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Serve God, Save the Planet: A Christian Call to Action Hardcover – May 1, 2006

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Editorial Reviews


Five years ago Dr. J. Matthew Sleeth and his family lived in a big house, had two luxury cars, loads of money, and lots of stuff. As chief of the medical staff at a large hospital, Sleeth was living the American dream--until he realized that something was terribly wrong. As he saw patient after patient suffering from cancer, asthma, and other chronic diseases, he began to understand that the Earth and its inhabitants were in trouble. Feeling helpless, he turned to his faith for guidance. He discovered how the timeless lessons of personal responsibility, simplicity, and stewardship taught in the Bible could be applied to modern life. The Sleeths have since sold their big home and given away more than half of what they once owned. In Serve God, Save the Planet, Sleeth shares the joy of adopting a less materialistic lifestyle, and reveals what was easy and what was hard about the changes his family has made. Drawing on science and religion, Sleeth builds a bridge between environmentalists and mainstream Christians. He and his family are harbingers of the creation care movement, which calls on all those who love God to love our planet. Sleeth shares how material downscaling led his family to healthier lifestyles, stronger relationships, and richer spiritual lives. Serve God, Save the Planet is more than a book: it is a prescription for taking personal responsibility for global survival.

About the Author

J. Matthew Sleeth, MD, a former emergency room director and chief of medical staff, now writes, preaches, and teaches full-time about faith and the environment. Together with his wife, Nancy, and their two children, he helps lead the growing eco-evangelism movement. The Sleeths live in northern New Hampshire.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Chelsea Green; English Language edition (May 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933392010
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933392011
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #750,950 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Matthew Sleeth, MD, a former emergency room physician and chief of the hospital medical staff, resigned from his position to teach, preach, and write about the biblical call to be good stewards of God's creation. A highly sought after speaker, Dr. Sleeth has spoken at more than 1,000 churches, campuses, and events. He is the executive director of Blessed Earth and the author of several books and church curricula. Dr. Sleeth lives in Lexington, Kentucky, with his wife Nancy. They have two grown children, Clark, a physician preparing for a calling in medical missions, and Emma, an Asbury graduate and author.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By B. Spaulding on June 6, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I found this book to be an easy read although it does contain a wealth of information. Many of the topics confirm scripture and many are confirmed by life around me but all of the points are very motivational for change. Some of Dr. Sleeth's personal stories brought a chuckle and others moved me with deep compassion. I purchased four copies of the book to give to friends and family, including my son and daughter-in-law who live in Washington state. They both are marine biologists and are very interested in environmental issues. They struggle when it comes to convincing their church friends that we are all responsible to God to take care of this planet. This book is such a great tool because it makes it so clear...if we love God and we say we love what He loves, we must act like it. Taking care of the earth is one of our responsibilities before God and it is not optional. My husband is an oral surgeon and we attend a conservative, independent Baptist church. Our pastor read the book and now is planning to organize a workshop on stewardship for area churches using this book. I give this book five stars for convicting and instructing me to change. I thank Dr. Sleeth for helping to bridge the gap between environmentalist and Christians...a gap that clearly should not exist.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By C. L. Shoemaker on June 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
'Serve God, Save the Planet', is a groundbreaking environmental book that presents the caretaking of earth as a biblically supported Christian mandate. Although Dr. Sleeth delivers his environmental message from a Christian point of view, this is a book which will serve all readers, regardless as to their religious affiliation or personal causes.

The former Emergency Room doctor and Chief of Staff of his hospital informs us that although the earth is indeed facing a critical time in terms of global warming and man's rampant and continual contribution to that warming, there are measures we can take to lessen and slow that impact---we need not feel helpless, there is something we each can do.

He tells the story of his realization that saving humanity ER style was not enough. As a result of both a practical and spiritual assessment of his life, Dr. Sleeth ultimately embraces Christianity, quits his affluent lifestyle and his practice of medicine and begins to work full time on solving the problem that brings so many to the Emergency Room to begin with, that of our ever warming and ailing earth.

Dr. Sleeth makes his case through sad and humorous emergency room and life stories. Through his experiences he connects us to the real human cost of continuing to use energy as we do. He shows us that the daily choices we make can significantly alter our impact on the production of greenhouse gases, further supporting his message of the need for a proactive stewardship of earth with scriptural wisdom.

You will finish this unusual `environmental' book impressed by the integrity of the author and infused with a real hope that as a human family we can use our numbers to give our children a world more like the one our grandparents knew; one with clean water and clean air and a future filled with hope and not despair. And don't be surprised if you find yourself turning things off and changing light bulbs soon after reading the last page.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Former VT reader on June 8, 2006
Format: Hardcover
After reading Dr.Sleeth's book I was inspired to change to flourescent light bulbs, stop using our dryer. get a clothesline and bike to work. Dr.Sleeth makes his appeal in a way that helps one understand how one person or family can reduce their impact on the environment. He appeals from a Christian perspective and connects in a way that strict environmentalists often cannot. I'd recommend his book to anyone trying to understand how their daily actions and lifestle impact the environment and what they can do to minimize that.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Tim Challies TOP 1000 REVIEWER on August 11, 2008
Format: Paperback
Though I've gone on record as a skeptic of global warming and of the catastrophic man-made climate change that is so much in the news today, this certainly does not indicate that I care nothing for the environment. If anything, the reading I've done on the subject of global warming, while failing to convince me, has reinforced in my mind the importance of caring for the planet God has given us. I have become interested in a Christian response to environmental issues and decided to read a couple of books on the subject. One that was recommended to me is Serve God, Save the Planet by J. Matthew Sleeth.

Not too long ago, Sleeth was rising through the ranks as chief of the medical staff at a prominent hospital on the East coast. He began to see more and more of his patients suffering from illnesses such as cancer, asthma and other chronic diseases. He began to suspect that there were environmental issues involved. Somehow the earth and those who live on it are in trouble of their own making, he concluded. Sleeth eventually quit his hospital job to focus on writing and speaking about environmental issues, seeking to do so from a distinctly Christian point-of-view. He sold his large home and moved his family into a much smaller one; he evaluated his family's lifestyle and found ways of drastically reducing their environmental impact. And then he wrote this book.

"Serve God, Save the Planet asks the following questions: How can I live a more godly, equitable, and meaningful life? How can I help people today and in the future? How can I be less materialistic? How can I live a more charitable life? What would happen if I led a slower-paced existence? What is the spiritual prescription for depression, anxiety, and anger? How can I become a better steward of nature?
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