Around 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.