Stewards of God’s Gifts (Davidson)
“Christians and Creation Care,” is the lead article in the November/December edition of the Lake Union Herald. In this article, Jo Ann Davidson, professor of theology at the Andrews University seminary, expands the notion of stewardship to include all of the earth. She writes:
It seems curious, even ironic, that Christians who believe in the Divine creation of this planet, and who maintain the importance of good stewardship of money, such as tithing, have been mostly silent about stewardship of anything else, even as critical issues concerning the environment gather more and more attention…. Our definition of stewardship needs to become more comprehensive. (p. 14)
After highlighting a number of key verses on creation care from both the Old and New Testaments, Davidson looks ahead to the age to come.
The Apocalypse…concludes with the resplendent restoration Old Testament prophets promised earlier, reminding again that redemption involves the renewal of creation with the material world participating! Salvation is never depicted as escaping from the Earth but, rather, reclaiming it! Jesus comes again to restore this damaged planet–not annihilate it. When he destroys sin and evil, the material world…will be reestablished in its original glory! (p. 17)
Moving to application of theology, Davidson instructs:
Seventh-day Adventists could, thereby, be honoring the Creator by recycling, preserving water and composting, etc., and exhibiting the link of the plant-based diet to environmental issues (p. 17)
Davidson then concludes,
Resurrection day will begin to erase all that has been lost because of sin. We await the future kingdom of peace when all creation will be restored with us. In the meantime, thankfully, there are now many helpful resources that can inform our stewardship. Each person can make a difference. Creation care is a significant way we can show appreciation to the Creator for the gift of life. (p. 17)
The two pages following Davidson’s article are also dedicated to creation care. Page 18 has two extended quotes from Ellen White on the topic, and page 19 describes ways to recycle aluminum, electronics, glass paper, plastics and steel (PDF).
[Blog feature photo credit: By Mark6davies (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons]