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Green Like God: Book Review

June 21, 2010

Jonathan Merritt caught my attention with an article he published on The Huffington Post. The article was interesting. More interesting, however, was that he had published a book called, Green Like God.

I, rather skeptically, clicked the link to his website, expecting to find a half-hearted, pseudo Christian who capitalized on the trendiness of the green movement. Kind of a Joel Osteen for environmentalism. After all, the subtitle of Green Like God is “Unlocking the Divine Plan for Our Planet.” Hmm…

It wasn’t long before I realized this guy is for real. A young, theologically conservative Southern Baptist who “fell in love with our green God in an unlikely place: theology class.”

This book isn’t a 5-step plan to going green. It’s not a how-to or a beginners-guide. This is a serious, yet simple, work sharing Merritt’s own “conversion” experience, uncovering the Scriptural call to creation care (yes, we are called to creation care), and shattering our thinking with the truth — “environmental problems are real.”

I’ve read a lot of books on this and related topics. Merritt’s book, in its brevity and simplicity, is one of my favorites. His thorough study of Scripture and the inclusion of (often painful) facts makes this book important and timely.

Whether you’re already “going green” or you think we’re just a bunch of tree-huggers (or you fall anywhere in the middle), please consider picking up this book at your local library. And may God work in each of us to answer the call to creation care in our own lives.

Here are excerpts from the chapter “Skeptics, Cynics, and New York Times Bestsellers.”

“Christians are charged with the task of evangelizing the world, the argument goes, so we can’t let environmental issues distract us from our true mission. They say that we have to choose between evangelism and creation care, and therefore, we must pick evangelism.

“We aren’t forced to choose between sharing the gospel and creation care. It is a false dichotomy. Both are possible. The very fact that the Bible tells us to do both indicates that evangelism and creation care can simultaneously be done well. A vital part of the Great Commission reaches beyond making converts to making disciples teaching them to observe all God commands, including the very first commands to steward the earth.

“When the world sees the Christian community perpetuating systems of wealth and waste, it damages our witness. When they see us living compassionate, sustainable lives, our witness becomes authentic and convincing.

“We aren’t forced to choose between proclaiming the Word of God and carrying out the work God has given us to do. When done properly and proportionately, creation care serves only to strengthen the gospel.”


UPDATE (January 12, 2012)

I’m linking this post back to SortaCrunchy’s Green Resources!

One Comment leave one →
  1. June 21, 2010 9:51 am

    I appreciate your kind words. I also see you are fighting for better toxics laws. I think this is so important! Keep up the good work.


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