Over at Christianity Today, LaVonne Neff reviews Bill McKibben’s Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet. Here is a taste:
McKibben has been dubbed “probably the nation’s leading environmentalist” (The Boston Globe) and “the world’s best green journalist” (Time). He is also a churchgoing, Sunday-school-teaching Methodist who has written that church people should be at the fore of the environmental movement, because Christianity teaches social justice, creation care, and selfless concern for others (The Christian Century)…
McKibben’s solution, by contrast, is Small and Local. Instead of hauling food around the world, we should foster family farms. Instead of constant flying and driving, we should keep in touch through the Internet. Instead of building giant centralized power plants, we should develop many local power sources. Instead of relying on the government for everything, we should strengthen our communities.
In this book, McKibben does not relate environmental concerns to biblical teachings, as he has done in articles online and in Harper’s magazine. His recommendations, however, fit well with Scripture’s respect for creation and concern for the poor, its scorn for riches and praise for contentment, and—underlying everything else—its requirement to love our neighbors as ourselves.
The biblical lifestyle sharply contrasts with the Western pursuit of money, possessions, and personal fulfillment. The American gross domestic income is over $46,000 per capita (the world average is about $10,000), and most of us want more. What would happen if millions of prosperous Christians chose instead to live more biblically, looking for ways to share Eaarth’s dwindling resources with all?
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