In almost twenty years as a pastor I’ve come across three major attitudes toward Creation. There are some who feel the earth belongs to God and we should leave it alone. They perceive every industrial or societal activity as a cancer slowly killing our world, believing God made everything the way it was intended to be and humanity’s only contribution has been corruption.

There are others who believe the world is our playground, and we can do whatever we like. We are, after all, the dominant species on the planet. If the earth doesn’t work for us, it doesn’t matter who else—trees, animals, insects—finds it habitable, since we won’t be around to care. These are the people who exploit natural resources for fast gains, often ignoring the long term consequences of their activity.

The third option is to realize God made everything we need to make everything we need; he gave us the raw materials we need to develop the world into a perfect habitat for humanity; he supplied enough food, water, soil, and clean air to sustain a population far greater than what we currently entertain; and he gifted humanity with intelligence, reason, and curiosity enough to figure out how to move forward from the garden to the city.

Adapted from the Garden-City Epistles, Page 34