Green 3:16?

Let’s take the most famous bible verse of all, John 3:16

John 3:16 
     For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.


Now, what part of the “world” is loved?  We usually think of salvation in terms of individuals who are forgiven and restored to God.  Is that the extent of the “world” in this verse?

It would not be fair to read the verse to say that God sent Jesus to fix the environment, because that leaves out the part about “whoever believes”.  Certainly the immediate call of this verse is to believe and be given everlasting life.

However, is that the extent of salvation?  John 1:1-4 identifies the Word as the creator, as does v. 10.  In v. 12, “the Word became flesh…”, that is entered physically into creation.

Other scripture, Old and New Testament speak of a restoration of “the world” as part of the final completion of salvation –

Romans 8:20-21
    For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope [21] that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.

    Col. 1:19-20
    For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, [20] and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

That does not mean we can choose to recycle and forget about the message of reconciliation with God.  Neither does it mean that we can limit God’s work to helping people get to Heaven.



Is God Green?

globe.jpgThis question was on the editorial page of the Madison, WI Sunday Paper.  Two responded to that article.  There is a lot of talk about global warming, pollution, renewable resources, lowering dependence on fossil fuels, the food we eat and so forth.

The first chapter of Genesis contains this:Genesis 1:27-31
    So God created man in his own image,
        in the image of God he created him;
        male and female he created them.
    [28] And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” [29] And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. [30] And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. [31] And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

    Genesis 2 contains this:

Genesis 2:15
    The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.

 The term “DOMINION” comes from  Genesis 1.  It suggests to some that the human race has free reign exploit the earth as a natural resource.   Even, some try to say, to the point of exploitation.  However, the human role is a mirror of the Creator – who took great care and delight in fashioning this world – and in placing at least one limit in the humans.  Does not the idea of the Garden of Eden suggest stewardship – as opposed to cut and run?

The complimentary verse in Gen 2 speaks of Adam as working and “KEEPING” the Garden.  Again the idea would suggest of making careful use of the earth, to improve and maintain, rather than to use once and toss away —  or “Earth Keeping”.

Many other Scriptures can be traced out to show an interest, joy in, and care for the creation of God.  For example Psalms 24 & 104. 

What do you think?