Download the free Kindle app and start reading Kindle books instantly on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. Learn more
Read instantly on your browser with Kindle for Web.
Using your mobile phone camera - scan the code below and download the Kindle app.
Follow the Author
The Gospel According to the Earth: Why the Good Book Is a Green Book Hardcover – Bargain Price, March 30, 2010
“Matthew Sleeth is a significant convert in the growing company of Christians who bring intelligence, passion, a biblically trained imagination, and mature Christian witness to the care of creation.”
— Eugene Peterson, Author of Living the Message
“Matthew Sleeth is a breath of fresh air. In The Gospel According to the Earth, he retells the Bible’s most familiar stories in ways that will stimulate your imagination, soften your heart, and challenge you to think more deeply about caring for creation.”
Jonathan Merritt, author of Green Like God
From Dr. Matthew Sleeth, the leading Christian voice for the green movement, comes a dynamic and surprising primer on all the Bible teaches on caring for the earth— and an ideal companion volume to The Green Bible.
The Amazon Book Review
Book recommendations, author interviews, editors' picks, and more. Read it now.
“Matthew Sleeth bring[s] intelligence, passion, a biblically trained imagination, and mature Christian witness to the care of creation. The Gospel According to the Earth is a compelling personal invitation to join the company of followers of Jesus on this God-created and God-blessed earth.” (Eugene Peterson, Author of Living the Message )
“Matthew Sleeth is a breath of fresh air. He retells the Bible’s stories in ways that will stimulate your imagination, soften your heart, and challenge you to think more deeply about caring for creation. Read this book and fall in love with our majestic Creator.” (Jonathan Merritt, author of Green Like God; spokesperson, Southern Baptist Environment and Climate Initiative )
“The Gospel According to the Earth is not simply a 21st-century political agenda adopted by Christians. Sleeth brings to this work great clarity, accessibility, and a refreshing balance of reflection and practical advice.” (Shirley A. Mullen, President of Houghton College )
“Sleeth’s keen insights into the sensitive subjects of food choice, the use of natural resources, and consumerism help us to see these potentially divisive issues with new eyes. He highlights the significant opportunities we have daily to reflect God’s will on earth.” (Christine Gutleben, Director, Faith Outreach, The Humane Society of the United States )
“This book is welcome refreshment to those of us who are weary with hearing the same few, tired, Bible verses trotted out. Sleeth relies on the whole of Scripture to make a case about what it means to be created in God’s image.” (Rusty Pritchard, resource economist and President of Flourish: Creation Care for Churches and Families )
The Gospel According to the Earth…is certain to have an impact in drawing more people of faith to the cause of humane concern. (The Huffington Post, blog by Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of the Humane Society )
“Sleeth spends his days traveling and spreading the good news of green living . His bookThe Gospel According to the Earth explains how to embrace that good news for yourself.” (BeliefNet )
“Dr. Sleeth… has spoken more than 900 times in churches, schools and to media outlets-more than any other evangelical-about the biblical mandate to care for the Earth. His latest book is The Gospel According to the Earth: Why the Good Book is a Green Book.” (Orlando Sentinel )
“An eye-opening look into the many characters and passages in the Bible that espouse common themes of environmentalism.” (Mother Nature Network )
“Sleeth has been one of the more effective evangelists for creation care in the evangelical movement.” (Christianity Today )
From the Back Cover
"God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good."
As an emergency room doctor, Matthew Sleeth saw a disturbing increase in asthma, autoimmune diseases, cancers, and other environmentally related health issues. Although he considered himself an environmentalist, he lacked the commitment to do anything about it. One slow night in the ER, Sleeth picked up a Gideon's Bible in the waiting room. Although raised in a Christian home, he had long ago abandoned his childhood beliefs. Reading the gospels that night, Sleeth became a Christian, and to his shock, he began to uncover in the Scriptures an enormous wealth of environmental answers that he had been seeking. As a result, his family took an account of their lifestyle, drastically reduced their reliance on electricity and fossil fuels, and began sharing their inspirational journey with others. Here, Sleeth invites you on his family's journey as they realize that one cannot be a Christian without recognizing the Bible's call to care for God's creation.
From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible is filled with instructions on how we can demonstrate our love for the Creator by caring for the earth. Sleeth leads us on a highly creative journey through Scripture, visiting some of the most important characters in the Bible and discovering what they can teach us about issues such as stewardship, caring for our neighbors, climate change, and pollution. Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden teach us the importance of physical work in relation to discovering fulfillment and a sense of human purpose, the prophet Daniel calls us to question our dietary habits, and the story of Noah addresses key issues for life on earth: how do we relate to the Creator, to others in the human community, and to the rest of the natural world? With passion and faith, Sleeth provides a new green lens through which we can read the Bible to discover answers to our biggest questions about the environment and how to care for it.
- ASIN : B004IK9EW8
- Publisher : HarperOne; 1st edition (March 30, 2010)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 224 pages
- Reading age : 18 years and up
- Item Weight : 11.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.81 x 8.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #5,809,004 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #2,291 in Christian Stewardship (Books)
- #11,325 in Christian Social Issues (Books)
- #14,406 in Environmentalism
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Filled with voluminous, therefore occasionally overwhelming, planet-saving tips, the tone encourages positive behavior changes, rather than bouts of guilt. Perhaps because of his perfect bedside manner and hundreds of yearly lectures at churches, Dr. Sleeth`s message is significantly impacting evangelicals.
