As creatures made in God’s image, we have been tasked to represent the Lord in His creation. In this creational mandate, we’re guided by words such as work, keep, subdue, and have dominion (Genesis 1:28 and 2:15).
An engineer’s role in this service is to use science and technology to care for the entirety of creation — humans, other creatures, and the natural environment — in a way that both develops its potential and ensures that our activities do not impair its ability to flourish in the future.With responsible application of tools and design techniques, the creation can be opened up to serve the Lord in innovative ways. Consider that without our intervention trees declare the glory of God (Isaiah 44). However, with engineering these trees can serve in new ways by being transformed into homes and barns that provide shelter for humans and livestock.
Certainly, creation’s development would still occur even if Christians were not involved. However, without Christian engineers the current trends toward humanistic (e.g., saving the world through our engineering abilities) or naturalistic (e.g., preserving the non-human creation in a form uninfluenced by humans) motivations would dominate. As we engage the field of engineering, we can work to influence the path of development in ways that obey the Lord’s commands.
Engineers also have a responsibility to ease the effects of sin in the world. When we fell into sin, our actions not only damaged our relationship with God, but also had profound impact on creation. For example, Romans 8 reads that because of our fall, “the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly,” and that now “the whole creation has been groaning together” under the effects of sin. Although all of creation continues to suffer the effects of the fall, we rejoice in Christ, who is reconciling all things (humankind and the physical creation) through his blood (Colossians 1:20). As we work to apply engineering to ease suffering throughout creation, Christ may be working through us as he eradicates sin.
In recognition of our biblical mandates to engage creation and ease suffering, Christian engineers seek to obediently and normatively glorify God and love our neighbor in an untold number of service areas.