Larry Schnapf course description

C. The principle of stewardship is closely linked to the concept of grace

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C. The principle of stewardship is closely linked to the concept of grace. (See Luke 12:35-48 and Corinthians 4:1-2) Everything that comes from is a gift and must be administered faithfully on his behalf. The theme of stewardship is recognition of the unity of creation and the need to take care of the entire earth.
1. What does a steward do? Protect and help increase value of the master’s estate? (Gen. 1:28)
2. To carry out duties given to use by our master (refer to Matthew 24:45-51). We are to serve our master (Jesus- Mt. 20:28)
3. We are answerable to our master (Gen 2: 16-17; 3:14-19).
4. God owns the world. Nature is not un-owned. All things have an inherent value to God and the rights of living things are based on God’s value of them.
5. Bailment situation.

D. Animals AND Humans exist to serve God’s pleasure. Humans share a relationship of obedience to God with Creation.
E. Animals manifest God’s glory on their own terms. Humans are to rule over animals not because of special trait but by God’s appointment. We are to exercise this power in his name like an agent/principal.
F. Thus, when dominion is read together with stewardship, dominion is the exercise of kingship in the image of Christ. Implies service, sacrifice, and covenant. Humans are to exercise an environmental ethic as part of the obedience to God. relationship
G. Do those in power have an obligation to those who are relatively powerless? If our power over animals confers any right, it is to serve.

  • For the Christian, this means to minimize the suffering of animals even if it comes at great costs to us.

  • We should not just prevent the worst, but promote the good.

  • When we make animals suffer harm or pain for our pleasure or entertainment when show a lack of generosity towards God and a lack of understanding of divine Grace.

  • Some people believe that domestication is not a sign of humanity’s power over animals, but domestication is actually a sign of the original harmony

H. God voluntarily descended to a lower form of life and gives up privileges to establish a relationship with us. This should model our relationship with animals.

I. How do we harmonize the violence that occurs in nature? Does caring for Creation mean eliminating that violence? Some animal suffering has nothing to do with humans.
J. What about evolution and all the animals who have perished. Is the pain necessary? Why would an intelligence designer make animals with useless parts? Why would God work through accident and chance? What does evolution which spends life so easily and proliferates it so messily tell us about God? Can evolution be reconciled to an ultimate order? Does it tell us we should be kind to animals because we are of the same origin? Is there a theological reason for all this animal suffering?
K. Christians are to raise their voices on behalf of the poor and powerless.


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