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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Convicting while Instructing
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...
Published on June 6, 2006 by B. Spaulding

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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not Great
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...
Published on August 11, 2008 by Tim Challies


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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Convicting while Instructing, June 6, 2006
By 
B. Spaulding (St Johnsbury, VT) - See all my reviews
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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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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Christian Stewardship One Lightbulb At a Time, June 5, 2006
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C. L. Shoemaker (Frederick, MD USA) - See all my reviews
'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
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspired to change, June 8, 2006
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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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not Great, August 11, 2008
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This review is from: Serve God, Save the Planet: A Christian Call to Action (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?" It is a book meant to guide Christians as they first think through the issues and then begin to take action. He feels that Christians, with their understanding of the origins of the world and with their knowledge of its Creator, are uniquely able to lead the task of creation care.

Through the book's sixteen chapters, Sleeth deals topically with areas related to creation care. He looks at our society's fixation with "stuff," at the food we eat (and its origins) and at the homes we live in. He is occasionally overstated ("Nothing is worse for the environment than a broken family") but usually measured and deliberate.

The book is not without its weaknesses. One weakness is that Sleeth is better at suggesting easy solutions than working through the implications of the tough ones. For example, he states that the world's population is growing too quickly to be sustainable (and provides an excellent and understandable metaphor for this). But when it comes to a solution for this issue, all he can suggest is this: "Ethically designed and distributed birth control is an essential remedy if humanity is to survive its own success." That is easy to say, but the ramifications are massive. Do we allow wealthy Westerns to continue to procreate while forcing birth control upon impoverished Africans? How do we convince so many billions of people to go along with this plan? What if one massive people group (Muslims, for example) refuse to play along? It's an easy solution to propose but one that is nearly impossible to successfully implement. A second weakness, is that Sleeth seems to have "drunk the Kool-Aid." He accepts man-made global warming as a given and blindly accepts the usual solutions. For example, he stresses the need to recycle, but does not wrestle with the fact that recycling is often as big a polluter as simply throwing items in the trash. Consider, for example, that recycled paper needs to be heavily bleached to remove inks and that this bleach is fed into lakes and rivers. And consider that the material to be recycled has to be trucked to recycling centers and trucked to a factory and so on. All of these actions create, rather than prevent, pollution. Recycling is not the "golden key" he makes it out to be. Such difficult issues make no appearance in this volume.

Those complaints aside, the book is good and helpful in many ways. Sleeth offers some good thoughts on environmental issues and does so in a readable, compelling way. His anecdotes, drawn from a long career in medicine, add human interest to what has the potential to be a rather dry topic. Though not a big-picture, philosophical look at the issues, Sleeth's volume is worth the read for its practical value. The book's appendices are valuable guides to reducing energy consumption and reducing waste.

Having said all of this, I do intend to keep reading to look for a more satisfying book and one that can more fully ground creation care in the Word of God. To this end, I am turning to Pollution and the Death of Man by Francis Schaeffer. I suspect he will fill in some of the gaps missing from Serve God, Save the Planet (while doubtlessly missing out on some of the practical value of Sleeth's volume).
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Five Lighbulb Rating, June 5, 2006
"Serve God and Save the Planet" is a truly challenging work that addresses current environmental concerns and their global and humanitarian implications. This book WILL make many squirm in their easy chairs, Christian and non-Christian alike. Though it is written from a Christian standpoint, it crosses all denominational lines and sectarian boundaries. It is at the same time easy to read but not easy reading. Dr. Sleeth, former emergency room physician, relates his experiences in the ER, personal life stories as well as his travels to third world countries with a gifted sense of compassion. While presenting the facts of our global condition and the impact that our daily habits and routines have on our planet, our culture and on other cultures, Dr. Sleeth provides realistic and obtainable goals for individuals to step up to the plate and begin assuming responsibilty, not only toward Mother Earth but her often overlooked and neglected inhabitants as well. Change is not easy. Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the church door as call for change. "Serve God and Save the Planet", like Luther's 95 theses, is a present day wake up call to the church (Christendom) and our western culture of similar magnitude. Sit back in your favorite chair with this fascinating and excellently written book and prepare to get uncomfortable!

R.R. Coddington
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Look Elsewhere, August 28, 2008
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This review is from: Serve God, Save the Planet: A Christian Call to Action (Paperback)
This was a disappointing book. Save your money and look carefully for another one. While this book was easy to read, and touched upon some salient and important environmental points, the author's self-example is held up too prominently in the book. No thanks Mr. Sleeth - we don't need to mimic your lifestyle. Rather than explore issues of policy and new alternative energies, Sleeth declines to retrograde and anti-modern views that can scarcely be the basis of a modern economy. Some of the conversation is sober and serious - other parts just plain silly. Conservation is good, but so is exploring cleaner alternate energy policies and technologies, something completely neglected in this book. To hold up personal example and to turn a blind eye to political policies and economic powers is really to retreat from the modern world rather than to address it. Sleeth's book could (and should) have been reduced to an article in recommending ways to conserve one's energy usage. As it stands his relevant points become submerged in backwards thinking and personal sugary piety that is just not a comprehensive response to the climate problem. Finally - this book is not academically footnoted, so Sleeth has submerged is sources. Just look elsewhere.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Christian Call to Action describes this book perfectly, May 9, 2008
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This review is from: Serve God, Save the Planet: A Christian Call to Action (Paperback)
My fifteen year old daughter attends an online Christian highschool and she regularly is the "odd student out" on their online forum, disagreeing with the majority of her fellow high schoolers on everything from politics to capital punishment. We are proud that she is so passionate about her beliefs and we regularly have deep conversations with her about the world and our place in it as Christians.

