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Serve God, Save the Planet: A Christian Call to Action

Overview

Not long ago, J. Matthew Sleeth had a fantastic life and a great job as chief of the medical staff at a large hospital. He was living the American dream—until he saw an increasing number of his patients suffering from cancer, asthma, and other chronic diseases. He began to suspect that the Earth and its inhabitants were in deep trouble. Turning to Jesus for guidance, Sleeth discovered how the scriptural lessons of personal responsibility, simplicity, and stewardship could be applied to modern life. The Sleeths ...

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Overview

Not long ago, J. Matthew Sleeth had a fantastic life and a great job as chief of the medical staff at a large hospital. He was living the American dream—until he saw an increasing number of his patients suffering from cancer, asthma, and other chronic diseases. He began to suspect that the Earth and its inhabitants were in deep trouble. Turning to Jesus for guidance, Sleeth discovered how the scriptural lessons of personal responsibility, simplicity, and stewardship could be applied to modern life. The Sleeths have since sold their big home and given away more than half of what they once owned. In Serve God, Save the Planet, Sleeth shares the joy of adopting a less materialistic, healthier lifestyle, stronger relationships, and richer spiritual lives. With the storytelling ease of James Herriot and the logical clarity of C. S. Lewis, Sleeth lays out the rationale for environmentally responsible life changes and a how-to guide for making those changes. “Creation is groaning. And Matthew Sleeth has responded. Serve God, Save the Planet is not an alarmist call of despair, but a hopeful invitation to re-imagine the way we live. Sleeth’s words have the urgency of an ER crisis coupled with the deep faith that the Church is ready to join God in healing the wounded world.” —Shane Claiborne, activist and author of The Irresistible Revolution.

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Editorial Reviews

Acton Institute
'...a great read on how individual Christians and their families can respond to God’s call for environmental stewardship.'
Books and Culture
'...remarkable: elegantly written, theologically and scientifically acute, and not least, beautifully typeset and bound.... Serve God, Save the Planet is about much more than environmental activism.... [W]hat I took away from Sleeth's book had less to do with the specifics of energy use and recycling than the hope that there is a better way to live as families: that it is possible to detoxify our technologized and hypermediated homes, and that our children will thank us for it.... Sleeth...is the perfect missionary for the environmental cause;....he recognizes, in time-honored evangelical style, that the most important battleground for any social change is the human heart....' -- Books and Culture
Books & Culture
'...remarkable: elegantly written, theologically and scientifically acute, and not least, beautifully typeset and bound.... Serve God, Save the Planet is about much more than environmental activism.... [W]hat I took away from Sleeth's book had less to do with the specifics of energy use and recycling than the hope that there is a better way to live as families: that it is possible to detoxify our technologized and hypermediated homes, and that our children will thank us for it.... Sleeth...is the perfect missionary for the environmental cause;....he recognizes, in time-honored evangelical style, that the most important battleground for any social change is the human heart....'
Books & Culture
'...remarkable: elegantly written, theologically and scientifically acute, and not least, beautifully typeset and bound.... Serve God, Save the Planet is about much more than environmental activism.... [W]hat I took away from Sleeth's book had less to do with the specifics of energy use and recycling than the hope that there is a better way to live as families: that it is possible to detoxify our technologized and hypermediated homes, and that our children will thank us for it.... Sleeth...is the perfect missionary for the environmental cause;....he recognizes, in time-honored evangelical style, that the most important battleground for any social change is the human heart....' — Books& Culture
Acton Institute
'...a great read on how individual Christians and their families can respond to God's call for environmental stewardship.' -- Acton Institute
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310275343
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication date: 3/28/2007
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 592,387
  • Product dimensions: 5.38 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Matthew Sleeth, MD, is the executive director of Blessed Earth, an educational nonprofit that inspires and equips Christians to become better stewards of the earth. Together with his wife, Nancy, and two children, he helps lead the growing creation care movement. www.blessedearth.org

