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ss triple helix - summer 2009,  Planetwise


Dare to Care for God's World
Dave Bookless
Inter-Varsity Press 2008
£7.99 Pb 160pp
ISBN 978 1 84474 251 6

A number of books have been published recently, rightly responding to the fact that Christians have not taken their responsibility towards God's earth seriously. Planetwise is a new contribution by Dave Bookless, a vicar and director of A Rocha UK, a Christian environmental movement.

The first half is a biblical theology of 'creation care', drawing out the big picture of our responsibility for the environment. It is refreshingly readable and hopeful, not merely aiming to induce guilt. It reminds us that creation and redemption are inseparable, and that Jesus is right at the centre of both. Bookless anticipates questions and addresses them, providing helpful exegesis of tricky passages.

The second half explores how we 'live it out'. This section seems to me theologically weaker, resorting to proof-texting in a number of incidences. Bookless needs to do more work to convince us of some of his points. This is a shame given the fact that this section is helpful in not simply reciting common lists of 'green top tips'. In particular, the direct experiences from the author's family life are refreshing.

If you're looking for an introduction to the issue I wouldn't start here. Try the chapter on the environment in John Stott's New Issues Facing Christians Today. If you know more, and want some creative practical applications, then this book is helpful.

Rachel Roach is a part time environmental policy consultant.

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