Dare to Care for God's World
Recent years have seen a proliferation of books on a Christian approach to environmental care. We have had Russell, the Hodgsons, White and Spencer, Berry and Bookless. Why the resurgence of interest? What is interesting is that most of these authors have imbibed a neocalvinist framework: creation, fall and redemption. Many via Tom Wright and his amplification of the three stage into a five part play. Such is the case of Bookless in this book.
Bookless was throwing away some rubbish while on holiday when he felt God spoke in an inner whisper to him 'How do you think I feel about what you are doing to my world?' This book is the result of careful thought about that revelation and shift in perspective. As he puts it: 'God spoke, creation groaned, and worship could never be the same again'.
Bookless is the National Director of A Rocha UK, a Christian environmental group, so this book is the result of thought and action. This is no armchair theorising.
He starts by utilising Tom Wright's five acts framework of Creation, Fall, Israel, Jesus and the present future age. These form the first five chapters of the book. He writes in an engaging and helpful way. Though I would have liked to have seen more emphasis on the cultural mandate. His approach is very accessible and readable, each chapter ends with a three questions which aid reflection and discussion. The influence of another Wright - Christopher J. H. - is also evident here. Not only in the number of triangles but with the emphasis on land.
The remaining chapters, 6-9, all look have the title: 'Living it out: X as if creation matters'. Where X is discipleship, worship, lifestyle and mission. Here we see these important topics in the light of creation. He makes an important observation: 'Can you spot Christians by the cars that they drive (not just the the bumper stickers)...?' p.117. There are many wise practical and attainable ideas for how we can make our discipleship and lifestyle consistent with our beliefs and he manages to do it in a way that is not guilt inducing.
Unfortunately, there is no index, but there are three pages of end notes and two and a half pages of useful resources.
This is one of the best of the recent spate of green books. Highly recommended!
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