Book Review: Walking Gently on the Earth

April 5, 2011


Graph showing the instances of the term "creation care" appearing in books published in the last 25 years. (Courtesy Google Ngram Viewer).

In the past decade so many books have been published on the topic of creation care that even the most ardent readers may find themselves wearying of one more creation care title on bookstore shelves. However, according to Flourish Managing Editor Kendra Langdon Juskus, Walking Gently on the Earthby Lisa Graham McMinn and her daughter, Megan Anna Neff—is “something different.”

Juskus, writing in Books and Culture says:

Walking Gently is different because it avoids the usual hand-wringing about the church’s miserable failures in the area of creation stewardship. The lack of this sentiment is especially encouraging, not only because such a reprimand is demoralizing, but also because it’s not true. From the land ordinances in Leviticus to the work of Basil of Caesarea, Jonathan Edwards, and Francis Schaeffer, believers’ history of compassionate stewardship is long and robust, even if it doesn’t make as much noise as the larger late 20th-century environmental movement.

Walking Gently brings a Christian perspective to the complex issues of energy, agriculture, climate change, population and animal misery—among others—in a voice that Juskus calls “candid, guileless and trustworthy.” So many writers “attempt to convince their readers of the importance of earthkeeping by stitching Bible passages or church trends to every point they make,” Juskus says. In Walking Gently, however:

… McMinn and Neff don’t subordinate Scripture to a cause, no matter how legitimate the cause or how well Scripture can substantiate it. Instead, gently but firmly, they put us in our place. Scripture is not called to be accountable to environmentalism. We are called to be accountable to a life of Christian character as governed by Scripture. We are re-ordered.

Read the rest of Juskus’ review of Walking Gently and be sure to check out Walking Gently on the Earth. Keep the discussion going about both of them at Flourish’s Facebook page.


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