Wednesday, December 14, 2005


What if the people of God are fully 'earthed' and fully 'heavened'?

(1) Humanity is creationally linked to the earth.

And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth...then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature...The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. Genesis 1:26; 2:7, 15 ESV
Dominion is one element in humanity's essential nature. God designed us as rulers and caretakers of creation. But the creational link is deeper. Our very substance--our bodies--are from the soil--the adamah. God took the adamah and created an adam; he created them male and female. The male was created from the soil and the female was created from the male.

(2) Humanity is creationally linked to itself.

So God created man in his own image,...male and female he created them...So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man...Genesis 1:27; 2:21-22 ESV
God created humanity as one; he created them male and female. The female was created from the rib of the male. She is of his flesh. The male is born of the woman's womb. He is of her flesh. We are all linked to each other. Relational connection is part of our essential nature.

(3) Humanity is creationally linked to God.

So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves...Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion...then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. Genesis 1:21, 26; 2:7
Humanity was made a living creature by the breath of God. Our very life is from God. In fact, all life is from the breath of God. So, in our connection to God wer are connected to creation. We are like the animals, but we are much more.

Humanity's essential nature is the image of God. We are his icon. While the elements of this image are a matter for much discussion, the context clearly links the image to dominion (care) and relationality.

So, if humanity is creationally linked to the earth, to itself, and to God, how does God's intention for the people of God fit this creational design for humanity?

NOTE: This is a rumination ("1. The act of pondering; meditation. 2. The act or process of chewing cud." American Heritage Dictionary) in search of synergy ("1. The interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects.")


“Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”


  1. Hey Laura, just a thank you note for your fine work on your blogs. I am fascinated with ecclesiology as well and cannot imagine but that God's order in creation suggests that he has a special order as well for the apple of his eye, the church. How could he not and yet many believe all forms are valid and that we can just wing it...

    I believe that this order is simpler than most realize. But how can opinions be soooo varied?

    Zane Anderson
    House Church Network

  2. Thanks Zane.

    The varied opinions cause me wonder as well. I happen to be reading Barth's Evangelical Theology right now, and he has a warning in the 4th chapter (The Community) that certainly caused me to nod: "...under no circumstances may theology set out to appropriate creedal propositions merely because theya re old and widespread and famous" (p 46). I think much of the variety stems from listening more closely to creedal tradition than to Scripture.

    This is a danger that all theologians (academic and armchair) must beware. I know I will need to remind myself often that Scripture trumps.