Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Green Options - Book Review: Serve God Save the Planet

As part of Eco-Libris' ongoing content partnership with Green Options Media, we feature a post that was originally published by Robin Shreeves on August 22 on Sustainablog. Today's post is a book review of a very interesting and unique green book.

I've read a lot of books in the past year about going, being, living, embracing... green. I haven't felt I've wasted my time reading any of them, but every so often one of them will stand out above the rest. I just finished reading J. Matthew Sleeth's book Serve God Save the Planet, and it is one of those books.

For much of the later half of the 20th century, there was a divide between American Christians and environmentalists. There were individual Christians who were involved in environmentalism, but the mainstream church in America ignored the subject. Over the past decade that has been changing, and mainstream Christians are beginning to wake up and smell the shade grown, organic coffee. Books like Sleeth's are much needed in explaining the hows and whys of it all to Christians who are trying to figure out their place in what to many of them is a new green world.

I found Sleeth's book so engaging because he's attempting to live the life that I am attempting to live, too. He and his family have considerably downshifted. They continually purge their lives of stuff, live more simply, grow their own food, and seek new ways to help the planet all while realizing that they have a responsibility to the people on the planet, too.

Early on in the book, Sleeth refutes many of the reasons he hears Christians and others using to not care for the planet - reasons from "God gave us dominion over everything." (which some use to abuse the earth instead of care for it) to "I bought my SUV because its bigger, weighs more, sits up higher, and is safer in a crash. If I'm going to be in a wreck, I want my family to be safe." to "Tree huggers worship nature. I don't want to be involved with them."