Green Revolution: Coming Together to Care for Creation  -     By: Ben Lowe, Shane Claiborne
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Green Revolution: Coming Together to Care for Creation

InterVarsity Press / 2009 / Paperback

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Activist Lowe goes beyond the immobilizing "what can I do" perspective about environmental concerns to highlight the collective power of church, community, and campus groups to make a change in caring for creation. Sharing real-life stories, Lowe illustrates God's plan for his world---and our place in it; and offers practical action ideas.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 192
Vendor: InterVarsity Press
Publication Date: 2009
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0830836241
ISBN-13: 9780830836246
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.

Publisher's Description

We are facing planet-sized challenges. Climate change and environmental crises can be pretty immobilizing, and we can fall into the temptation of thinking that we can't make a difference. But it's not just about what we can do on our own to make a difference. It's about what we can do when we mobilize together as a movement and combine for community action. Activist Ben Lowe calls the present generation to come together and care for the earth in a way that recent generations have not. Telling real-life stories of community organizing on college campuses across the nation, Lowe shows us that little things can make a big difference when we all work together. We now have an opportunity to show the world what it looks like when Christians care for the planet God gave us, so that future generations can live sustainably. This is our moment. This is our issue. Come join the green revolution.

Author Bio

Ben Lowe is on staff with the Evangelical Environmental Network and serves as the national spokesperson for Young Evangelicals for Climate Action. A dedicated activist and organizer, Ben was raised as a missionary kid in Southeast Asia and now lives as part of an intentional community in a refugee and immigrant neighborhood outside Chicago, where he ran for US Congress in 2010. He is a graduate of Wheaton College and author of Shane Claiborne is a preacher, writer and lover of Jesus. He attended Eastern University, where he studied sociology and youth ministry. Claiborne is cofounder of The Simple Way and is currently a part of The Alternative Seminary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He serves on the board of the Christian Community Development Association. He is the author of and coauthor of Catch up with him at thesimpleway.org.

Author Interview:

How can churches get more involved in the movement to care for creation?

Churches are particularly important in the movement, because this is where we regularly come together to study the Bible and learn what it means to live and grow in community. They consume a lot of resources, which makes them easy targets for conservation. Also, churches are usually planted in the same neighborhood for many years, where they can develop lasting relationships and initiate long-term projects to impact the local community.

Ideas for projects include developing the church grounds into a natural area that welcomes both the neighbors and native wildlife, participating in community-supported agriculture or community gardens, training volunteer "green teams" to help lower-income residents retrofit their homes with energy-efficient appliances that will save money and pollution, organizing community-wide tree-planting celebrations every Earth Day, or just providing bike racks and lockers to encourage churchgoers to bike, blade or walk to church.


Why is it important for us to take our role in caring for creation seriously?

Individuals can care deeply about the planet and take an active role in caring for it while not making it their primary focus. At a very basic level, we all consume resources-food, water, energy and raw materials for iPods-and otherwise impact the environment. In turn, the environment has an impact on each of us. This is an unavoidable fact of being alive.

Therefore, we are all called to be stewards of creation as we live out our lives on this earth. We are all called to love God and love our neighbor, and to continue moving from being part of the problem to being more of the solution. And, wherever we have wandered, we are called to remember God and return home.

Our common calling to creation care applies on both an individual and a corporate level. This is where our theology and worldview are translated into action, where our faith and what we have learned are integrated into how we live.


Describe your work with A Rocha.

We more authentically experience God's original intentions for the world when we participate in the good work of tending his creation, whatever form that takes for each of us. This is the underlying premise of A Rocha.

A Rocha (AR) is an organization of Christians in conservation that is actively working in over twenty countries on five continents. It was started in 1983 by Peter and Miranda Harris, an Anglican missionary couple who moved from England to southern Portugal, when they established a field studies center to help the local community protect a valuable estuary from outside development.

Since then, A Rocha projects have sprung up in Kenya, Ghana, Lebanon, India, France, the Czech Republic, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States and elsewhere. These various national projects are all very different because they reflect the local culture and needs. What they all share, however, is an emphasis on moving past discussing creation care to fully living it out within Christian community.


How has the church become like the prodigal son in relation to the environment?

Faced by environmental crises on every side and all around the globe, we are awakening to a desperate reality: we have wandered far from God's good intentions for us and for the world. We are hurting and have nowhere else to turn. It is time to remember our Father God. It is time to go back home.

