What is an eco-Christian? And is the God of the Bible green, as in eco-concious, planet-loving, save-the-earth green? Author Jonathan Merritt believes that Christians can be followers and worshippers of God and environmentalists at the same time and he has written Green Like God to prove it.
In the book’s introduction, Merritt admits that he “didn’t always believe” that God is green. In the first chapter, the author explains how his change of heart came about and his desire for knowledge and truly following after God’s will caused him to take a look at the choices he was making in relation to the environment.
Chapters 2 through 7 all fall under the heading The Hidden Truths in God’s Word and each chapter ends with a recap of the information presented as a Plan Point for that chapter. It’s a way for the reader to be reminded of the information learned in that chapter. For example, the chapter titled A Deeper Shade of Green is followed with “Rather than ‘going green’ because it’s trendy. God wants us to live according to the truths of His Word.”
Chapters 8 through 12 are gathered under the heading Our Assignment in God’s World and detail the current state of several environmental issues such as clean drinking water, quality of soil, and the conditions under which animals are raised for food. There are no easy answers here and each of these chapters gives the reader the opportunity to pause and reflect on their personal role in the condition of the earth and where changes could be made in choices.
Three appendices follow; Guidelines for a Greener Life, The Big Bad Climate Question, and Resources. The guidelines appendix includes simple tips on topics like energy reduction and advocacy. The appendix dealing with the climate is compelling, especially for those who may not believe all the media hype about the delicate state the environment is in. The resources appendix will prove invaluable for the reader looking for information on everything from energy-efficient appliances to recommended books on creation care to organizations that are both Christian and environmental.
Jonathan Merritt is not just some young idealist who doesn’t know what he is talking about. He has had articles published in USA Today and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution; he has been interviewed on NPR and ABC World News. He is also the founder of the Southern Baptist Environment and Climate Initiative. He holds degrees from Liberty University, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Emory University’s Candler School of Theology.
This book would be excellent reading for the environmentalist that doubts Christians care about the environment. It would also be a great book for Christians who think all environmentalists are tree-hugging, patchouli-wearing, granola eaters. It examines Scriptures that have been part of Christian bible-teaching for centuries and sheds new light on them. It also looks at environmental issues from a Christian perspective and forces followers of Christ to look at things the way the Creator does. Merritt never elevates anything created above the Creator and warns against such behaviors. He simply points out ways people, Christians included, should be responding to the world God created and its current condition.
The basis for the entire book comes from this one Scripture found in Genesis 1:31, “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.”
Title: Green Like God: Unlocking the Divine Plan for Our Planet
Author: Jonathan Merritt
Publisher: FaithWords (April 6, 2010)
List Price: $16.99
Green Like God: Unlocking the Divine Plan for Our Planet can be found online at amazon.com and Berean Christian Stores, and at the following independent booksellers in northern California.
100 Butcher Street
Rio Dell, California 95562
1239 Noriega St
San Francisco, CA 94122-4407
Lighthouse Christian Supply
7188 Amador Plaza Rd
Dublin, CA 94568-2318
Berean Christian Stores
2659 Alta Arden Expy
Sacramento, CA 95825-1306
Jireh’s Christian Books, LLC
4340 Golden Center Dr Ste A
Placerville, CA 95667-6280