Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Are we here to subdue the earth?

7:30 AM. Patrick Sullivan, winemaker at Napa's Rudd Vineyards Winery, had just finished hand spraying biodynamic (check it out) 501 silica mixture on the Edge Hill Vineyard. He and I started talking about how there was something special about this five-acre, head trained vineyard tucked in oak forests just above St. Helena.

This was the perfect setting to ask what kind Lessons he had learned while working in vineyards. Somehow the conversation turned to what Lessons he wants to pass on to his grandchildren. His simple reply: " We need to remember that we are here for the earth. The earth is not here for us." And doesn't biodynamics teach that a vineyard is part of a whole rather than an entity unto itself.

As I was driving to my next appointment, I reflected on Patrick's Lessons for his grandchildren. "We are here for the earth." Biodynamics. We toil on the earth. But weren't we Christians taught at an early age about man's dominion over animals and plants. Genesis 1:28: "And God blessed them [that's our forefathers], and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth."

While driving up the steep grade past Angwin towards a winery striving to be gold LEED certified (check it out if you don't know what that means), on the radio comes news that the BP oil spill was much more serious than first reported. Millions of gallons a day more serious.

So I'm trying to figure out what is the Lesson from the Vineyard here. What exactly does God mean that we are suppose to "subdue" the earth? And have we as Judeo-Christians taken that statement too seriously, out of context or gone too far? Is Patrick's statement, "that we are here for the earth" in conflict with the Bible?

What are your thougths?

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