We are grateful for Sleeth's recognition that: alone among the creatures humans are created in God's image; Christians should excel at hospitality; we should not make idols of material things; the prosperity gospel is a counterfeit; technology is not "inherently evil"; we should observe the Sabbath. Hugely to his credit, Sleeth makes extensive scriptural references.
Yet defense of vital truths compels one to address faults. We must pay careful attention to the gospel of God's Word, that Christ died for our sins, was buried, rose again (1 Corinthians 15:1-3), and calls us to repent of our sin (including the self-righteous sin of thinking we can save ourselves by works) and trust in Christ, on His terms. Sleeth's `gospel' uses, but distorts, precious Biblical language, asking and answering the question, "How would Jesus save the earth," teaching that it will be through our sacrificial actions. "I believe," Sleeth writes, "that humanity stands at a great crossroads. We hold the fate of God's creation in our hands" (xiv).
Sleeth's `gospel' uses, but distorts, precious Biblical language
We must live less affluent lives, Sleeth argues, for "simplicity as a way of life brings us closer to God. It is a means of receiving God's grace as he transforms us. Simplicity helps us disconnect from the worldly concerns that destroy God's creation and, instead, engage in redemptive actions that heal. ... If simplicity brings us closer to God; consumerism draws us to, the devil" (170).
God's main concern, Sleeth contends, is to save the planet ... from us. He claims that human actions, like consuming "meat, food out of season, and food from exotic places has a detrimental impact on the health of ourselves and the planet" (140). He does not say, so much as imply, that these behaviors are sinful, thus encouraging a sub-scriptural view of sin, and mankind. It does not occur to him that the definitions of `sins' he invents may come from poor science, economics, and Scripture twisting.
Downsizing does not answer gluttony or avarice, yet Sleeth says "the less we fill our homes with material things, the more contented and spirit-filled our lives will become" (ix). Godly Abraham and Job were wealthy, Lazarus was a beggar, yet the Bible exalts them all, like glittering jewels, for our consideration.
Portraying downsizing as virtue is as mistaken as portraying wealth as virtue, neither being virtuous or vicious. Laziness leading to poverty is sinful (violating the Fourth Commandment's requirement to work six days a week), and theft leading to wealth is sinful (violating the Eighth Commandment), but neither poverty nor wealth is sinful, Paul advising contentment in either (Philippians 4:11-12). There is something abortive with a `gospel' that misunderstands sin and misinterprets God's law, leading to conclusions defining as sin what Scripture defines as God`s blessing--like wealth from diligent labor (Proverbs 10:4; Deuteronomy 28:8), or large families (Psalm 127:3-5; 128:3-4).
Sleeth's green `gospel' masquerades in Christian language, distracting attention from the real crisis of sin and separation from God, towards imagining "[t]he world is dying" (x). Materialism, he teaches, births spiritual problems, contrary to Scriptural teaching that materialism is symptom, not cause. Hope is found in ecocentric lifestyles, self-servingly presented as sacrificial: "How could I become more like Jesus-more meek, humble, compassionate, thankful, forgiving, and loving? Clearly, I needed to scale back my lifestyle" (xii). The end result is that carbon-sensitive behaviors, geography and nature become critical for a proper relationship to God. Though sounding noble and humble to serve and sacrifice for the planet, is this not precisely the bondage Paul warned against in Colossians 2:18-23, where narcissistic austerity replaces a sincere love for God displayed in obedience to His commandments, which, unlike Sleeth's, "are not burdensome" (I John 5:3)?
Sleeth's `gospel' invites a tumble into errors characterizing the unbelieving Jews of Jesus' day: having a zeal for righteousness, they sought it not by faith but by law keeping, and so did not get it, because no works of the law can justify us--but the believing Gentiles, not seeking righteousness by the law but by faith, found it (Romans 3:20; 9:30-10:4).
There is a genuine spiritual danger that in replacing the emphasis on Christ we find to our dismay that the "gospel according to the Earth" leads humans to worship or serve the creation, instead of the Creator. This danger is discussed further in Resisting the Green Dragon; Dominion, Not Death
If, on the other hand, you're sitting there thinking, "God said we're in charge of this!" or any similar sentiment, or if you know thag person and are looking for a solid defense for being a better steward, this might be for you.
This book reminded me and motivated me to get back to my original purpose.
Each chapter is an engrossing journey into scripture and environmental philosophy. And at the end of each chapter, there is a list of practical tips. Some are quite simple, others require real commitment.
THe author points out just how often Nature is mentioned in the Bible.
The Sunday after I read the book, I was lector and the appointed Psalm for Christmas Day was Psalm 96. I'd never really paid much attention to Creation in the Psalms before but suddenly I was awestruck:
"Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad;
let the sea thunder and all that is in it;
let the field be joyful and all that is therein.
Then shall all the trees of the wood shout for joy
before the LORD when he comes,
when he comes to judge the earth."
The Earth belongs to our Creator and all of Creation glorifies Him. How easy that is to overlook!
"The Gospel According to the Earth" opened my eyes and ears...at least for a while (it's easy to slide back)
I definitely recommend this book for anybody who has ever felt God's Presence while hiking desert mountains or watching a Texas sunset or . . . well, you get the drift . . . ever felt His Presence out in His Creation.
Actually, I recommend this book to anyone inhabiting Planet Earth.
God bless you!