Sunday, January 30, 2011

The myth of human autonomy

In modern life children think that milk comes from grocery stores and not from cows. Most of us are rarely at the mercy of "mother nature", the way that farmers are. We are autonomous, successful, and independent. And, if we aren't then we are working hard to make it so! But the doctrine of Creation speaks to this issue of dependence. Karl Barth has an interesting discussion of Genesis 1:29.
29And God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 

That man is directed absolutely to set his hope on God alone has its solid and undeniable counterpart in the fact that he is completely dependent on the cosmos surrounding him. And it is an incontestable and unshakeable sign of the real grace of God addressed to him that the cosmos is a home prepared to satisfy his own and his fellow-creatures' needs, to nourish him and them, 
Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics 3.1 The Doctrine of Creation, p. 207.

The painting is Paradise by Jan Brueghel, the younger (1601-1678).

No comments:

Post a Comment