "using" the earth.
Expounding on the definitions Dr. Arand explained, I found new insight. Dr. Arand explained that "subdue the earth" in Genesis 1:28 means to take possession of the land possibly through agriculture. "To have dominion" means that everything under humans' rule should flourish. This is like a king or president of a country; their main goal is to ensure his/her "dominion" is sustained. "Cultivate" in Genesis 2:15 means that we should maintain the land's fruitfulness. Through all this, it is even clearer now that Christians are to sustain the earth and care for it. This is a special call to Christians because of God's words. I also had never thought of the seventh day of creation as a day for delight in the creation. Dr. Arand explained that God created everything for his delight. This, again, is additional proof that we are to sustain he earth, even if only for God's delight.
Also enjoy Dr. Arand's blog at http://cslmedia.org/arand/
(Much of this material is from notes taken during Dr. Arand's presentation and thus belongs to him.)