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  • Writer's pictureKent Brandenburg

Fulfilling the Cultural Mandate

We read God talk in Genesis 1, when God the Father says to the other two Members of the Godhead (verses 26-28):

“Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over

every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in

the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them,

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.”

Many have called and call this “the cultural mandate.” Nancy Pearcey in Total Truth explains:

“In Genesis, God gives what we might call the first job description: Be fruitful and multiply

and fill the earth and subdue it. The first phrase, be fruitful and multiply means to develop

the social world: build families, churches, schools, cities, governments, laws. The second

phrase, subdue the earth, means to harness the natural world: plant crops, build bridges,

design computers, compose music. This passage is sometimes called the cultural mandate

because it tells us that our original purpose was to create cultures, build civilizations –

nothing less.”

Given emphasis in the cultural mandate is the expression, “Subdue and have dominion.”

God wanted man to rule over the earth in truth, goodness, and beauty. Something subdued takes on the orderly nature of God Himself, reflecting Him in the way that it appears and acts. God wants societies as much as possible manifesting His nature. Believers especially should contribute to this.

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