- Series: Resources for Reconciliation
- Paperback: 182 pages
- Publisher: IVP Books (March 22, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780830834570
- ISBN-13: 978-0830834570
- ASIN: 0830834575
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #475,860 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Making Peace with the Land: God's Call to Reconcile with Creation (Resources for Reconciliation) Paperback – March 22, 2012
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"Making Peace with the Land?offers a powerful vision of God as a gardener, physically engaged in the work of restoring all creation to wholeness. And it offers hungry people a way to join in God's work by getting our hands dirty. This is a book about communion in its deepest sense."--Sara Miles, founder of The Food Pantry and author of?Take This Bread: A Radical Conversion
"Bahnson and Wirzba have written a compelling summons to food repentance. They call us away from the long-term unsustainable bubble of food in the orbit of fossil fuel. They urge return to the quotidian reality of soil, fresh tomatoes, the daily work of gardening, and realism about the source of food. Their accessible, anecdotal style adds force to the critical bite of their invitation toward life-giving, life-sustaining food."--Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary
"I cannot think of another book on making peace with the earth that does so much in so few pages--grounding its case with theological care, describing the causes of 'ecological amnesia' so clearly that they are impossible to disown and offering a vision of practical response that appeals to hope instead of guilt, and all of this while telling stories that make the book difficult to put down! Here is a book for anyone who is ready to trade ecological despair for practical action, in the company of two men who know what it means to be 'married to the land.'"--Barbara Brown Taylor, author of An Altar in the World
"This book reminds us of the resources--scriptural, scientific and human--that we have as we try to write a new story, one that emphasizes the need for people to back off, to allow the planet to operate on its own (God's) terms instead of ours. It's a rich book, which is appropriate, since this is a rich and beautiful world."--From the foreword by Bill McKibben, author of Deep Economy and Eaarth
"This series is on reconciliation, which is at the heart of the Christian faith. One of the early Christians said there are three dimensions to the cross--the vertical, which is about reconciliation with God; the horizontal, which is about reconciliation to other humans; and finally the cross is firmly planted into the earth, which calls us to reconcile with creation. That final dimension is perhaps the most neglected one of all in the piles of books on faith. I am deeply thankful for this addition to the library. We all just got smarter."--Shane Claiborne, author, activist and recovering sinner, www.thesimpleway.org
"When Mary turned from the empty tomb and mistook Jesus for a gardener, it was no mistake: Jesus is the new Adam. Thank you, Fred and Norman, for reminding us of our Genesis 2:15 responsibility to tend and protect the Garden, this earth, and calling each of us to the good work of living peaceably with the land."--Nancy Sleeth, cofounder, Blessed Earth, and author of Almost Amish
"Making Peace with the Land offers a powerful vision of God as a gardener, physically engaged in the work of restoring all creation to wholeness. And it offers hungry people a way to join in God's work by getting our hands dirty. This is a book about communion in its deepest sense."--Sara Miles, founder of The Food Pantry and author ofTake This Bread: A Radical Conversion"
"Weaving personal stories with pertinent data, the authors call attention to biblical and theological mandates to care for all of God's creation, including the land. Written with a broad audience in mind and with a study guide for each chapter, this book is an excellent resource for churches, communities, and individuals committed to caring for, and reconciling themselves with, the land."--Narola Ao McFayden, Interpretation, 67(4)
"Books like this usually threaten us with scarcity. Bahnson and Wirzba beckon us with God's creative, 'abundant kingdom homesteading, ' correcting our 'reconciliation deficit disorder' by helping us to see that the full scope of divine healing includes all creatures and the whole creation--soil and sea and air, and everything contained and sustained by them."--D. Brent Laytham, The Christian Century, May 1, 2013
"This book was written to equip all of God's people to be more faithful ambassadors of reconciliation in regard to the land. . . . Many Christians need to learn again how to live sacramentally in 'God's garden.' This book provides the biblical vision along with down-to-earth examples that can help make this happen."--J. David Holland, Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, Volume 65, Number 1, March 2013
About the Author
Fred Bahnson is a permaculture gardener, a pioneer in church-supported agriculture, and an award-winning poet and essayist. Bahnson is the director of the Food and Faith initiative at the Wake Forest University School of Divinity. Formerly, he was a Kellogg Food & Society policy fellow at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy and the cofounder and former director of Anathoth Community Garden in Cedar Grove, North Carolina. Bahnson is a contributor to the University Press of Kentucky book
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Thankfully, I would say that this book gave me faith that Christians, both theologians and laity, CAN speak meaningfully about practical Creation/environmental ethics while at the same time embedding it into the Christian narratives of atonement, reconciliation, and redemption, something that isn't easy. With each writer bringing different angles and perspectives, the book covers the inter-relationship between a lot of topics such as food, justice, community, energy, agriculture, and even eschatology that could in and of themselves be separate books. From the Desert Church Fathers to contemporary agrarians like Wes Jackson and Wendell Berry, this books employs many wise and thoughtful writers, while at the same time giving real world examples of people enacting and embodying Creational shalom within their communities and churches.
As someone who is familiar with agrarian writers and other environmentally conscious thinkers, this book didn't necessarily present anything new or radical in my mind (hence my 4 stars), but for those (especially Christians who are primarily steeped in soul winning/body denying spirituality)who want to begin thinking about the relationship between Creation and Christianity should look no further.
My only fear with this book is that it could be read too fast since it is only a little over 150 pages. Thus, I recommend reading it twice. I know I will.
It's not a perfect book, and lacks some of the theological refinement I generally expect, but as another reviewer explained, this is a good first step. Future books in this field will build off of these ideas, and this is well worth the read.
"Making Peace With the Land" is not an apologetic for some modern environmental political agenda. Rather, the authors argue convincingly from Scripture that the God who created the physical universe is interested in and is committed to not only reconciling men and women to himself and men and women to each other, but also in reconciling and renewing his entire creation. Discussing Colossians 1:16, the authors remind us that "The long arc of God's redemptive purposes is not confined to individual, disembodied souls.... Referring to Jesus [early Christians] sang in one of their earliest hymns that 'all things in heaven and on earth,' 'things visible and invisible,' were created in him, through him and for him.... All places -- from the foothills of southern Alberta to industial centers like Gary, Indiana -- are destined to know the health and salvation of God." (p. 22)
Highly practical in their application of Scripture, the authors give numerous examples of how we might participate in God's work of renewing and restoring his creation. Particularly fascinating is the chapter (chapter 6) largely devoted to a description of one the author's visit to the Global Farm sponsored by the interdenominational Christian organization Educational Concerns for Hunger (ECHO) in Southwest Florida. The Global Farm (which the book made me want to visit) operates on the principle that "'Redemption doesn't just start after we die,' (according to ECHO's seed-bank manager); rather, 'We can begin to experience life in all its abundance right her on earth.'" In describing ECHO, the author who visited the farm comments: "Abundance is a word I heard often on the lips of ECHO workers. They aren't just trying to end hunger; they want to help people tap into creation's fecundity, an abundance in nature that was there all along, waiting to be discovered and shared." (pp. 138-39)
This book is challenging, yet hopeful and positive. It is not likely to leave the reader unchanged. Highly recommended.