Can This Bible Verse Be Saved?

In last week’s sermon we did a deep dive into Genesis 1 and came to recognize that the “formless void” described in the first verse might be dark and chaotic but is also a place filled with hope and opportunity. All things that every have been or ever will be begin there. When we find ourselves feeling like our lives are like that formless void, we should expect that the Spirit of God is hovering somewhere nearby, getting ready to create something new and beautiful beyond our imagining.

But in that sermon, I also threw a flag at Genesis 1:28, which gives the newly-minted humans “dominion” over all God has made and tells them to “subdue” the earth. In hindsight, this verse looks like a very poor management decision on God’s part. Many, many people working to save endangered species, find sustainable energy solutions, and otherwise work to help the planet read that verse and want nothing more to do with the Bible and sometimes toss out Christian faith entirely. It seems to justify the very spoiling of the earth they are working to prevent.

But what if there were another way to read that verse? Might a different interpretation lead to different behavior? The old Ladies’ Home Journal magazine had a column called “Can this marriage be saved?” This week’s sermon is that kind of effort, only for Bible verses. Can Genesis 1:28 be saved? You’ll have a chance in Sunday’s sermon to try.