One topic that comes up regularly is environmentalism. We are pretty passionate about being "green" and have always taught her that caring for the environment was a Biblical mandate and should be an integral part of every Christian's life. So, she started a forum topic about stopping global warming and got pounced upon by other Christian high schoolers stating things like, "global warming is a myth", "God wants us to take dominion of the earth", "Jesus is coming back again soon, so what is the difference - the earth will be destroyed." She was in shock that they held these beliefs and after talking through it and the reasons they said these things, as misguided and wrong as they were, I decided to go looking for some books for her that spoke about environmentalism from a Christian perspective. I ended up buying a few from Amazon and "Serve God Save the Planet" was the first one we read.

It is not what I was expecting. I was expected an indepth review of "saving the planet" and why it is critical for Christians. Instead, it gives an introductury, high level view of a number of subjects. The author's passion comes through and it is a window into his journey of faith and this includes saving the planet. The book is subtitled, "A Christian Call to Action" and that is exactly what the book is and what it did for me. While he does include a great chapter making a case for Christian's to care for the earth, most of the book is his sharing his own story and calling us to action.

It is easy to read and very impactful. Each chapter resonated with me and I felt myself nodding and getting pumped up, as it is exactly what I have always felt, but in many areas have lost touch. Besides caring for the earth, he writes about taking action and doing things, he writes about having too much stuff, taking a true day of rest each week, getting rid of television and replacing it with books, serving the poor and making a difference in the lives of others around the word and raising our kids to be help the poor and care for the world.

Since reading this, I've purchased a copy for my sister and my parents and my wife is now reading it and my daughter is almost finished. I'd recommend it to everyone. It is light reading and he doesn't go into depth on each subject, instead, he shares his story and get's you pumped up to take action.

I highly recommend it!
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Sincere and Constructive Call To Stewardship, September 13, 2006
By 
Tom Chancellor (Fort Worth, TX United States) - See all my reviews
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I found this book to be inviting and exciting. Dr. Sleeth focuses on what I believe is the heart of Christianity - living thoughtfully, compassionately, and carefully. We are stewards of this world and should use our best efforts to assure that the necessities of safe and healthy living are available to all people as well as the animals and plants that live with us.

Consistently Biblically-based, Dr. Sleeth's message will appeal to the entire spectrum of Christian believers. And there is nothing exclusionary in his appeal. Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Native Americans, Bahai - no one will find any cause for offense and all will be persuaded by the invitation to live simply so others may simply live.

If you are an apocalyptic believer eager for the Second Coming, you are invited to live prudently while you wait. If you are unchurched or a non-believer, you can enjoy the benefits of of a healthier, more considerate life style. Buy it and share it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring! Thank God it made it to Australia, May 13, 2008
By 
Andrea Koch (Sydney, Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Serve God, Save the Planet: A Christian Call to Action (Paperback)
I visited my local Christian bookstore (the biggest chain in Australia) and asked for something on "Stewardship" - blank stare and a few stutters... I then asked for something on "Christians and the environment" - oh yes, they could help me, and took me to the back of the store, to the top of the shelf, and there it was, one of three books on Christians and the environment. What I actually wanted was something on Christians and Sustainable Development, and this book more than met my needs.
It is fantastically written, easily digestible, a comfortable read, but it does not skirt any of the issues. It clearly ties together the notions of environmental degradation and human suffering, including the suffering of the poor in other countries who live miserable lives working to feed the consumption machine of the West.
We Christians have a biblical mandate to care for the poor and the oppressed and to care for the creation, and Dr Sleeth provides insightful and practical ways that we can do just that in our every day lives.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Well-meaning but too repetitive, March 12, 2009
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This review is from: Serve God, Save the Planet: A Christian Call to Action (Paperback)
I can't question the validity or sincerity of the author's arguments. If you are an evangelical Christian who has never thought much about the relationship between the Gospel and our stewardship of the earth, you will likely find this book a convincing "call to action." If you are a long-time environmentalist, Christian or not, much of it will be familiar ground. In either event, the book is numbingly repetitive; it could have made its points in half as many pages.
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Serve God, Save the Planet: A Christian Call to Action
Serve God, Save the Planet: A Christian Call to Action by Matthew Sleeth (Paperback - March 25, 2007)
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