The Great Commission, found in Matthew 28:18-20, is God’s mandate for Christians ever since Jesus’ resurrection, to make and baptize disciples, teaching them about God’s character, values, and commands. Jesus indicated God’s value of and care for all creation, inviting believers to view earth through God’s perspective, and to tend the earth as Christ incarnate.

Jesus spoke about the responsiveness of creation to God in the form of good soil, abiding branches, trees bearing fruit, fruitful fields, and beloved sheep, using them as metaphors for those faithful to God.[1] Within Jesus’ discourse on faith, God’s clothing of lilies and concern for sparrows became examples of God’s even greater care of people,[2] indicating God’s daily and particular sustaining of earth through God the Son, as the writer of Hebrews noted, “He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word.”[3] A brief perusal of the Hebrew scriptures reveals God’s high assessment of and enjoyment in physical creation,[4] pronouncing all God made as perennially, “very good.”[5] Creation is God’s open revelation of God as Creator, eternal in power, divine in nature.[6]

Just as God cares deeply for all creation, so we, who have our minds conformed to God’s character and values,[7] are also to care deeply for the physical realm. Most understand this in the care of our bodies, in husbanding fields and farms, in the care of pets, in gardening and in kindnesses and even laws meant to care for wild creatures and habitats. Conversely, pollution, preventable extinctions, deforestation, stripping the earth of nonrenewable resources, destruction of ecosystems and the like betray a lack of godly care, grieving God and those who have God’s heart.[8]

But grieving with God is only part of what it means to be united with God: those who subscribe to Christ’s teaching will also live by it. The apostolic writings are united on this: “Be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves,”[9] “Whoever obeys his word, truly in this person the love of God has reached perfection,”[10] “Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh . . . If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.”[11] Each points back to Jesus, who enjoined believers to abide in him, and to express love by obedience to him.[12]

God’s first words to humanity involved a commandment to be God’s representatives on earth, stewards bearing responsibility to manage earth’s resources, to rule with benevolent care in God’s service and to God’s glory. God designed humanity to prosper and be blessed according to God’s values and character, the principles of God’s teaching, just as creation prospers and blesses humanity because it works as it was designed to do.

God’s first gift to humanity was a garden God personally landscaped, with the call to tend it in the same manner it was planted.

God’s second gift was the opportunity and privilege of scientific study in naming all the creatures of earth.

God has put the care of our world in our hands, yet the care of humanity is organically bound in the care of the earth, as several high-profile research studies have shown: “Greenspace exposure is associated with numerous health benefits in intervention and observational studies.”[13] 

Abiding in Christ as Christ abides in every believer[14] is both supernatural and intentional. It means to have the Spirit of Christ within, being filled with Jesus’ power, and conformed by Jesus’ character, perspective, values, and desires. To live by the Spirit, to be doers of the word necessarily involves not just the care of people, but care of the earth. Whether Christ returns tomorrow, or the earth itself is destined for destruction (as some understand the prophecy of what is to come), Jesus reminds us that today God’s eye is still on every sparrow, God clothes the lilies, God replenishes the earth with rain and brings fields white to harvest. Just as God commanded support for the disadvantaged, bereft, alienated, and vulnerable, so God has commanded the same care for the planet and all its life.

It seems creation’s destiny will always be bound up with humankind. The apostle Paul indicated creation currently suffers in hope of redemption,[15] perhaps referring to the soil’s curse borne by Adam’s sin, and God’s promise of redemption spoken to Eve.[16] That promise of reconciliation, restoration, and resurrection is at work in Christians who live in obedience to Christ, following the Great Commission, observing and teaching all Christ commands. Those who are attuned to God, who are guided by the Spirit, who express their love by obedience to the scriptures and to the Word of God, will be an active part of sustaining the earth.



[1] Mark 4:1-9, John 15:1-17, Luke 6:43-45, John 4:35-38, Matthew 18:10-14.

[2] Matthew 6:25-33.

[3] Hebrews 1:3.

[4] Genesis 2:2-3, Job 38-39, Psalm 147:4.

[5] Genesis 1:31.

[6] Romans 1:19-20

[7] Romans 12:2.

[8] Genesis 6:5-6.

[9] James 1:22.

[10] I John 3:22.

[11] Galatians 5:16, 25.

[12] John 15:4, 14:15.

[13] Caoimhe Twohig-Bennett and Andy Jones, “The health benefits of the great outdoors: A systematic review and meta-analysis of greenspace exposure and health outcomes,” Environ Res. 2018 Oct; 166: 628–637. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2018.06.030, accessed December 13, 2021, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6562165/

[14] John 17:24-26.

[15] Romans 8:20-23.

[16] Genesis 3:15-18.


