Belfast Telegraph

Thought for the weekend: Our place in God's Creation

By Allen Sleith

A frequent comment is that there's nothing much worth watching on the television anymore.

Maybe that's an example of nostalgia run riot, summed up in the quote: "Nostalgia isn't what it used to be."

The lament about lower TV standards tends to be pretty subjective: what it might come down to is that the greater the choice, the more choosy we become, or perhaps that there's more that doesn't suit our tastes.

When only three or four channels were everyone's lot, you tended to watch what was there without too much critical thought.

Personally, I think there are more programmes than ever that I've no interest in and more than enough that's of great quality.

Be it news, sport, drama, films, documentaries, comedy or what have you, a discerning eye can still find much to appreciate. But if I could choose one category above all, I'd settle for the superb wildlife or natural history programmes that run like a golden thread throughout the weekly TV schedules.

As most of us can't travel the globe to see nature in all its intricate, fascinating splendour; how wonderful that its diverse dynamics are lovingly brought into our living rooms by people who are truly dedicated to their profession.

Of all those involved in the field, perhaps no one is as well known and rightly esteemed as Sir David Attenborough.

In a recent programme he was featured meeting with President Obama, a lifelong admirer of Attenborough's work.

What came across was the passion of both men for the natural world to be not just understood or appreciated, but also, where possible, protected.

The ironic bind and challenge is that the protecting is largely to be done by us against us, since it is human rapacity that is earth's greatest threat.

Few Biblical texts have been as dangerously distorted as Genesis 1, where God commands Man to have dominion over the rest of Creation.

The writings of the Canadian theologian Douglas John Hall argue persuasively that God's call here is to stewardship rather than exploitation, Creation entrusted to us as precious gift and responsible task - but emphatically not as a bottomless pit or a rubbish tip.

Belfast Telegraph


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