The Christian Scriptures (Bible) focus on the person Jesus the Christ – his birth, life, death and resurrection to new life. The four Gosples and other books of the New Testament (Covenant) present Jesus as the fulfilment of the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) promises.
Jesus is understood to have significance for the whole of creation. In the words of Paul’s letter to the Colossians, “in [Jesus Christ] all things in heaven and on earth were created... and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things”. In Jesus, the divine takes on earthly flesh in the ultimate respect for earth.
The bulk of the New Testament writings do not focus on the Earth per se. The focus is rather on teaching good human behaviour towards God and fellow human beings, and opening a spiritual path to union with God while living on this Earth. Jesus taught obedience to God’s created order and condemned human selfishness, often in prophetic terms speaking about the dire consequences of disobedience.
Isolated Biblical texts concern the Earth – God’s ownership of Earth (1 Corinthians 10:26); God’s wisdom embedded in Earth (Mark 4:28); the beautiful array clothing Earth (Luke 12:27); Earth groaning to be set free (Romans 8:20). These reinforce the primary aim of the Bible, the transformation of humans as they live with Earth.
By Charles Rue
This is an excerpt of an article entitled "The Good Green Word" that appeared in the Autumn 2010 edition of the Green Pages.