The church today, like the prodigal son, is returning for imperfect reasons. The prodigal did not want to head home because he had wronged his father, but because he was hoping for a better life again. Likewise, the trigger for our recovery of a vision of environmental stewardship today is not foremost because we have been drifting from God, but because we can no longer ignore our ailing environment and are worried for our well-being. It starts out as a selfish reason but, as with the son, we learn to take on a position of true humility and repentance.

Author Bio

Ben Lowe is director of outreach at A Rocha USA, an international Christian conservation organization. He has a degree in environmental studies from Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. Lowe has worked with many senior leaders in the creation care scene and is based out of Chicago, Illinois.

Editorial Reviews

"Ben Lowe offers a practical (and Biblical!) how-to guide for weaving creation care into your church or campus ministry. It is full of tangible examples and real-life stories about how to catalyze the next generation's interest in nurturing the environment."
"The Christian youth of America are making their mark in a Genesis- and Jesus-based commitment to creation conservation. Ben Lowe speaks for them and is out to add to their ranks. His witness and invitation seethe with hope and energy. Listen to him. Join him."
" Green Revolution is a book with a vision of a better world realized not with great wealth, ambition, or resources, but with the possibilities, potential and power of empathy, compassion, and faith in action."
"Ben Lowe has done us all a favor: he has assembled some of the most notable teachers in the world to mentor us on the greatest of coming revolutions. This planet is our great gift from God, but it is also our sobering responsibility to renew for the poor and the coming generations. In these pages you will find the intellectual and practical path forward. This book will develop your strategy and your faith."
" Green Revolution is more than a great book. It's a powerfully convincing invitation to join a fresh movement of God. Thanks, Ben Lowe, for your faithful creation witness!"
"Ben Lowe has been an outstanding pioneer of practical caring for creation. His generation is probably the one that most urgently needs to understand and live by the passionate convictions that he has expressed so eloquently in these pages. If they do we may enter a season of hope. If they don't, we are probably, most literally, cooked."
"A new generation of younger evangelicals is leading the way in showing us how to be mindful of our stewardship for the world in which we live, not as a substitute for biblical faith but as a faithful expression of it. Ben Lowe's book helps us do just that. I recommend it to all Christians everywhere."
"Ben Lowe writes with a fresh voice about an issue that affects each of us deeply. Pick up this book and join the green revolution today!"
"Ben writes with a refreshingly youthful and transparent style that is at times penetrating and disturbing, and at other times light and casual. The book is a good read for the Metro--it doesn't require reading in a single setting!"
"This is the book we need. No set of challenges calls more directly to people of faith than these environmental cataclysms--the de-creation we are now engaged in. Here's strong evidence of both the good thinking and great energy needed to set things right."
"I am grateful for Ben Lowe's book. Green Revolution is an invitation, not just to believe that another world is possible, but to begin enacting it now."
"Lowe has written a book that provides motivation and resources for those who want to get involved in environmental stewardship."
"Lowe uses Scripture to make a compelling case that God's mission to restore shalom extends to the natural world, and that is is our privelge and responsibility to participate in that mission."
"Lowe's voice is original and worth hearing. Green Revolution is part ecological, theological, and political primer, part road warrior for the planet memoir, and part how-to book. Although likely to resonate best with teens and twenty-somethings, there is something here for people of every age. Pastors especially would benefit from reading this fresh, transparent, and evangelically orthodox account written by a member of the generation that is often not sitting in their pews. Ben Lowe offers a holisitic vision for creation care, one that does not place this task above other aspects of the Gospel, but rightly includes it in the work of bringing God's shalom to all the earth."
"I have thoroughly enjoyed this little book. In fact I think that it is a great book for all Christians who are interested in creation care to read. I found Green Revolution to be a well researched and informative book."
"This is a book that's been needed for a LONG time! This book is inspirational, informative, and even occasionally witty in its call to action. Every Christian college student (and those who aren't in college as well!) should read this book, then go outside and DO something about the environment."
"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. Green Revolution is more than a great book. It's a powerfully convincing invitation to join a fresh movement of God."
"I commend this book to all college students and concerned citizens of God's earth. Lowe gets it right! Biblical environmental stewardship is about the transformation of hearts and minds, and about incarnational living on earth. The book's case studies and stories illuminate and provide a useful framework to help Christians relearn what it means to love God, neighbor and creation."
"Ben Lowe makes a compelling case for the role of colleges and universities in preparing tomorrow's creation care servant leaders. This book is must-reading for those faculty, students and institutional leaders who will be called to teach and model new ways of thinking and living if we are to heal our planet."

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