Thursday, 2 June 2011

God's message for...?

I was enjoying a leisurely browse through the bookstore today when I came upon the Bible section. Always interested, I browsed the varied spines until one jumped out at me: The Green Bible.

No. That can't be what I think it is...can it?

Oh, it was.

The Green Bible: Understanding the Bible's powerful message for the Earth is a "green edition" of the Bible that highlights - no, literally highlights, in green - passages of Scripture that relate to creation care.

From the Preface (page I-15):
Many Bibles, called "red-letter editions," have Jesus' direct statements printed in red. We have adapted this practice to introduce the "green-letter edition." In it we highlight the rich and varied ways the books of the Bible speak directly to how we should think and act as we confront the environmental crisis facing our planet.

As an example, the sample page on Amazon highlights a passage from Psalm 8:
O Lord, our Sovereign,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.

Psalm 8:1

This is "green"? Because it has the word "earth" in it?

What a disheartening marketing ploy and a particularly shameful attempt to capitalize on the "go green" bandwagon.

According to the Introduction, "creation care is at the very core of our Christian walk." Here at The Hippie Housewife, creation care and social justice are two of our priorities. These priorities are born out of a love for God and a love for His creation, earth and mankind alike.

Creation care should come forth from a Christian walk, but to say it is the "Bible's message" is to put it exactly backwards. The Good News does not preach creation care. Creation preaches the Good News!
The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.
There is no speech or language
where their voice is not heard.

Psalm 19:1-3
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
Romans 1:20

I can appreciate what The Green Bible is saying as far as the importance of creation care and social justice. Consider the fourth (of five) "Green Themes" outlined in the book (p. 1229):
Theme 4: Creation Care as Justice
Caring for creation is an act of social justice. Because humanity is part of creation, and because we are designed for interdependence with the whole of creation, caring for creation means caring for humanity. Caring for humanity, in turn, demands protecting and restoring creation.

I agree. I wholeheartedly agree. Creation care and social justice are intertwined both with each other and with our devotion to God. But these themes do not replace the Gospel.

With its "green" essays written by notable Christian scholars and leaders, would this be good as a guide to creation care? Yes. Is creation care important? Absolutely. Is creation care the Good News? Absolutely not.

God's message is for you.

Yes, you.

And you, love.

And you too.


God's message is sin forgiven, relationship restored, healing begun.

And out of that, creation care? Oh, yes please!

Out of that.

Not instead of that.


  1. This leans awfully close to Romans 1:25 They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. (NLT)

  2. I'm with you. It's not that it's a bad message, but honestly one of my pet peeves is when people use the bible to back up a certain position and tout it as the "biblical" way to be. I do believe in taking care of our planet and I hope that most christians are able to come to realize the importance of it, but I think that's a realization that needs to happen internally for someone, not because it's being pushed as a "biblical" thing.

  3. Yes, CML, worshiping the created instead of the Creator. That is one of my concerns as well.

    Swimming-duck, I agree - great message, but to make it the *focus* of the Bible detracts from its central message of Christ the Redeemer.

  4. I despise marketing ploys, especially when it comes to trying to sell a particular Bible. Emphasizing one of the minor Biblical principles over the major themes of the Bible is always dangerous, and always leads to an unbalanced view of the world and God.

  5. Anything to make a buck it seems. I'm on board with you though. Couldn't have said it better myself.

  6. yea as tree huggin as I am, this doesnt sit well with me. Total wrong focus. My fear is people who arent familiar are going to pick this up and could totally miss the whole reason for the Bible ykwim? :(

    If they want to make a "green" Bible, they should do it from recycled paper with natural inks or something, not do this.

  7. Love to know if it highlighted anything on the creation of babies? mmm PM

  8. somehow i think that the people carrying this bible are the same ones that are wondering why christianity doesnt get taken seriously by those nonbelievers around them

  9. Wow. I agree it's not a bad message,but not what they should use the Bible for and to make a buck.

  10. Great way to summarize it, Me: "Emphasizing one of the minor Biblical principles over the major themes of the Bible is always dangerous, and always leads to an unbalanced view of the world and God."