Cherishing the Earth: How to Care for God’s Creation by Martin J. Hodson and Margot R. Hodson is a marvellous book that gives a call for Christians everywhere to get involved in the preservation of our environment. The authors bring a wide range of scientific and theological learning to the debate of whether Christians are called to the work of saving the planet.
They begin with a description of Creation and move toward a theological understanding of our place in the ecology. Rather than putting either humans or animals or even the environment at the centre, they place God’s purpose for Creation at the centre. Humans are not called to vacate the wilderness, and neither are they allowed to despoil it for their profit. Instead the authors suggest that as stewards of the planet we are called to help the natural world reach fulfillment in a co-operative manner.
As they talk about humanity’s sad history of interaction with nature they point out that we have already changed the vast majority of the Earth’s ecology. What we have changed for the worse out of selfishness, we can also change for the better. Taking care of the planet is not just about making it a nicer place to live, it is also about justice. The developing world will be hardest hit by the continuation of global warming. Food will continue to get higher in price and lower in quality if we don’t reconnect food production with a concern for the land.
What I particularly like about this book is that it is not just doom and gloom. Martin and Martha Hodson pull no punches when it comes to describing the devastation we have wrought on our home. But they also tell stories of hope such as the recovery of Sudbury. They made me believe that there is hope. They talk about what our response to the issue can be as individuals, communities, and as a species. At no point do they suggest that the solutions will be easy or simple, yet they do describe the solution as possible with the help of God.
This book is thought-provoking, educational and gives hope we can make needed changes.