Some have charged Christians with holding an inherent hostility to environmental protection—rooted often in a caricature of evangelical views of human dominion, Armageddon, and the imminence of the end times. Such caricatures do not stand up to close scrutiny. Or, at the very least, they shouldn’t.
Evangelical Christians agree that the kingdom is both here and not yet. An understanding of salvation as both individual and cosmic in scope should inform the way we, as followers of Jesus, think about the doctrine in our churches and the recycling bin next to the cubicle down the hall.
Jesus, after all, doesn’t save us simply to “go to heaven when we die.” That human beings bear the image of Jesus, the perfect icon of God’s nature, is at the very heart of the Christian understanding of the universe. The earth was indeed created, Christians believe, for human beings—or, more correctly, for a human being: Jesus Christ.
God saves us to be as we were intended to be—to be even more than we could have been, apart from Christ—that is, to be kings and queens of the universe, in resurrected and glorified bodies. It’s not just that the meek shall go to heaven; they shall inherit the earth.
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