8 thoughts on “Theology of Science

  1. Hi Sister in Christ Joanne! This is very beautifully done with a lot of inspiration and insights into God’s plan and expectation of mankind. I do consider all of this existence temporary and far from any absolute perfection with it’s being in perpetual conflict; a world vying with itself as all things here are in competition with an also build in symbiosis that is also necessary for it to have continued fruitfully, but, Man is the greater conflict in all of this because of Satan being the prince of the material finite realm we are now in with our God given immortal souls fused with a material flesh bodies. This condition is temporary and as Scriptures explain there is an End Point for this conflicted journey here in this realm; thus perpetual problems arise from the conflicts here within a biosphere that is not self-replenishing beyond a certain point! So to me the sooner God can judge it all the better, but, I only speak from my own simplistic perspective and only God can see all things, and so only He is able to know or calculate with certainty when this End point will arrive, but, it will I do believe sooner rather than later! If you can point to anything that I severely lack in this view please let me know, I would greatly appreciate it! Amen.
    Brother in Christ Jesus,
    Lawrence
    Shalom

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    1. Shalom, Brother in Christ Lawrence. You are right in having expectant hope for the Lord’s return, and for the “end point,” as you say. However, what does the “end point” represent? That is a big debate. And, how should we live until that “end point” comes?

      The way I understand God’s word, we are to care for the earth, lovingly tend and till the earth, and manage the resources of earth as humble and wise servants of the Living God. If God has said this earth is good, then we must honor God’s assessment, and treat the earth–including all its creatures and contents–as good things of great value to God. If we err, let it be on the side of care, not carelessness and thoughtlessness.

      The Bible only hints at what will come -after- the “end point,” but a close reading of Zechariah 14 and Revelation 21-22, as well as chapters in Isaiah, depict a fully restored creation in which resurrected humanity lives in full harmony within a recreated earth and heavens. We will always be physical beings just as our risen Lord is a physical being, yet our physicality will also be of a transformed, perfected nature (according to 1 Corinthians 15). We will be as Jesus is now, as John so joyfully declared in 1 John 3:2-3.

      Grace and peace, Joanne

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      1. “However, what does the “end point” represent? That is a big debate. And, how should we live until that “end point” comes?”

        Now that’s a loaded question as I see things and offers a whole lot of contemplation! Maybe I should get back to you on this in a couple of weeks! Okay, I’ll try my best for you to tackle this right here and now, what harm can there be in my trying right? I can only fall down and then get right back up as I’ve done countless times throughout my life; perhaps even make a fool out of myself; which I’m adept at too!

        “We are to care for the earth, lovingly tend and till the earth, and manage the resources of earth as humble and wise servants of the Living God.”

        I think you’re talking my language here without a doubt! Just this past week a small cluster like birch tree near my property that I had tended to of my own accord to try assisting it as it was infested with an invasive plant called bitter sweet for a few years and though it was on state maintained property I was nearby and able to assist the tree so I jumped in cutting away this infestation on a few occasions and even supplied the tree with many hundreds of gallons of water in drought periods! To my broken heart I speak about how painful it was to see a huge front end loader position itself directly in front of this fragile but determined to survive tree and then ram it tearing it out of the mother earth that it clung to. I can be provoked to anger by stupidity and lack inhuman beings and this was one such occasion where I wanted to run at these imbeciles and read them the riot act; but the evil that lucks around here and here was waiting just for this opportunity to provoke and get me entangled in another form of invasive species called evil! I’m so sick and tired of the rotten and wicked humans that have power and control over so much and they have no hearts or one Iota of compassion but love instead to exert power and authority upon the defenseless and provoke confrontation; all work of the devil himself and I want these people to suffer for their contempt but remain powerless as I’ve had to for many years in dealing with such Infestation of this truly deadly kind! I’m so riled up now early in the day recalling this and I know I’m 100% right feeling in my bones as my body stresses, this kills me, so why I ask God do I have to witness so much evil and be able to take it on the chin as these devils laugh and play these perverted twisted games!

        I offered plenty of humility in a world where only cheap low lives push their weight around and step on whatever they please with impunity thanks to the bums for politicians and officials that infest this place! None of them deserve their jobs or perhaps even life itself but here I am!

        Carelessness and thoughtlessness abound here and care is none existent other than what I offer as even other neighbors are inclined to ignore and not even lift a finger so maybe now you see why I see the ugly side of people is so prevalent and I have little use for people in general being so disgusted I’m in such a world and even have to be a person in a world of not so good persons infesting this planet! At least that is the appearance the ones who rule are giving our species as I see it.

        Oh we can speak of resurrection and glorified bodies but me I want it now and have grown sick and tired of all the lip service and bridal arrogance of the wicked or the careless apathy of so many citizens infesting this planet for far too long as far as I’m concerned my Good Sister in Christ. The end point can’t come fast enough as far as I’m concerned and I ask the Lord why do I suffer this way and why must all good things be in a ruined and plagued atrocity of a hellish nightmare like this on and on!

        I’m sure this isn’t the sort of response you were anticipating from me but its rip roaring genuine and real! This world is very sick because evil is getting its way in all walks of life on planet earth and that is the reality I see daily, and it should have by now, and tried, to kill for me for many years, but my health somehow clings to life in this God forsaken manmade hell! God forgive me for my anger, I’m only a sinner and a man though! How much am I supposed to take of this torture! I must deserve it or be doing something of value for you Lord!

