1. Matter exists eternally and is all there is. God does not exist.
As in theism and deism, the prime proposition concerns the nature of basic existence. In the former two the nature of God is the key factor. In naturalism it is the nature of the cosmos which is primary, for now, with an eternal creator-God out of the picture, the cosmos itself becomes eternal—-always there though not necessarily in its present form, in fact, certainly not in its present form. Carl Sagan, astrophysicist and popularizer of science, has said it as clearly as possible: “The Cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be.” (James W. Sire, “The Universe Next Door,” 54)
The consequence of living as if there is no God is to fill that void with [an]other god; that is, material “creation” itself becomes God, but not without us. In other words, man becomes the center of the universe, and the earth becomes his sustenance — ‘Mother Earth’. This way of thinking is not ‘new’, it is not progressive or ‘cutting-edge’; it is as old as the ‘Fall’ itself (see Gen. 3 and the ensuing story [the rest of the scriptures, esp. the OT]). In fact the LORD admonishes his people, contrary to the ‘natural way of thinking’, not to lift up ‘nature’ as if that is all there is; He says:
15“Therefore watch yourselves very carefully. Since you saw no form on the day that the LORD spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire, 16beware lest you act corruptly by making a carved image for yourselves, in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female, 17the likeness of any animal that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the air, 18the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the water under the earth. 19And beware lest you raise your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, you be drawn away and bow down to them and serve them, things that the LORD your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven. 20But the LORD has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, out of Egypt, to be a people of his own inheritance, as you are this day. ~Deuteronomy 4:15-20The negative of what Yahweh admonishes His people “not to do” (in the passage above) is the “natural orientation” of Fallen man. It is to worship the creation rather than the Creator (cf. Rom. 1); and this is what ‘Earth day (week, year)’ actually pivots upon.
Christians should not confuse stewardship of God’s creation with being ‘Green’. And really the only, and most basic reason for this, is what I have been trying to distinguish in my previous narrative; and that is, that ‘being Green’ is informed by an ‘worldview’ that is incompatible with the ‘Christian trinitarian’ perspective. The ‘Green’ approach “starts” out with the assumption that there is no God; the Christian, or what I like to call, ‘the Red’ approach, assumes just the opposite —- that there is a creator God, and He has revealed Himself to us in Christ.
In my view, it is irresponsible for Christians to take up the mantle of the ‘Green approach’, and assume that there is compatibility simply in the name of being ‘good stewards’. We need to be good ‘Stewards’ indeed, but in the name of Christ; and not simply by adopting the approach offered by the ‘unbelieving world’ (Christologically this is akin to the adoptionist heresy known as Ebionitism), and thus ‘Christianizing’ the pagan way of doing and thinking things.
**My next post will be on how to think about this stuff through the analogy of the incarnation (or Christologically); Colossians 1 is key for the Christian understanding at this juncture. If Christ is supreme over all creation, both as Creator and Redeemer, then as Christians it behooves us to think this issue out of that paradigm. Really this whole discussion orbits around that classic discussion between the relationship of nature and grace; the answer to that question must be centered in the life of Christ and how His hypostatic union (the relationship between his divine and human natures) should inform our approach to being stewards of this ‘creation’ or ‘recreation’ through Him. Instead of ‘Green’ I think Christians should call themselves ‘Red’, because without the shedding of God’s blood in Christ all we really have is ‘Black’ — which is what I think ‘Earth Day’ and its approach should really be called [not 'green']. Anyway, more to come.**