books climate change conservation environment lifestyle religion

Planetwise, by Dave Bookless

Dare to Care for God's WorldAround this time last year I attended a conference on sustainable living where Dave Bookless was the main speaker, and that conference was one of the key influences behind this site. So I’ve had my eye out for this book for a little while. It seems rather strange to me that there hasn’t been a simple introductory book on Christianity and the environment. It seems a remarkable oversight. Or perhaps there are some, and I’ve failed to find them. Either way, there is one now.

Planetwise deals with that recurring question of whether or not Christians should be concerned with the environment. And if they should, how should they live in response.  The author’s answer is an adamant yes, caring for the earth is not just an intrinsic part of the Christian faith, but right at the heart of what it is to be human.

Following a pattern of creation, fall, and redemption, Planetwise shows how the Christian message is good news for the whole planet, how God’s promises include the earth itself, and where we have sold Jesus’ message short with a narrow perspective of soul-saving and future heaven.

In response, Bookless calls Christians to incorporate good environmental stewardship into their discipleship, worship, and mission. That involves lifestyle change. “Can you spot Christians by the cars they drive,” he asks, “the contents of their shopping trolleys or the amount of waste they send to landfill?” Perhaps one day we will, and we’ll be a little closer to meaning what we say when we pray “your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

  • Dave Bookless is the director of conservation organisation Arocha UK.


  1. I just found your blog, again, I think I had read it before, but I’ve now added it my feeder thing via simplepastor.. I have been surprised by the lack of solid christian writing on the environment, in a way that deals with the problem at the root. That dare to question christians driving etc..

    Tony Campolo’s book from 1992 didn’t help me, it asserts that roses have feelings, women should teach men to be men and other things that confused me, vegetarianism being a necessary but not, but then again…

    Following the series at MarsHill on God is Green I read guest speaker Matt Sleeth’s Serve God Save the Planet, which is fun, but again, not solid or systematic

    Boise Vineyard did, for me, the definitive four week enviro series a few years ago. I haven’t read Tri Robinson’s book, but if it is as good as his talks, it should be worth a try:

    Then there’s Schumacher’s Small is Beautiful, which is christianised, but short of being full on evangelical..

    Recently I was sent a link to these chaps: If they publish it may give some more systematic biblical enviro something.

    Do keep blogging books on this etc, you’ve got fascinating stuff on here. Thanks for the head up on this one.


  2. Thanks for the recommendations Phil, I hadn’t come across all of those. I’d add the chapter on the environment in ‘The Mission of God’, by Chris Wright, which is as good a summary as you’ll find anywhere.

    And for some more Christian thought from Schumacher, check out this essay:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: