I would highly recommend Michael Abbate’s Gardening Eden: How Creation Care Will Change Your Faith, Your Life, and Our World. I was fortunate enough to receive a couple of copies in a special pre-release (I gave the additional copy to one of our interns). This book is available at TextBooksRUs.com for under $8.00 a piece. You can learn more, or even purchase a copy of the book, at Random House’s website (http://www.randomhouse.com/gm/results.pperl?title_subtitle_auth_isbn=gardening+eden).
David once sang God’s praises by proclaiming, “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet: all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! (Psalm 8:3-9, NIV).
The author wrote, “We strive to be liberal in love, conservative with resources” (Abbate, 217). The environment should not be a political issue – but one of worship to our God. We have been entrusted with his creation – we have been given dominion (not domination). This world is not about me, it is not about more, and it is not about now. I appreciate the author’s biblical instruction and practical ideas. He does not approach the subject as an environmentalist (who often focus too much attention on the art and can resort to blaming others) but instead as a conservationist (who focuses on the Artist and thus takes responsibility personally). My hope is that the church would join in celebrating Earth Day – not in honor of the dirt that we walk on but instead by using this day to remind others of our Creator and his gift to us.
Official Description: 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 Yet today, many believe God’s original job description for humankind has been replaced by other worthier pursuits.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.
Official Biography: 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 and Landscape Architecture and in many local newspapers and trade publications. He and his wife, Vicki, have two adult daughters and live near Portland, Oregon.