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Green Like God: Unlocking the Divine Plan for Our Planet Hardcover – April 6, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Imagine God recycling bottles and planting trees. In this book by faith and culture writer Merritt, God is honored as the ultimate environmentalist who restores and loves His own creation. Evangelical Christians are less supportive of environmental causes than other groups, a statistic that Merritt attributes to misinformation and politics that hamper understanding. Through a compilation of scripture, statistics, and his own anecdotes, Merritt explains that creation care is a shared moral obligation—not a political viewpoint or a film by Al Gore. The world is God's apologetic about Himself; it is the Christian's job to maintain its beauty and complexity. Merritt arms the reader with Bible verses commanding care for creation; resources and suggestions for green living are given in the appendixes. Himself a convert to the idea of God as green, Merritt is sure to appeal to the hearts of even the most polarized Christians. His guide could be turned into relevant sermon material and should be mandatory reading for churchgoers. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"Merritt's powerful and faith-driven ideas should come as a healthy shock to many Christians. A welcome an salutary salvo for faith-based environmental activism from a conservative Christian." -Library Journal

"By God's providential grace, Jonathan Merritt has become the voice of under-35 evangelical environmentalism. This wonderful book gives us glimpses into his personal journey into creation care as well as thoughtful theological and practical reflections on this critically important subject. I strongly recommend this richly biblical and devotional introduction to caring for God's creation. May it have a huge impact immediately on both the churches and the culture." (David P. Gushee, Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics, Mercer University )

"For too many years the concerns of the environment have fallen to the wayside among God's people. This timely book is a wake-up call to conservatives and liberals that caring for the planet is all of our responsibilities. May your own heart grow a size bigger and a shade greener as you read its pages." (Margaret Feinberg, author of Scouting the Divine: My Search for God in Wine, Wool, & Wild Honey 2009)

"Green Like God is a well written, entertaining, and biblically faithful study of our great Creator and his marvelous Creation. It will challenge and convict you. This is what a good book should do." (Daniel Akin, President of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (Wake Forest, NC) 2009)

"In my head, Jonathan Merritt will forever be a hybrid. With one foot on truths that are eons old and the other leaning into the future, he offers a combination of perspectives that is challenging, inspiring, and difficult to resist." (Jonathan Acuff, blogger and author of Stuff Christians Like 2009)

"In this debut book, Jonathan Merritt brings together biblical integrity, Christian humility, and social sensitivity in a call to care for everything and everyone that God loves. Love God, cherish his world." (David Neff, editor in chief, Christianity Today 2009)

"Jonathan Merritt has blown away political camps with good theology. He shows us the clear biblical evidence of a God who has a green thumb, a Creator who begins the human story by breathing life into dirt and ends the story with the restoration of all Creation as the New Jerusalem comes on earth. Here is a humble and clear call on all people to respond to the degradation of the earth, especially those of us who dare to call ourselves Christians." (Shane Claiborne, activist, author, and recovering sinner )

"Jonathan Merritt is a bold and persuasive spokesperson for our Millennial generation. In GREEN LIKE GOD, he shows that creation care was a central part of God's plan from the very beginning, and remains a priority for all of us today. Read this book and fall in love with the God who gives life and is making all things new." (Ben Lowe, author of Green Revolution (Intervarsity Press) and co-founder of Renewal, a creation care network for college students 2009)

"Jonathan Merritt provides a helpful resource for Christians concenred about creation. Seeking to be both Biblically faithful and culturally aware, GREEN LIKE GOD helps Christians navigate the often tumultuous and controversial waters. I recommend this book to pastors and leaders who desire to care more deeply about the creator and His creation." (Ed Stetzer, author and President of LifeWay Research )

"Jonathan Merritt's GREEN LIKE GOD reintroduces us to a Savior who has eternal love for all of creation. Presenting biblical arguments, personal experiences, and hope for a restored earth, Merritt establishes himself as a prophetic voice for his generation and the entire Church. This book aligns with a growing creation care movement that continues to turn heads and win hearts to Christ." (Matthew Sleeth, MD, author of SERVE GOD, SAVE THE PLANET: A CHRISTIAN CALL TO ACTION 2009)

