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Review: Green Revolution

Every time I turn around, it seems I hear about Christians devising plans to conserve precious water, replacing light bulbs with energy efficient ones, or organizing a community clean-up projects at illegal dumping grounds. Stories like these are told repeatedly throughout the pages of Lowe’s book—from a simple advocate who has started a national campaign to stop mountaintop removal in the Appalachians to a Christian college student who mourns water shortages while living in a Palestinian refugee camp. These stories uncover the creation care movement occurring among God’s people while they undoubtedly prick the heart of even a hardened reader.
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These days it seems everyone is talking about revolution. Ron Paul talked about his revolution in a book by that name, and we saw how well that worked out for him. George Barna also wrote a book called “Revolution” which basically said the Church as we know it was going to crumble and everyone would be spending Sunday in home groups by now. Oops.

Now there are rumblings of a new revolution, and this one looks more promising. Ben Lowe in Green Revolution: Coming Together to Care for Creation (IVP, March 2009) states, “All across the church, Christians are waking up to God’s call to care for the besieged creation and to love the poor who are suffering the most from environmental degradation.”

Every time I turn around, it seems I hear about Christians devising plans to conserve precious water, replacing light bulbs with energy efficient ones, or organizing a community clean-up projects at illegal dumping grounds. Stories like these are told repeatedly throughout the pages of Lowe’s book—from a simple advocate who has started a national campaign to stop mountaintop removal in the Appalachians to a Christian college student who mourns water shortages while living in a Palestinian refugee camp. These stories uncover the creation care movement occurring among God’s people while they undoubtedly prick the heart of even a hardened reader.

Some readers may not be interested in reading a book on the environment. These readers are in luck. Lowe’s book isn’t just an environmental work because Lowe extensively explores the larger kingdom issues inseparably connected to environmental problems. As Shane Claiborne—ironically the author of The Irresistible Revolution—comments in the foreword, “Green Revolution is an invitation, not just to believe that another world is possible, but to begin enacting it now. Jesus did not come just to prepare us to die. Jesus came to teach us how to live. The kingdom of God he proclaimed is not something we are to hope for when we die, but something we are to live out on earth as it is in heaven.”

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After each chapter, Lowe includes an essay by a leader in the creation care movement, which gives the book a collaborative feel. Lowe himself addresses how the climate crisis ignited the creation care movement, how the movement grows, what the obstacles are for this movement and how individuals can keep the movement alive. Even the appendices beckon the reader to wade a little deeper into this movement by providing lists of web sites, books and creation care organizations. Sounds like a manifesto for a revolution to me.

I agree with Claiborne. Green Revolution is more than a great book. It’s a powerfully convincing invitation to join a fresh movement of God.

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