Today’s church finds itself in a new world, one in which climate change and ecological degradation are front-page news. In the eyes of many, the evangelical community has been slow to take up a call to creation care. How do Christians address this issue in a faithful way?
This evangelically centered but ecumenically informed introduction to ecological theology (ecotheology) explores the global dimensions of creation care, calling Christians to meet contemporary ecological challenges with courage and hope. The book provides a biblical, theological, ecological, and historical rationale for earthcare as well as specific practices to engage both individuals and churches. Drawing from a variety of Christian traditions, the book promotes a spirit of hospitality, civility, honesty, and partnership. It includes a foreword by Bill McKibben and an afterword by Matthew Sleeth.
"An excellent addition to the literature on Christians and creation care. This book provides a biblically rooted and historically informed discussion of important theological and ethical issues, from a distinctly evangelical point of view, with an illuminating discussion of embodied down-to-earth living. It is thorough, well-organized, and well-written. Moreover, it exhibits wide reading and is chock-full of wisdom. I pray many will read this book and be inspired to bear witness to God's good future of shalom."
"Introducing Evangelical Ecotheology is a wonderful new addition to the field. Combining scientific data, personal stories, and careful theological analysis, the authors draw readers into the goodness and pain of God's world and invite them to develop a wholesome response as an act of Christian discipleship. Christians and congregations will learn much and benefit greatly from this book."
"Sometimes you have no idea how much you needed something until it appears. Here is a desperately needed resource for the church where debates about what it means to theologize and ecologize--with the customary cries to apologize, economize, harmonize, decentralize, localize--sound more like sacks of cats than choral evensong."
"Vital and timely. Meets a clear need. Deepens the church's witness on behalf of creation. One could use all of these phrases to describe this important book. But even more important are the clarity, conviction, and passionate engagement with the Bible, the church, and their relationship with the earth that Brunner, Butler, and Swoboda bring to this emerging priority for Christians. This volume will equip and empower pastors and lay leaders alike to develop a faithful ecotheology and to put belief into action."
"As it did years ago, the Church is undergoing another Great Awakening. In this landmark volume, Brunner, Butler and Swoboda have provided the theological resources, inspiration, and vision for a Green Awakening. Weaving together personal stories, biblical readings, theological insights, confessional backgrounds, and practical advice, this co-authored work will prove immensely useful for Christians of all theological persuasions."
"Introducing Evangelical Ecotheology is a highly readable and insightful exploration of new evangelical thinking about the task of 'ecotheology,' that is, Christian theology that re-thinks the Bible and church tradition with constant reference to God's good creation...an excellent volume."
"In this book the authors challenge us to listen to the Spirit that hovers over Creation, to hear how we as residents within Creation, nay, as part of Creation can be conduits through which that same Spirit can begin to heal the groaning Cosmos. Intertwining poetry and prose, personal narrative and scientific data, the voice of the Creator in ancient Scripture can be heard harmonizing with the prophetic and apocalyptic warnings of modern geoscientists. On one hand, this book should create a sense of urgency within the reader as we are shown that loving our neighbor (locally, internationally, inter-generationally) as ourselves is tied directly to caring for Creation. On the other hand, the book’s optimistic practicality in offering theologically informed solutions to the problem should give us hope that this is a challenge that the Church of God can face with confidence that our Lord Jesus Christ has not left us nor forsaken us, but sends us into the world as agents of restoration."
"I highly recommend this book for all people—whether in undergraduate, seminary, or church settings—for it breaks new ground in the development of a distinctly evangelical ecotheology, which is vital in the movement for today and in the years to come."
"Introducing Evangelical Ecotheology has much to commend. It is an accessible volume that leads readers through important topics in Christian history, theology, and practice. Perhaps most importantly, it models dialogue and collaboration. In addition to the unified voice found throughout the main text, the authors highlight their ongoing disagreements in inset discussions of 'tension points.' Many of these are familiar friction points among evangelical Christians – gendered language for God, evolution, politics – and the authors work to model hospitality with one another. The tension points are incredibly valuable in separating concern for the nonhuman creation from entrenched political and social ideologies."
"Situating the call for creation care in the authors’ stories and experiences with eco-ethics in church gives this book a vitality and embodied feel rare in theological literature. Giving the personal backstories to the book, moreover, makes it a narrative of spiritual renewal rather than just an academic work. Their experiences in evangelical churches personify, and will resonate with many, the wider ambivalence toward creation care in evangelical churches. Yet this journey toward creation care, although arising from spiritual angst with their experiences in evangelical churches, did not lead the authors away from their evangelical convictions but was the yield of mining biblical and evangelical, as well as ecumenical, theological resources. Theologically grounded and geared toward showing the way to life practices that are eco-sustainable. This book is not only an excellent resource in how biblical, historical, and contemporary Christian theology relates to creation care, but also, given its grounding in personal narratives, an effective textbook for college and seminary classrooms as well as church groups endeavoring to care for God’s good earth. They effectively give theological substance and concrete pathways for pursuing Christian creation care."