"Jonathan Merritt's book, GREEN LIKE GOD, is thoughtful, challenging, and engaging. And most importantly it is thoroughly Bible-based. It clearly lays out the sin of despoiling God's good creation and points Christians to a better, God-obeying way. If its message is taken to heart by American Christians, much will be done to save God's creation. And in the process Christians' witness to the world will be strengthened." (Steve Monsma, Research Fellow, the Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics, Calvin College, and professor emeritus of Political Science, Pepperdine University 2009)

"Jonathan Merritt, already one of the leading voices on creation care in our nation, has written this wonderfully readable and personally engaging book. His explanation of biblical perspectives, his compelling personal story, and his practical action points all add up to a vital resource for any Christian sensing a moral responsibility to be a part of God's environmental solution. You've got to read this book!" (Dr. Joel C. Hunter, Senior Pastor, Northland, A Church Distributed )

"Merritt's conversion may not change the world quite as much as Paul's, but he has transformed his classroom epiphany into topic A within...the biggest Protestant body in the U.S." (TIME Magazine 2009)

"[Jonathan's work] is very significant, courageous, groundbreaking...it's cracking the wall of silence on this issue and for that I applaud [him]." (Rich Cizik, Former Vice President for Government Affairs, Natl. Assoc. of Evangelicals 2009)

"Jonathan Merritt seeks a renewed approach to American Society." --Christianity Today, November 2009

"Green Like God is a well written, entertaining, and biblically faithful study of our great Creator and his marvelous Creation. It will challenge and convict you. This is what a good book should do." (Daniel Akin, President of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (Wake Forest, NC) 2009-01-00)

"Jonathan Merritt's GREEN LIKE GOD reintroduces us to a Savior who has eternal love for all of creation. Presenting biblical arguments, personal experiences, and hope for a restored earth, Merritt establishes himself as a prophetic voice for his generation and the entire Church. This book aligns with a growing creation care movement that continues to turn heads and win hearts to Christ." (Matthew Sleeth, MD, author of SERVE GOD, SAVE THE PLANET: A CHRISTIAN CALL TO ACTION 2009-01-00)

"For too many years the concerns of the environment have fallen to the wayside among God's people. This timely book is a wake-up call to conservatives and liberals that caring for the planet is all of our responsibilities. May your own heart grow a size bigger and a shade greener as you read its pages." (Margaret Feinberg, author of Scouting the Divine: My Search for God in Wine, Wool, & Wild Honey 2009-01-00)

"Merritt's conversion may not change the world quite as much as Paul's, but he has transformed his classroom epiphany into topic A within...the biggest Protestant body in the U.S." (TIME Magazine)

"[Jonathan's work] is very significant, courageous, groundbreaking...it's cracking the wall of silence on this issue and for that I applaud [him]." (Rich Cizik, Former Vice President for Government Affairs, Natl. Assoc. of Evangelicals)

"In this debut book, Jonathan Merritt brings together biblical integrity, Christian humility, and social sensitivity in a call to care for everything and everyone that God loves. Love God, cherish his world." (David Neff, editor in chief, Christianity Today 2009-01-00)

"Jonathan Merritt's book, GREEN LIKE GOD, is thoughtful, challenging, and engaging. And most importantly it is thoroughly Bible-based. It clearly lays out the sin of despoiling God's good creation and points Christians to a better, God-obeying way. If its message is taken to heart by American Christians, much will be done to save God's creation. And in the process Christians' witness to the world will be strengthened." (Steve Monsma, Research Fellow, the Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics, Calvin College, and professor emeritus of Political Science, Pepperdine University 2009-01-00)

