Is God Green? by Lionel Windsor
If you’re like me then you don’t even question whether a Christian should care about the environment and do all that is reasonable and within their power to look after the planet. But as I get older I keep finding out that everyone is not like me. And maybe you know people, and you might be one of them, who don’t make much of an effort to recycle, who don’t take the time to understand the real problems and the real solutions to climate change and who don’t even compost? If you were to ask my Bible study women about me, I am pretty sure that they would mention my devotion to recycling. So yes, I do come to this book without needing to be convinced, but rather with a yearning to have all my good intentions line up with solid biblical thinking.
What I like about Lionel Windsor’s book Is God Green? is that he presents an easy to understand explanation of how the world sees the environment, and then shows how the Bible sees the environment. He steps back to look at the real problem and then explains how humans are to interact with the planet they live on.
Awareness about environmental damage and destruction has grown over the past years, to the point where you would have to have your head in the sand to be unaware of the very real threats to the planet. And so Windsor asks ‘How do you feel about these issues? Are you worried? Distracted? Anxious? Complacent? Resigned? Apathetic? Confident? Skeptical?’ He’s aware that we all come to this discussion with different ideas and emotions. Before he trained for Christian ministry, Lionel Windsor was a solar energy engineer. He is well qualified to help us see environmental issues from a biblical perspective. What he does in this book is to ask us to step back and rather than applying a green lense to every issue we want to understand, to look at the big picture and ‘to understand God, his son Jesus Christ, and His purposes for our world.’
The real problem is sin
I found the ABC’s War on Waste programs helpful in reminding me that I can make a difference and that with small changes to my daily habits that I can significantly reduce the amount of waste that is thrown into landfill. But even if I tried very hard, recycled everything and devoted my whole life to reducing waste, I couldn’t fix the problem of my sin. Windsor reminds us that humans are out of step with the creator and they are out of step with the creation. They don’t perform their God given role of caring for the creation. They live for themselves. And even doing things isn’t going to solve the root problem of sin. In chapter four he will begin to talk about the solution.
I think that most Christians could read this book so that they know why they think what they think, and so that they can decide on their response to environmental destruction from a biblical perspective. This isn’t an academic tome full or jargon and philosophical arguments. It might not be the right book to give to your braniac activist friend, but it would certainly be a great book to give to a teenager. Get in there early and help them see that humans are the problem, but they are also meant to be part of the solution. It would be excellent for a book club, a great quick read over the holidays, and a good resource for those in ministry to be able to teach others why it is that Christians just can’t be complacent about the environment.
Meet Rachael Collins
Rachael is a Janeite, a Whovian, and a follower of Jesus. Rachael enjoys gardening, drinking tea and sewing. In between planting a new church and making chocolate fudge, she really hopes to read some good books this year.