- God created the world--the physical world we walk on every day--and said it was good.
- God gave us the earth and told us to fill the earth and care for it. Some translations say, "subdue it", which has lent itself to all kinds of "let's do whatever we want with the earth" kinds of readings and actions. But the original word means something like "to tend and care for in order to make it even more productive." It's basic stewardship.
- In the biblical story, this was all before sin enters the world. Again, this isn't a minor point. No sin=a good material creation + caring for the earth God made for us to care for.
- In the end, God doesn't junk this "test model" for a "better" disembodied existence somewhere else. He recreates it: A new heaven and a new earth. How you think everything will end up someday determines how you act today.
And here's the irony. Part of Perry's point is that he want to keep the main thing, the main thing. And I agree. The environment is not our God. It's not the whole gospel. But it certainly is an implication of living out the Gospel.
Because if we are really "preaching Jesus" won't that result in people who take the Bible seriously; who then care for the poor, visit the sick, speak up for the oppressed, and take care of the environment? And isn't that a really attractive way to live in the first place, thus making Jesus more appealing and "preaching" Jesus without having to drag people into a church service to hear about God? Aren't we living the Kingdom of God?
Plus anyway you look at it, I'm saving $.05 with every bag of groceries I take home in my new (and much roomier than a paper bag) recycled bag. And that means that in about a year, I'll have saved enough to stop at Starbucks for a skim venti, light caramel, Caramel Macchiato. :-)