As an agnostic I had mixed views about the Holocene mass extinction. I really love nature, and so it pains me to see rich ecosystems destroyed, species going extinct or heading that way, diversity reduced by invasive species, etc. In the olden days they called this view ‘deep ecology’, to distinguish it from environmentalism tied to human wellbeing.
At the same time, looking at the vastness of geological timescales, I suspected humans would most likely extinct themselves in short order, and, whilst we would have inflicted deeper and more rapid changes to the world than any prior cataclysm, still, come back in a short few million years and life will be flourishing just as much (if differently) than it was before we got here.
As a new Christian, I need to re-evaluate those thoughts.
If God chose us, uniquely, as image-bearers, do we reflect the pinnacle of His Creation, and as such would He ensure we didn’t extinct ourselves? If so, are we supposed to continue on the current path that pushes inexorably towards squeezing out wild nature entirely, with no circuit-breaker of human extinction to protect the rest of His living Creation? Is there word from God that stewardship extends beyond conserving ecological services upon which humanity depends? Was God’s Creation “very good” in its own right or only inasmuch as it facilitates the flourishing of His image-bearers?
And then, there is the eschaton. I am yet to delve into this but have picked up tidbits. I don’t need to know what God has in mind for the biosphere of the new earth of Rev 21:1, except, if it means annihilation of much of it (“there was no more sea”) does that mean there is no point conserving any of it in the present?
I’m just thinking out loud, very preliminary thoughts - please don’t take offence .
These are heavy topics that I bet have generated heavy shelves full of books. Any suggestions where to start?