Gardening Eden

Happy Earth Day everyone! In celebration of said day, I'm reviewing Michael Abbate's book Gardening Eden. I gotta tell you, I thoroughly enjoyed this book! This is one of those weird topics that the predominantly Republican religious right tends to avoid or criticize. Abbate writes on the subject of "creation care" (a term I like much better than environmentalism) in a way that is thoughtful, spiritual, responsible, motivational, and somewhat inspiring. I've read several "green" books, but when I finished this one, I found myself actually wanting to call my landlord about planting a little garden in my backyard. (This is big, because I HATE gardening!)

Gardening Eden starts off basically explaining the physical reasons why we need to be concerned for our environment and why many Christians aren't. Abbate then spends some good time explaining why spiritually this is the right thing for Christians to do. I really like the way he doesn't go off the deep end and give an emotional call to save the dying planet. What he does is give us a great reminder that one of the first things we were called by God to do is to tend his beautiful garden called Planet Earth.

"We don't own the house or the property where we live, God allows us to live here as a privilege for taking care of it. I'm only one of the many people who have shared responsibility to steward the tiny piece of creation under my care today. My goal is to leave it in better shape than I found it and inspire the next person to accept the mantle of stewardship when it's his or her turn to take up the heavy job..."

The final section of the book was my favorite. Abbate spends four chapters discussing practical ways we can be "better gardeners" with Food in the Garden, Energy in the Garden, Transportation in the Garden, and At Home in the Garden. Great stuff!

This is one of those topics that drives me crazy that Christians either shy away from or unreasonably reject. I'm not suggesting (and neither does Abbate) that creation care is our primary purpose, or objective, as Christians. But you CAN'T deny that it IS one of our purposes. I'm thankful for guys like Michael who can passionately, but rationally, remind us of these truths.

Gardening Eden is $10.99 @ CBD.

WaterBrook/Multnomah gave me an extra copy to give away. I'll send it to the first person in the U.S. that comments on this post. (DeadMule, I haven't forgotten about the 'love' books you won. I'll get them in the mail tomorrow!) Good luck!


Don MacGill said...

Sounds like a good book, but do you think it would convince Clint?

Jeff Myers said...

Has a book ever convinced him before? I'm seeing Dave on Monday. I'll give him the book to give to Terrence to give to you... Congrats!