Serve God: Save the Planet – A Christians Call to Action.
by. J. Matthew Sleeth, MD.
Hey all! I read this very enjoyable book and wanted to share it with you. I think it’s particularly useful for Christians who are interested in Green stuff to have a book they can hand to their skeptical, or simply overwhelmed, friends as a useful and enjoyable handbook to say – Hey – I don’t agree with everything he writes, but this guy covers all the basics you might want to know about Creation Care. This book is engaging, thoughtful, well written, and most of all – easy to read. (Important when giving people books to read – unless you know they want a challenge.)
Check out this quick review – which I cut and copied from my Good Reads account.
I enjoyed reading this book as a Christian response to “going green.” The author is a very engaging writing who used a lot of personal anecdotes, and well as, I think, sufficiently reminding U.S. Christians that they are rich simply by dint of being born in the US – doesn’t matter what quintile you fall into. You can’t get out of this, so you’ve gotta engage it.
I like how the author didn’t shirk from the “hard stuff” (eg: population control), and provided specific ways to reduce your carbon footprint etc. I like how he related first world actions directly to our third worlds brothers and sisters – I think this is the most important point that Christian sustainability and green advocates need to make. Putting aside the (unfortunately somewhat) more controversial topic of global warming for now, we absolutely must address “our” own selfishness that allows us to ignore others suffering and lack of most basic resources like water and food – in our own favor of exotic foods and belief that our money is ours to spend as we will on whatever will make our lives most convenient, enjoyable, and ‘cool.’
Overall I thought he presented a very balanced portrayal of all the aspects that make up “saving the planet,” Energy, Food, Materialism… etc.
All that being said: two things bothered me; the author is certainly no Biblical scholar and interprets several Bible passages in a literal way which many theologians agree should not be interpreted as such. I, of course, applaud his use of many verses and having a Scriptural base for his position on the environment, however I wish he hadn’t overstepped his own knowledge by wading into theological territory.
Going back to my introduction however, I do wish he had addressed his unique position in being a person who, no doubt, earns a fair bit more than most/all of his readers and has had that cushion of wealth to fall back upon as he was making lifestyle accommodations – even ones that ended up saving him more money. Even if he had discussed more often the difference between people in his own income bracket, that would have been nice. I’m not saying numbers, I’m just saying he never really acknowledged that yes, all U.S citizens are privileged but he (and family) are particularly privileged.