Monday, April 20, 2009

Gardening Eden - My review

The subtitle is "How creation care Will change your faith, your life, and our world."

This book was my first into the "Green" arena as a Christ-follower. 

I believe as a follower of God, our Creator, we are to care for this beautiful ball of mud just like He asked us to do--Manage or "nurture" the earth. But I'll admit I've often squirmed when zealous "tree-hugger types" have taken things to such an extreme that trees and spotted owls become more precious than human lives. I still don't get that, I'll admit. So, at times, I have over-reacted with a lack of great concern for how we're caring for (or not) our planet.

It's from  that perspective that I write a positive review on Michael Abbate's book. 

Using the gardening theme, Abbate gives us gardening principles and then, more practically, gives us 50 gardening tips from healthy eating to wise transportation decisions to home conservation. His book is filled with practical tips, statistics, illustrations and websites. It is more of a Green 101 book for the evangelical trying to find his way in the conversation but having trouble getting traction.

At times I wanted to put the book down but about that time a good story would remind me why this is so relevant. 

Also, he comes from the perspective that global warming is real and relevant, though he acknowledges that how much is man-made is still hotly debated. Nevertheless, he rightly asserts that we have a stewardship issue as God's people weather there is a global warming problem or not. 

I recommend this to those who are trying to get up to speed on creation care and what are we as Christ-followers supposed to do about that. Clearly we have some serious catching up to do!

Gardening Eden:
Before the snake, the apple, and the Ten Commandments, God created a garden, placed humans in it, and told them to take care of it.

“Spiritual environmentalism” did not start out as an oxymoron—it was an invitation. Yet today, many believe God’s original job description for humankind has been replaced by other worthier pursuits. So when did this simple instruction become so controversial? How does one sort through all the mixed messages? Is making the world a healthier place for the next generation really a responsibility—or even possible?

Gardening Eden is a new understanding of how the spiritual dimensions of life can find expression and renewal through caring for our incredible planet. Empowering, simple, and never polemical, Michael Abbaté outlines the Bible’s clear spiritual benefits of caring for creation, exploring new motivations and inspired ideas, and revealing the power of our basic connection to all people and living things through the growing interest in spiritual environmentalism.

Green living is no longer a fad—simple lifestyle solutions are now available to everyone. Gardening Eden shows readers how this shift transforms not only our world, but their very souls as they’re drawn into deeper harmony with the Creator. This book invites them to discover the powerful spiritual satisfaction of heeding the call to save our world. 

Author Bio:

A nationally recognized expert in “green” development strategies, Mike Abbaté is a founder of GreenWorks, an award-winning landscape architecture design firm. He frequently speaks to students and leaders about practical ways to minimize the impact of building and landscape design on natural resources. Abbaté’s work has been featured in national magazines such as Metropolis andLandscape Architecture and in many local newspapers and trade publications. He and his wife, Vicki, have two adult daughters and live near Portland, Oregon.