"Jonathan Merritt is a bold and persuasive spokesperson for our Millennial generation. In GREEN LIKE GOD, he shows that creation care was a central part of God's plan from the very beginning, and remains a priority for all of us today. Read this book and fall in love with the God who gives life and is making all things new." (Ben Lowe, author of Green Revolution (Intervarsity Press) and co-founder of Renewal, a creation care network for college students 2009-01-00)

"In my head, Jonathan Merritt will forever be a hybrid. With one foot on truths that are eons old and the other leaning into the future, he offers a combination of perspectives that is challenging, inspiring, and difficult to resist." (Jonathan Acuff, blogger and author of Stuff Christians Like 2009-01-00)

"At a time when many faithful Jesus followers are rediscovering their calling to work for the common good, comes Jonathan Merritt, who with humility and humor reminds us that loving people and loving God includes caring for creation. A commitment to understand the plain meaning of the Bible and an ability to integrate the Christian imperatives of evangelism, discipleship, scholarship, and compassion make Jonathan one of the most significant voices of a new generation." (Rusty Pritchard, president and co-founder, Flourish 2009-01-00)

"By God's providential grace, Jonathan Merritt has become the voice of under-35 evangelical environmentalism. This wonderful book gives us glimpses into his personal journey into creation care as well as thoughtful theological and practical reflections on this critically important subject. I strongly recommend this richly biblical and devotional introduction to caring for God's creation. May it have a huge impact immediately on both the churches and the culture." (David P. Gushee, Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics, Mercer University 2009-01-00)

"Jonathan Merritt has blown away political camps with good theology. He shows us the clear biblical evidence of a God who has a green thumb, a Creator who begins the human story by breathing life into dirt and ends the story with the restoration of all Creation as the New Jerusalem comes on earth. Here is a humble and clear call on all people to respond to the degradation of the earth, especially those of us who dare to call ourselves Christians." (Shane Claiborne, activist, author, and recovering sinner 2009-01-00)

"Jonathan Merritt, already one of the leading voices on creation care in our nation, has written this wonderfully readable and personally engaging book. His explanation of biblical perspectives, his compelling personal story, and his practical action points all add up to a vital resource for any Christian sensing a moral responsibility to be a part of God's environmental solution. You've got to read this book!" (Dr. Joel C. Hunter, Senior Pastor, Northland, A Church Distributed 2009-01-00)

"Jonathan Merritt provides a helpful resource for Christians concenred about creation. Seeking to be both Biblically faithful and culturally aware, GREEN LIKE GOD helps Christians navigate the often tumultuous and controversial waters. I recommend this book to pastors and leaders who desire to care more deeply about the creator and His creation." (Ed Stetzer, author and President of LifeWay Research 2009-01-00)

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: FaithWords (April 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446557250
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446557252
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #633,232 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jonathan Merritt is a faith and culture writer who has published more than 1000 articles in outlets such as The Atlantic, USA Today, National Journal, The Washington Post, and CNN.com. He is Senior Columnist for Religion News Service, America's largest provider of news and commentary focused on religion and spirituality. His previous books include A Faith of Our Own: Following Jesus Beyond the Culture Wars and Green Like God, which Publisher's Weekly called, "mandatory reading for churchgoers."

Recently named one of 30 leaders reshaping Christian leadership by Outreach Magazine, Jonathan has become a popular speaker at conferences, colleges, and churches. As a respected Christian voice, he has been interviewed by ABC World News, Fox News, CNN, NPR, PBS, Politico, Slate, and The New York Times.

Jonathan sits on the national board of directors for Bethany Christian Services, America's largest adoption and orphan care agency. He holds master's degrees from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and Emory University's Candler School of Theology, and he resides in Brooklyn, NY.

Follow Jonathan on twitter: @jonathanmerritt

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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Marty Duren on April 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover
With the current emphasis on going green that emblazons the cover of many magazines, is the emphasis of many documentaries and, because of the global warming debate, maintains central focus on television talk shows it might be easy to write off Jonathan Merritt's efforts as a mere riding of a wave or jumping into the middle of an already comfortable swimming pool. You'd be mistaken.

