Author: Steve Hughes
The concept of a ‘creaturely theology’ is an interesting one. So how do I respond to this article?
In A Rocha our theology is built around the understanding that ‘all things’ were made by, for and through Jesus (Colossians 1) – and that the ‘world’ described in John 3:16 is the ‘kosmos’. Jesus love extending beyond the human race to all that was created.
Our role as people is to act as ‘stewards’ of this creation (Gen 1:26). As those who are ‘a little lower than the angels’ to have a custodial role for the created world.
The world’s eco-systems are in delicate balance and with creaturely extinctions running at dozens of times the natural rate we are clearly failing in our custodial role as the human race.
How we regard the animal kingdom is therefore important. Nature can be ‘red in tooth and claw’ but this is how it was made, with each creature existing in its own unique position as part of the complex web that God has created.
Passages such as Matthew 6 ‘consider the birds of the air’ encourage us to observe and learn. I recently returned from a regular retreat to Bardsey Island off the Welsh coast with a group of A Rocha supporters where we spent many hours together observing the natural world: the schools of dolphins passing offshore, the choughs playing in the wind, the peregrines causing havoc amongst the local pigeons, and the migrant Willow Warblers appearing like magic in their hundreds overnight on their interrupted migration south. There was a real sense of wonder at God’s creation – not in any sentimental sense – the pigeons certainly did not appreciate it! – but in how it all fitted together as the handiwork of its creator.
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