Biblical understanding of "dominion"greenspun.com : LUSENET : Intentional Technology : One Thread
What is the biblical understanding of "dominion"? What is the illustration, the source?
-- Anonymous, May 11, 1999
Critt -- Entire theologies have been written on this (which, for the most part, I don't agree with). I was thinking primarily of the early part of Genesis, where the term and concepts like "rule" occur frequently (including man's rule over the rest of creation).
Whether OT views of dominion correspond with our modern Western culture's ideas of dominion (domination?) is debatable. My sense is that earlier ideas include legitimate "power" relations but also connote a sense of "nurture" and "care" towards the object of the dominion (Adam towards Eve among other things).
More basically (or basally), dominion over all things, in "heaven", on "earth" or "under" the earth have been assigned to Jesus Christ by the Father. His dominion is, by definition, entirely trustworthy, since He IS love towards all (a love imbued with justice but no less love for that).
Consequently, the only licit and safe dominion for "man" is derivative from and in submission to the Son of God. While dominion can be a flash subject, perhaps, it is hugely important, IMO, rightly understood.
I would suggest you take a look at the first few chapters of Genesis with this in mind and hit me with another question if needed. And, at that point, I can supply some specific texts.
-- Anonymous, May 25, 1999
I have a few thoughts/questions for consideration on this topic.
Can we assume that the authority that God gave man, specficially in regards to dominion over the earth, was still valid after the Fall?
The Fall itself voided most of the promises that God made to Adam and Eve. Among other things, they spiritually died and were cast from the Garden.
I have heard it theorized that by yielding to the temptations of the serpent in disobeying God, man also yielded his authority over to Satan.
Doesn't the New Testament have several indications of Satan's authority on the earth? Isn't he referred to as the Prince of the power of the air? And elsewhere as the Prince of this world? In the Old Testament, wasn't a demon named as the Prince of Persia? And doesn't scripture describe demonic strongholds as principalities and powers (an indication of authority and dominion)?
When Satan tempted Jesus, he spoke of giving Jesus authority as a reward if Jesus were to worship him. Is that the authority that Genesis referred to as dominion? Jesus didn't question that the authority was Satan's to give. How did he get that authority if not from man?
By refusing to give in to Satan's temptations, wasn't Jesus, through His obedience, redeeming what Adam had lost? Doesn't the NT proclaim that through His obedience on the cross, Jesus won the victory and made a public spectacle of the principalities and powers of this world? And when Jesus returns, will He not redeem the earth making everything new and restoring the Garden (see the end of Revelations)?
I would submit that man today (apart from Christ Jesus) is exercising a form of dominion that derives its authority from Satan which explains the tragic way in which we've managed this planets resources and conducted the affairs of mankind. In other words, the reason we have resource depletion, world-wide pollution, realized and impending ecological disasters, wars, famine and poverty is that this world is governed by evil incarnate and that the only reason things have not deteriorated into complete socio-political and environmental anarchy is that God's Hand restrains the devil's plans and sustains everything.
Did Hebrews 1:3 not say, "He sustains all things by the power of His word"? So while Satan is busy trying to kill and destroy, God is busy sustaining and redeeming.
I would further submit that as God's children, we bear the responsibility to assist in the work of redemption. I would surmise, however, that while we derive our authority from Jesus, that until He returns to rule and reign, we will be incapable of making the necessary changes.
Two things are lacking: (1) The evil needs to be removed, and (2) Jesus needs to be on the throne in Jerusalem.
Food for thought I hope.
-- Anonymous, June 09, 1999