Thoughts on the Meaning of Life… Todd Helmkamp

Be Fruitful and Multiply…

Posted by Vogeler on December 4, 2006

“Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:28; bold and italics added)

Today’s question deals with……. *drumroll*

The environment!!!

Humans, by nature, produce great changes in any environment they enter.  These changes can be related to food production, industry, housing, etc.  The question is twofold:

1.  Is it possible for humans to live in complete harmony with nature, enjoying  a symbiotic  relationship (one in which both parties benefit)?

2.  If it is possible, do we have a responsibility to do so?

Let me know what you think.


5 Responses to “Be Fruitful and Multiply…”

  1. joe said

    Um…is it bad that my immediate reaction to the title of this post was, “Beth is pregnant!!!” I was all ready to congratulate. Oh well.

    Anyway, on to the point. I have an answer for this. But, I am going to withhold it for at least a day. I am putting together a series of blogs on heaven, and this question deals with one of the first posts, so I am going to wait until I post it before I put it somewhere else.

    This is a great question! I’m super interested to see what others have to say about it.

  2. nathan said

    I don’t quite follow the above comments, but that’s okay, i suppose.

    I suggest that the definition of subdue is to tame, suppress, inhibit, subordinate, overcome, mortify, repress.

    So the Bible instructs us to suppress the Earth?

    Dominion mean to rule, so we are to rule over everything that lives?

    I don’t think there is much in that verse to support taking care of the environment.

    so question 1: if God instructed us to live with dominion over everything else, i’m not sure a symbiotic relationship is really what is going on there.

    2: if we rule over Earth and God told us to suppress the earth, I’m not sure it’s really much of a biblical responsibility.

    but don’t get me completely wrong–i recycle, and think it’s a wise and healthy thing to do. but is it really Biblical?–to that, I’m not sure…

  3. sub·due (sb-d, -dy)
    tr.v. sub·dued, sub·du·ing, sub·dues

    1. To conquer and subjugate; vanquish. See Synonyms at defeat.
    2. To quiet or bring under control by physical force or persuasion; make tractable.
    3. To make less intense or prominent; tone down: subdued my excitement about the upcoming holiday.
    4. To bring (land) under cultivation: Farmers subdued the arid lands of Australia.

    I think a contextual analysis of the verse will point to either definition 2 or 4.

    That being said…..

    No, the Bible doesn’t explicitly say anything about conservation, but we are commanded to be good stewards of the resources we have been given. The earth is our primary source of physical resources. Ergo, we need to be good stewards of the earth.

    My opinion. 🙂

  4. Carmie said

    Joe, you and I were thinking alike!! I got all excited…maybe that’s because I want to have a child. Actually, now that I think about it, it is kind of scary to be thinking like Joe….YIKES! Love ya joe

  5. Bethany said

    thanks to all who thought i was expecting. i would like one, but the timing isn’t right. someday, hopefully the timing will be right.

    yes, i think it’s possible. do we have a responsibility to? i don’t believe so. however, i have nothing solid to back that up, so don’t ask for scripture or anything. 🙂

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