        Thank you Sister/Professor Joanne! You’re one of the few that clears the air so I can breathe, helping me to keep my perspective true. Amen.

        Brother in Christ,
        Lawrence

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      2. A bit further thought and I arrived at this juncture of realizing these Holy Scriptures say far better in precision what volumes of what I say and said previously could ever scratch the surface of!

        “24Then Jesus told His disciples, “If anyone wants to come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. 25For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?” Matthew 16:24-26

        “14I have written to you, fathers, because you know Him who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one. 15Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not from the Father but from the world.” 1 John 2:15

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      3. Greetings in the Lord, Brother in Christ Lawrence!

        Amen, let it be so, Lord Jesus. To love (which is to say -choose-) the world in the way Jesus meant those words, and later the beloved disciple who was now an elder, is to -not choose- Christ and the the things of God.

        This is not what I am talking about when I say we are to be God’s wise and loving stewards of the earth in response to God’s very first command to humankind in Genesis 1:28. If we have God’s character and values, then we will be God’s representatives. How does God take care of the earth and all that it contains–the biota, the eco niches, the rocks and hills and seas? After all, as Paul and the Psalmists explain, nature also proclaims the truth about God. (Psalm 19 and Romans 1 to begin.)

        We must care for the earth as God cares for the earth. We cannot do less.

        Grace and peace, Joanne

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      4. Yes Sister Joanne! I’ve been busy all day and after I sent this comment I later was thinking I would like to send you another and ask where i went wrong in my interpretation as well I thought how i would like to spend more time explaining my perceptions and difficulties with the world as it is now not when God created it and commanded those in its infancy! But alas I get to see now this exquisite comment of yours that explains all of what bothered me! You must have been told by the Holy Spirit of course what to say to me so I wouldn’t remain confused about any of it!
        Thank you for all this insight!
        God Bless You!
        Shalom.
        Lawrence

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      5. Shalom, Dear Sister/Professor Joanne! You’re so kind and I mean that from my deepest heart; you mean so much to me and I’m grateful beyond words for all the genuine good you do directing so much inspiration! I was once told many moons ago when a young lad by the young sweet miss that I fell in love with whom I knew from middle school age, that only began in earnest when she told me I wrote so eloquently when we had been writing back and forth after my return from a trip to Europe with some neighborhood buddies of mine, after I had promised to tell her all about it on that fateful day bumping into her when getting a passport which was great twist of fate otherwise I probably would never have bumped into her again as our life paths later demonstrated. Then hatched our romance, but, later she mused that she suddenly cut off the letter correspondence upon my return home from Europe because she feared I would continue in that vein and not get around to calling her for a date, because, as she had put it I appeared to love writing to her so much doing it so well! Mind you this was a smart cookie of a Gentle Lady being a top honors graduate of her High School and College classes; so I see how she knew how to put me in my place!

        That was the one relationship “that was and then was not,” and no other ever again equaled in all regards, but, especially in how two hearts were beating as one sweet, caring and joyful love; two peas in a pod. I remember it all very well, and so, I mention this now because of what you said about “my gracious spirit,” and yes, I do agree I was always that gracious gentleman and considerate soul, but, so much has happened since then indeed, some of which could have derailed that gracious core or created a bitterness in many a heart, yet, in fact that appears to be impossible! Mainly because I love God so much I’ve come to learn through these trials, but, also because “genuine good” will never perish, its part of infinity and the eternal flame or spark of love that all good originates from; and that is our Creator who made all of this out of His eternal Love. I guess we could compare this though, to this concept about an absolute that humans can contemplate and demonstrate in science; “The First Law of Thermodynamics (Conservation) states that energy is always conserved, it cannot be created or destroyed. In essence, energy can be converted from one form into another.” Now the kicker to all of this is I must tell you an added fact that comes from all of this culmination and even tumultuous activity since back then to now, because I want to be genuine about something I start to explain that is so important; which is, you haven’t heard me speak when in my most emotional, traumatized or greatly aggravated state of mind, and, if that speech was enough in itself to condemn a person I surely would be! I wish I could have not allowed such brutal foulness to come out of me and could have only been as I was when a young man or boy. But the point is the world is a horrible place at times, so that along with patience and nerves wearing thin he Ways of The World does its best with some people to tear them up and ruin! So I know both sides now, the “double edged sword” if you will, which is I can be an exemplary example of a gentleman, but, also I can be like a drunken sailor at the drop of a hat in the wrong situation, and the funny thing is I don’t even drink; imagine if I did that too; no let’s not go there! I see me as the symbol of the humanities of theater masks that dichotomy, to put it in a figurative sense! But thank you for giving me the impetus to explore these things about myself! Now that is the professor in you! And the great news is it’s all in relation to our Holy Scriptures and God’s plan!

        So the forces of life can take a toll, but, the true of heart will make it through the worst of storms and come out better persons than when they began their journey if they hold onto that Faith and Hope in their hearts; knowing that God above has them covered ultimately! Amen.

        Brother in Christ,
        Lawrence
        Shalom

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