In describing God’s creation of humanity in his image and equipping of humanity to live according to that image, we have explored God’s creation of people to exercise dominion, to be fruitful and multiply, to receive God’s provision, to work in relationships, and to observe the limits of creation. We noted that these have often been called the “creation mandate” or “cultural mandate,” with standing out in particular: God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth. A mandate is the authority granted by a constituency to act as its representative. A mandate from a leader is a command you can’t refuse. But that kind of personal command is rarely the meaning of mandate today; much more common are connected with institutions.
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