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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Genesis 1
Ch. 2 An ounce of prevention can change the world 11
Ch. 3 A Christian's case of Earth care 20
Ch. 4 The Earth is the Lord's 37
Ch. 5 Moving from faith to works 48
Ch. 6 Too much stuff 62
Ch. 7 An hour of work, a day of rest 74
Ch. 8 Television : more real than real 88
Ch. 9 Steward parents and servant children 100
Ch. 10 Food for thought 113
Ch. 11 A house is not a home 124
Ch. 12 It's a wonderful life 136
Ch. 13 Power and light 147
Ch. 14 First, do no harm 156
Ch. 15 Population fallout 166
Ch. 16 God is love 176
App. A Serve God, save the planet energy audit 184
App. B Stewardship, one appliance at a time 192
App. C Let it begin with me : an Earth care to-do list 200
App. D Luther, Calvin, Lewis, and others on creation care 206
App. E Excerpts from the evangelical climate initiative 210
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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2009

    This Book is not worth the trees it was cut down and printed on!

    Dr. Sleeth is an arrogant moron. I read his material and went to see him speak to confirm my suspicions about the falsehood of this man. THIS MAN IS NOTHING BUT A SCAM ARTIST!!! He is preying on an easy subject to write about right now. There is no science in his book and if there is it is not cited. So we must assume that he did all the research himself. HOGWASH a sheer and utter waste.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2008

    Fabulous Book

    I loved Serve God, Save the Planet. It is about a spiritual awakening, about lifestyle choices, about making conscientious decisions, about living a simpler life, one more in tune with Godly principles. Even if one isn't a religious person or an environmentalist, it is enlightening and educational. My son was so enlightened by it that he gave it to all his cousins as Christmas presents and they loved it as well.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2008

    Tread lightly

    Paradoxically, I was both lifted up and humbled by this book. For years I've wondered why church leaders were so reticent on a topic that seemed to me to be such a no-brainer. God made the world. We need its resources. Our descendants will need its resources. To refuse to share and play nice with our global neighbors makes us appear spoiled toddlers in their eyes. Isn't a true faith supposed to cure that kind of selfishness? During my college years I first began to test out strategies to leave smaller, lighter footprints behind as I make my way down my path. Your book showed me areas where I can still improve. NO ONE in this country can afford complacency or smugness about their environmental impact. I'm thankful to Dr. Sleeth for nudging me out of my comfort zone and encouraging me to find more ways to change. My heart was searching for a sense of mission and I think I've found it. I can't wait to put ideas into action. Really, I literally can't wait. I haven't even finished the book completely and I've already made many change. My hope is that the message in this book speaks to those I love with as much resonance as it speaks to me. I plan to get as many people as I can to read it. Sacrificing for the sake of others is a core value in my walk and you've shown me a way to practice this sort of servanthood in a way that will pull others in to a new way of thinking instead of beating them up over past mistakes.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2008

    Life-changing!

    If you'd told me last spring that I'd be line-drying my clothes, hand-washing dishes, using compact fluorescent bulbs, and cloth diapers, I'd have said you were nuts. But Dr. Sleeth changed my mind. His compelling arguments, bolstered by his personal experiences, combined with his money-saving evidence (I'll save $600 this year by switching from disposable diapers to cloth diapers), convinced me. I'm happier and more relaxed now. I enjoy hanging wash on the line and doing dishes. Seriously. Buy this book, read it, and apply Dr. Sleeth's ideas. You'll be happier for it. Really!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2008

    Phenomenal Book

    I met Dr. Sleeth a few months ago when he came to South Florida. I just finished this book and I cannot fully communicate the appreciation I have for the truths he communicates. Everyone (especially Christians who aren't sure about the whole green/environmental thing) should read this. In the back of the book I have marked the things that I will be implementing into my life and have even made my own list of other ideas. I am encouraged and inspired not in an in-the-moment emotional kind of way, but in Biblical, theologically sound way that is rooted in the heart of God and His heart for the earth. A great read for small groups, families, singles. Phenomenal book!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2008

