Mankind is created in God’s image. And we can understand a great deal about God by his prescriptions for Adam and Eve in the beginning. It is this passage that I’ve seen pointed to most often:
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” — Genesis 1:26
It’s then been suggested that — because this mention of ruling the earth immediately follows God’s talk of creating mankind in his likeness — this is the chiefest way in which we are like God. We have authority and dominion over all the earth, just as he has authority and dominion over all creation.
I don’t dislike this interpretation of the text; rather, I mostly agree. And it ought to speak loudly to how we treat the earth. Are we being good stewards of that which God placed in our care? The subjects of pollution, endangered animals, recycling, responsible consumption (etc) are not only for tree-huggers, hippies, and my teammates, the McNeals. They are questions every Christian must consider.
What am I doing to rule over the earth in a responsible fashion? In Godly fashion?
I’m not sure if you caught my previous mention that I mostly agree with the above interpretation. I do agree — up to the point where it’s offered that having authority and dominion over the earth is the chiefest way in which we are like God. I believe this interpretation stems, as I offered earlier, from the fact that man’s dominion sits so close (in the text) to God’s decision to make man in his (/their) image. And I certainly believe how we rule the earth is important.
But I’m not sure authority is necessarily the primary way in which we are like God. Actually, I didn’t intend today to write about our dominion over the earth, but rather about another way in which I believe we’re created in God’s likeness. I suppose I’ll get to that one tomorrow.
So, for now, what do you think about all this dominion and authority stuff?