Adventures in Generosity

The occasionally coherent ramblings of a Stewardship Advisor in the Church of England

Exploring Stewardship – Genesis 1: 1-26

These are my thoughts on the study notes taken from the Stewardship Study Bible published by Zondervan

“How does the understanding that God owns everything shape your view of who God is ?”

I actually find the idea uncomfortable.   I’ve no problem with the idea of God as creator but  the logical conclusion of that statement is that God owns me.  I guess 30 odd years of a liberal education have led me to feel a strong sense of discomfort at the idea of ‘ownership’ being applied to a human being. 

I just can’t view God as ‘the owner’.    To talk about ownership is to imply that creation is somehow separate from God, which I think diminishes the idea of God as Creator and Source of everything.   –   We don’t say ‘All things belong to you and of your own do we give you’ we say ‘All things Come from you and of your own do we give you’.  God is the root of everything, to say that he ‘owns’ creation is like saying we ‘own’ our body parts – the two are indivisible surely. 

“Humans are given a mandate to care for Gods creation.  In your view, how are we doing ?”

Badly !  Gods Church needs to reclaim this idea as biblical – I’ve heard many people blame Christianity for the current state of the planet because we’ve misunderstood what it is to ‘rule over’ creation.  The current over consumption of resources and the disproportionate impact that has on the poor is evidence enough of how far we are fallen, by separating ourselves from the natural world we have separated ourselves from God and put our own wants and our own pride in our technical ingenuity at the centre of our lives – no wonder the world feels so out of balance ! (rant over). 

This quote from the reflections for this passage stood out for me: “For all that science and technology have done for us, they deceive us when they lead us to believe that whatever control we may be able to harness carries with it the right of absolute ownership” R Scott Rodin.

“What does good Stewardship of the earth look like to you ?”

Taking what we need not all we want.  Put back all we can, and work with the natural world rather than exploiting it.  Recognising that fallow time is important, not just for the land but for ourselves.  Understanding that our actions have consequences and that we are part of creation not independent of it.

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3 Comments»

  Charlie Peer wrote @

Theologically the distinction between Creator and created is quite important. It is of course perfectly possible to say that there is no distinction – that God and his creation are not separate – but doesn’t that imply that we are in some way God ourselves?.

  jobeacroftmitchell wrote @

Thanks Charlie – yes, I struggled with this I have to admit – I get that God is not creation – I just can’t make the jump to God as ‘owner’ – maybe it’s semantic but the term implies too separate and cold a relationship – I don’t ‘own’ my children like I own a car – I just can’t get the language right to convey the difference.

  Jacqui motchell wrote @

I remember some years ago (probably 20yrs) Christian Aid week was heralded with the slogan ‘Want for need, not for greed’. I have always tried to remember it and guide me towards being more generous with and thankful for God’s provision.


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