    You'll Want to Give a Copy to Everyone You Know

    What I loved best about Serve God, Save the Planet by Matthew Sleeth is that it is practical, approachable, not preachy, and calls to the very best in me to be the very best person/Christian I can be. It is hopeful and not depressing. Again, it gives lots of practical suggestions of ways that I can be a faithful steward of God's creation {I know, churchy talk} and calls me to be proactive rather than always reactive responding to crises. Very well done! It will probably be my Christmas gift of choice this year!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2008

    Couldn't put the book down

    I found this book at a time in my life when I was becoming dreary. I have always been filled with hope, but lately I had begun to fall. When I read this book it made so much sense, and was inspiring. Its not just a great book about returning to our calling by God to be stewards of the earth, it is filled with a lifestyle that I believe we as a 'modern day culture gone CRAZY' are in absolute need of. I loved it and highly recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2008

    A Must Read for every Chrisitan living Today

    J. Matthew Sleeth¿s book ¿ ¿Serve God, Save the Planet ¿ A Christian Call to Action¿ is exactly that ¿ a Christian understanding of service to God through recognition of our relationships with one another and all creation manifesting in concrete actions. In other words it is an immensely practical book, and I think one of the most important books we have regarding what it means to be a Christian in context of the times we live in, and how to respond to the present historical moment in an authentically Christian way. Dr. Sleeth has an amazing ability to relate real life stories simply and with a touch of humor, allowing the reader to see the deeper insights contained in the story. But the primary reason I think this book is crucial to Christians, and others, living in this time is because it is biblically relevant to our current life situation. Dr. Sleeth has what I call a holistic Christian vision ¿ in that he clearly and concisely draws the connections between our motives and actions, and the consequences they have for our physical/spiritual/emotional health as well as how they affect our relationship to other people and creation as a whole. He demonstrates that the ecological crisis involves and affects every aspect of our lives ¿ family relations, the value of work, leisure time, even our relationship with food. He also guides us in discerning God¿s will as expressed in the biblical witness. Much of his practical advice on how to be good steward¿s of God¿s creation, including our bodies and interpersonal relationships, are not something new to the Christian tradition, rather a call to return to prudence, thrift, and God-centered living that is rooted in the ways of our spiritual ancestors. It is a call for us to reject our current cultural idols of selfishness, excess, and thoughtless consumption. It is a call for us to embrace, in very practical ways, what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ ¿ the author of Life, for ¿where there is life, there is God, and where there is God, there is life. From the beginning to the end of the bible, God demands a reverence for life.¿ (pg.136) The time is now, to respond to the call to act in Christ. Dr. Sleeth¿s book is a trustworthy and practical guide in how to respond to that call with ¿all one¿s heart, and all one¿s strength, and all one¿s being¿.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2008

    An extremely powerful, devout 'call for action'

    Make no mistake ¿ the environmental crisis is real, and it is now. If you have read `Collapse¿ by Jared Diamond, you will have learned that many great civilizations have fallen thanks to their reckless disregard for the limits of their environment - deforestation, extinction of species, and a population greedy for more than their surroundings could handle. We are doing exactly the same ¿ and this time, we are determined to make it global. Can we reverse this maniac trend? Matthew Sleeth - ER doctor turned Christian eco-evangelist - thinks 'YES'. Downsize, put God before our own crazy consumerism...read this book now!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2008

    Stranded on a desert island, bring two books the Bible would be the other

    I picked up a copy of Serve God Save The Planet this past summer (07). I've never been all that interested in creation care, the environment etc. but I've also never heard the message presented quite like this. My wife and I seemed to just eat Matthew's words up, taking our time to read through the book, stopping along the way to process and apply. I am a church youth pastor and was so compelled by the insight and application of the book that it got me excited and we spent a whole month doing teachings with our youth group on creation care. We bought over 30 copies of the book to give out to kids that came to youth group and encouraged those kids to read the book and pass it on to a friend/fellow youth grouper etc. Matthew came and spoke to the kids in February 08 which has huge for them as many had read the book. This has changed our group and it's changed the lifestyle that my wife and I lead. We've started doing things to reconnect with God's creation and it's not some kind of ritual or obligation - it's been an awesome experience

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