Our Responsibility Toward Creation
"Obedient unto death...." Perhaps the most crucial aspect of Christian obedience to God today concerns the responsibility of the Christian in a technological society toward God's creation and God's will for His creation. Obedience to God's will for nature and for man--respect for nature and for man--in the awareness of our power to frustrate God's designs for nature and for man--to radically corrupt and destroy natural goods by misuse and blind exploitation, especially by criminal waste. The problem of nuclear war in only one facet of an immense, complex and unified problem.
There are very grave problems in the implications of certain kinds of Christian outlooks on "the world." The crux of the matter seems to be what extent a Christian thinker can preserve his independence from obsessive modes of thought about secular progress. (Behind which is always the anxiety for us and for the Church to be "acceptable" in a society that is leaving us behind in a cloud of dust.) In other words, where is our hope? If in fact our hope is in a temporal and secular humanism of technological and political progress, we will find ourselves, in the name of Christ, joining in the stupidity and barbarism of those who are despoiling His creation in order to make money or get power for themselves. But our hope must be in God. And he who hopes in God will find himself sooner or later making apparently hopeless and useless protests against the barbarism of power.
April 15, 1965, V.227-28