For the Christian, Green Like God holds an important allure: It's based on Scripture more than science. In fact, Merritt does not argue that we should be environmentally conscience because the Sierra Club demands it, but because God does. God loves planet Earth; the Discovery Channel did not create our terrestrial home, God did. The Department of the Interior did not set humanity as stewards over the planet, God did. Al Gore was not the first to address environmental issues (whatever his motive and however accurately) God did in the earliest days of humanity and as long as He spoke to His people.

Merritt does address statistics behind the polluting of the planet and quite convincingly so. He uses wide and thorough documentation to build his case, while relegating the global warming controversy to an appendix. His approach is not to convince people to be good stewards of the earth's resources because of statistics, but because of the commands of God about this stewardship and the concerns of God about His creation.

For conservatives who really are concerned about the environment, but were afraid of being pigeonholed as "tree huggers" or "environmental wackos," this book is, so to speak, your salvation. Armed with the theology behind the position, one might find that trees are not what the arms are wrapped around-God is.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bonita A. Portzline on January 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Merritt provides just enough scriptural evidence on basic but substantive issues to convince many of the unconvinced that the bible is a doorway to understanding that God wants us to take care of the earth and its life. Yes, the bible can be read through "green lenses." Of various books I'd recommend for research and study of the "theology of nature," Merritt's would be appropriate for a book study group. It could be useful for an environmental organization wanting to understand what Christianity should be teaching and self-defined Christians ought to put into practice to care for our shared Home. After all, it is crucial that nay-sayers are convinced of the seriousness of the ecological crisis -- convinced from scientific, political, reasoning, and spiritual perspectives. The author comes from a more conservative faith: I believe he is able to speak to those who do not.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By oceanshaman on April 26, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm a lifelong Christian but right up front I have been deeply concerned most of my life that most approaches to the environment by Christians beat the drum on our "dominion" --- with little if any attention to our "Stewardship" --

Jonathan Merritt... maybe he's the writing on the wall and I hope so...

You'll have a hard time arguing with his scholarship or his committment....

his honesty is refreshing.... his humor delightful....

and he makes a case like an attorney!

for our responsibility and obligation to be good stewards of God's creation!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Heather on January 12, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a person interested in creation care, I read with punctuated Amens! throughout the book. For someone who doesn't know what the big deal is, I think they will be pleasantly surprised with the attention to scripture and hopeful, non-judgemental approach Merritt has taken. This book reminds us that we serve a powerful, majestic God who loves us.
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Format: Hardcover
The genius of "Green Like God: Unlocking the Divine Plan for Our Planet" is that it delves further issues of faith and the environment than most other books on the subject. Most of other books in that genre are simply content to say "Take care of the Earth because it belongs to God". Merritt goes further exploring what that really means in modern life (Chapter 11 is an excellent exploration of this). What is the next step for a person of faith who wants to follow God's first instruction to man (Genesis 1:28). Should Christians care for the Earth when their eyes are toward Heaven? How do you protect the environment as an Evangelical, Southern Baptist, or non-denominational Christian? Does "protecting the Earth" mean "nature worship"? Should Christians care for the Earth when we are in the "Last Days?" These are questions that I haven't seen in books on Christianity and the environment.

Merritt takes particular interest in Evangelicals and conservatives, who he feels have equated "environmentalism" with "liberal". He argues that caring for the Earth is not, nor should it be, a "political" issue. It's a human issue. He reflects throughout the book on the opposition he received from others when he provided his view on what the Scriptures say about creation. Many people jumped on the bandwagon, but plenty of others didn't, citing that they didn't want another "Al Gore" or didn't want some "liberal" to interfere with their religious perspective. Merritt argues that conservatives and Evangelicals can maintain their values and protect the Earth.

This culminates in a strong,but "messy" call to action that was actually stronger than I expected.
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