Keeping God’s Earth: The global environment in biblical perspective
Noah J. Toly and Daniel I. Block (eds)
Apollos (IVP), 300 pages, £16.99, ISBN: 978-1-84474-450-3
This is a challenging book about environmental issues, to wake evangelicals up to their responsibilities in caring for God’s creation.
This is sorely needed, at a time when environmental concern is dominated by non-Christian groups, and evangelicals appear shamefully silent and apathetic regarding the matter.
The book comprises essays from a range of scientists and evangelical theologians highly qualified in their respective fields. Each section has two chapters outlining a particular environmental issue followed by a biblical perspective.
Topics covered are cities, diversity of life (biodiversity), water resources and climate change. The environmental chapters do an excellent job in highlighting issues that should trouble Christians. Significantly, they help to overcome the popular myth that environmental problems are either non-existent or not caused by man.
The biblical chapters are edifying and thought-provoking, and leave us in no doubt as to our responsibility before God to the created earth, its non-human inhabitants and our fellow humans.
We are encouraged to be responsible servant-kings of creation, following God’s own example. We are also reminded to love our neighbours around the world who suffer disastrous consequences of environmental injustice and climate change: ‘By caring for the earth, we reflect God’s own loving care for the world. By seeking a sustainable future, we express love for people living throughout the world and generations yet to come’.
The environmental chapters are academic, but generally very readable. Some of the biblical chapters are perhaps a little technical, but should pose little problem for the average evangelical. Occasionally, some of the environmental authors betray an evolutionary presupposition, but that does not significantly affect their arguments.
All Christians will benefit from this book, but especially church leaders who want to teach their flock and lead by example. I found it immensely helpful and stimulating!