Green Like God by Jonathan Merritt
I have to say that I was a little skeptical when I first started this book. Environmentalism and “Go Green” is so politically correct and cool, I guess, that I didn’t want want a re-hash of what we’ve already been told over and over again. But this was so much better than my expectations. I usually use post-its in books, both fiction and non-fiction, to mark passages I find interesting, beautiful, thought -provoking, that strike me in some way. Usually, there’s maybe 5 marked pages when I’m finished with a book. This time I think I’ve got like 20 pages marked, which is pretty impressive for such a short book. It just grabbed my attention.
Of all things I’ve grown to love most about God, topping the list is that He is so unexpected. Parting the Red Sea? Who would have predicted that one? Feeding a crowd from a child’s lunch box? No way. Wrapping His only Son in human flesh? No one but god can take such eccentricity and squeeze out such profundity. (pg. 57)
Merritt’s basic point is that God created the earth, loves it, and it is our duty as Christians to be stewards of creation. He doesn’t care about your political leanings, about society’s green fad. He uses scripture after scripture, Old and New Testament, statistics, and his own stories to prove his point, that it is a Christians responsibility to treat the environment, all the plants and animals, with respect. I think for me is was eye opening. I recycle, use canvas shopping bags, grow a garden, because I’m supposed to, it’s good for the environment, but I never really thought of it as a duty.
We should care for this world, not primarily because it benefits us and not even because it benefits an inherently good creation, but out of obedience to the God who commands it. We care for His creation as worship for God the Creator. (pg. 49)
Merritt doesn’t expect us to be vegan, he wants us to realize that we can use creation to meet our needs, God gave us that right, but what we don’t have the right to do is abuse nature to satisfy our greed.
I could go on and on about the scriptures he uses to support his position, from the Genesis story, through Leviticus and Job, the Psalms and Proverbs, through Jesus’ teachings and even into Revelation.
The nations were angry; and your wrath has come.
The time has come for judging the dead,
and for rewarding your servants the prophets
and your saints and those who reverence your name,
both small and great—
and for destroying those who destroy the earth. (Rev. 11:18 NIV)
I think this is a good book for Christians to read, both those interested in creation care and those who have never thought of it. Merritt shows what God has said time and again and shows us what devastation our current environmental practices are causing.
This book is not a list of things you should do to be greener, although it does give some suggestions and resources. It showed me a different way of thinking, a Biblical-based way of looking at nature that hadn’t struck me before. Honestly, pick this one up. I think it’ll be worth your time.
Jonathan Merritt, the author, is a faith and culture writer who has published over 100 articles in respected outlets such as USA Today, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Washington Post’s “On Faith” blog, and Relevant, Outreach and Charisma magazines. As a respected Christian voice, he has been interviewed by ABC World News, NPR, PBS’ Religion and Ethics Newsweekly, the UK Guardian, The New York Times and The Washington Post. He earned a Master of Divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (Wake Forest, NC) in 2008, and is currently a Master of Theology candidate at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology (Atlanta, GA).
Published April 6, 2010 by FaithWords
190 pages, including Appendix and Notes
Challenges: 100+, A-Z
I received my copy from the publisher for review and the above is my honest opinion. I am an Amazon associate.