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Gardening Eden: How Creation Care Will Change Your Faith, Your Life, and Our World
WaterBrook Press / 2009 / Paperback
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A "green" development strategies expert, Abbate invites you to consider a new spiritual perspective of practical environmentalism. You'll learn how to preserve the fundamental connection between your soul and the planet; and discover creation care as an act of worship and a call to deeper harmony with God, your fellow gardeners, and the living Earth. 288 pages, softcover from Waterbrook.
Before the snake,
and the Ten Commandments,
God created a garden…
“Spiritual environmentalism” did not start out as an oxymoron–it was an invitation.
Yet today, many believe God’s first job description for humankind has been replaced by other “worthier pursuits”. Why has this simple instruction become so controversial? How does one sort through all the mixed messages? Is changing our lives to save the world really our responsibility–or even possible?
Gardening Eden invites you to consider a new, spiritual perspective to practical environmentalism. The question is not whether our souls find expression and inspiration in our incredible planet, but how best to preserve that fundamental connection.
Green living is no longer a fad–simple lifestyle solutions are now available to everyone. Discover creation care as an act of worship and a call to deeper harmony with our Creator, our fellow gardeners, and our living Earth. Gardening Eden is the primer in how this shift will transform not only our world, but your very soul.
A nationally recognized expert in green development strategies, Michael Abbaté is a founder of GreenWorks, an award-winning landscape architecture design firm. He frequently speaks to students and leaders about practical ways to minimize the impact of building and landscape design on natural resources. His works have been featured in national magazines, newspapers, and trade publications. He and his wife, Vicki, have two adult daughters and live near Portland, Oregon.
All of creation comes from our Lords hand. Yet we Christians often treat this teeming, glorious creation as if it is our personal play toy to be handled in any way that suits our momentary whim. In Gardening Eden, acclaimed environmental speaker and founder of GreenWorks, a distinguished landscape architecture design firm, Mike Abbate decisively grips the readers attention as he discusses the scripturally-based arguments for the grand and joyous responsibility Christians have to obey Gods injunction to take care of our planet.
He delineates this responsibility in five themes: What God made is good; God loves the world He created; What God made is Gods, not ours; Everything was created to glorify God; and, God appointed us stewards. Along the way Abbate shares his insights into many facets of environmental care with special emphasis on how it is not a liberal agenda to be ignored by Christian conservatives. Following this deep, involved, intriguing discussion, Abbate considers spiritual and active ways we can care for our Lords creation. He lists both commonly heard ideas, such as your carbon footprint, and many new ones based on Christian thinking, such as compassion for our neighbors.
Author Mike Abbate exemplifies Psalms 111:2, Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them. His enthusiasm for this heart-felt subject and his love for his Lord beams from the pages of Gardening Eden. As I read this book I found myself stopping often to ponder the ideas. Gardening Eden has encouraged me to look for more information, which the closing list of resources handsomely abet. Donna Eggett, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
“Firmly one of the most socially relevant topics today, environmentalism elicits a variety of intense reactions. Michael Abbate’s book lifts creation care above the typical debate and gets back to its appropriate starting point — on our knees, in awe of the Creator. His passion for God and affection for creation is evident throughout, while weaving together science, Scripture, and personal experiences, with probing and comfort-squashing questions. As he advocates for worship, he also provides numerous practical, and even easy, tips for caring for creation that has me thinking far beyond energy efficient light bulbs and my stellar compost pile.”
–Tim Osborn, Lead Pastor, Mosaic Church, Portland, Oregon, www.mosaicportland.org
"For Christians wondering why we should care for God's creation and how to get started, Mike Abbate's book, Gardening Eden, is a great introduction, with answers from the Bible, terrific stories, and practical tips on how you can make a difference."– Rev. Jim Ball, Ph.D., President and CEO, Evangelical Environmental Network
“This is a book Christians should read! Though our primary task is to carry out the Great Commission while on this earth, we must not neglect the place God created for us to live.”
–Dr. Gene A. Getz, President, Center for Church Renewal, Host, Renewal Radio, Dallas, TX
“Evangelicals will be well informed and morally challenged to tend the garden without being throttled. And, progressives will be thrilled to hear the Christian call to care for the earth. Where was this two decades prior? I give my evangelical and progressive, two green thumbs up!”
–Rev. Leroy Hedman, Georgetown Gospel Chapel, Seattle
“Michael Abbate’s book, Gardening Eden, offers a sound, compelling and practical approach to ‘Creation Care.’ As people seeking to become better ‘gardeners’ ourselves, we appreciated Michael’s style and approach and wholeheartedly recommend this book!”
–-Mike & Danae Yankoski, authors of Under the Overpass
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