Malthusianism vs. Covenantalism

Text by Gary North

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 (Gen. 1:28).

That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies (Gen. 22:17).

And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude (Gen. 32:12).

The message is clear: the primary blessing in history is an expanding population of covenant-keepers. Man’s dominion assignment from God mandates population growth. God’s covenantal promise to Abraham involved a multiplication of his heirs. World dominion and population growth are linked.(1)

This fact is no longer taken seriously by most Protestant Christians. It is, however, taken very seriously by the zero population growth movement, which sees man as the cancer of the world. Man’s dominion over nature is seen as the ultimate threat to nature. Bill McKibben has stated this theology well: “We have deprived nature of its independence, and that is fatal to its meaning. Nature’s independence¬†is¬†its meaning; without it there is nothing but us.”¬†Nothing but man: this is blasphemy in the minds of modern pantheists and nature-worshippers.

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