RECOMMENDED READS

GOD’S NATURE; OUR STEWARDSHIP

What: People of faith conversing about God’s spirit, about God’s nature and our role in it, and about our relationship with him as affected by our time on Earth.

(For the mechanics of how God’s nature works, please see the science-based references at https://westsoundconservation.com/recommended-reads-watches-and-listens.)

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The Green Bible (New Revised Standard Version). New York: HarperOne, 2008. Print.
The Bible portion of The Green Bible is preceded by a forward and essays about creation care that were written by church leaders (such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Pope John Paul II) and by well-published creation-care advocates.

Within the essays and the creation-care quotations are poems such as Saint Francis’s “Canticle of the Creatures” and his “All Creatures of our God and King,” Wendell Berry’s “The Clearing Rests in Song and Shade,” Elizabeth Barrett Browning writing that “Earth is crammed with Heaven,” and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “The Fiftieth Birthday of Agassiz.”

            The Green Bible has a 17-page collection of creation-care quotes (“Teachings on Creation through the Ages”) that spans 2,000 years, assembled from many nations and religions. The authors and entities included are “The Apostles’ Creed, Maimonides, Thomas Aquinas, Meister Eckhart, Martin Luther, John Calvin, The Book of Common Prayer, Alexander Pope, John Wesley, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Anton Chekhov, George Washington Carver, Albert Schweitzer, T.S. Elliott, many popes and other religious leaders, C.S. Lewis, Anne Frank, Rick Warren, and many others.

            This Bible publication, with its collection of essays, quotes, and poems, wonderfully reminds us that people of all times, places, and situations have been inspired by God while outside in His nature.

Moore, Kathleen and Michael Nelson. Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril. San Antonio: Trinity UP, 2010. Print.

A great series of essays discussing our earth stewardship responsibilities. Among the 87 essayists are such notables as the Dalai Lama, E.O. Wilson, Barack Obama, Pope John Paul II and the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, Bill McKibben, Thomas L. Friedman, Marcus J. Borg, Martin S. Kaplan, Carl Pope, Wendell Berry, Kathleen Dean Moore, M. Scott Momaday, Barbara Kingsolver, and many others.

Pope Francis, Laudato Sí: On Care for Our Common Home

Pope Francis states in the 2015 encyclical Laudato Sí that “The harmony between the Creator, humanity, and creation as a whole was disrupted by our presuming to take the place of God and refusing to acknowledge our creaturely limitations. This in turn distorted our mandate to ‘have dominion’ over the earth (cf. Gen 1:28), to ‘till it and keep it’ (Gen 2:25)” (Laudato Sí, par. 66). “We are not God” (Laudato Sí, par. 67). Francis goes on to say that some have misinterpreted the Genesis grant of dominion. It does not mean absolute dominion over other creatures and “unbridled exploitation of nature” (Laudato Sí, par. 67). Francis states that “[e]ach community can take from the bounty of the earth whatever it needs for subsistence, but it also has the duty to protect the earth and to ensure its fruitfulness for coming generations. ‘The earth is the Lord’s’ (Ps 24:1); to him belongs ‘the earth with all that is within it’ (Dt 10:14). Thus God rejects every claim to absolute ownership: ‘The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine; for you are strangers and sojourners with me (Lev 25:23).”