Edward O. Wilson is a well-known biologist. The Diversity of Life, one of his most popular books, is a sweeping analysis of biodiversity on our planet – its origins, the forces that threaten to destroy it, and the urgent need to preserve it. It’s a good introduction to the science, but more than that, it is a clarion call for the preservation of the Earth’s natural heritage.
J. Matthew Sleeth used to be a doctor and a director of a Hospital Emergency Room. Giving it up for a life of simplicity, he now goes around teaching about creation care and the environment. This book provides a biblical basis for Christian environmentalism – which according to him, boils down to loving God and loving our neighbours. He then goes about suggesting ways in which we can play our part – some of them familiar, others surprising. How can we make a difference in our world by watching less television, not working on Sundays, strengthening family ties, giving up our possessions, and being less obsessive about our health? J. Matthew Sleeth offers a very evangelical perspective on things, and I think he tends to stretch the interpretation of certain passages in Scripture quite a bit to support his own views. Not that I disagree about creation care being a part of our Christian responsibility and mission. It’s just that there are so many arguments that one can use in support of the cause, especially when one looks at it from a more missional perspective. This doesn’t take away the value of its contents though, especially for those who come from the Evangelical stream of Christianity.