I’m working on a shared presentation for the Evangelical Philosophical Society meeting this coming November with my colleague, Garry DeWeese. In exploring the importance of ‘place’ for a Christian approach to creation care, I argue that the evangelical biblical center of place-thinking must be Christological.
Insofar as Jesus Christ is emplaced in glorified resurrection embodiment at the Father’s right hand in heavenly session, that place shapes and orients all other place claims. Rather than rendering earthly place passé or beneath our care and attention, the second Adam’s fulfillment of the first Adam’s charge to righteously exercise king-priestly rule in Eden extending to the whole of creation, focuses our calling in Him to care for creation.
Whatever opinion you take of ecological concerns in the contemporary world, one thing is assured: humanity is not threatened because humanity is represented and redeemed in the God-man Jesus Christ. His secure place in heaven is warrant for our secure care for our surrounding concreaturely reality – not out of anxiety to ensure survival over against creation in competition for ‘resources’, nor out of fear lest we fail to ‘save the world’. Rather our unanxious, peaceable love for God and fellow creatures is given back to us without calculation or cost as the grace of our salvation.
Not only can we afford to care for creation in its frustrated groaning awaiting our final glory, we cannot afford not to face the cost of doing so, as we grow in heavenly mindedness, our eyes fixed on the one who has run the race before us, who promises to restore all things.