Archives For Creation

 

 

The Quiet Work of Caring:
Establishing Life-Giving Boundaries
Within and Without

 

An Essay by
Jenna Henderson and Kimberly Miller

 

“…the work now most needing to be done
—that of neighborliness and caretaking—
cannot be done by remote control with the
greatest power on the largest scale.”

—Wendell Berry

 

[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”250″ identifier=”1400201616″ locale=”US” src=”http://englewoodreview.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/51SH2dgswZL-1.jpg” tag=”douloschristo-20″ width=”164″] The idea that there’s always more deeply drives our way of life and informs the way we think of possessions, science, knowledge, and technology. To think otherwise is horrifying to many people. In his 2008 essay “Faustian Economics: Hell Hath No Limits,” Wendell Berry mourns the effects of the “doctrine of limitlessness” on our culture and calls for “the self-restraints implied in neighborliness, stewardship, thrift, temperance, generosity, care, kindness, friendship, loyalty, and love.” He continues, “There is now a growing perception…that we are entering a time of inescapable limits.” As the illusion of limitlessness fades, we will “come under pressure to understand ourselves as limited creatures in a limited world.”

Like Berry, we are grieved by the damaging consequences of the human race’s unrestrained actions on both personal and global levels. Becoming aware of our limits is sobering, but, in the end, results in the fulfillment of our better longings. According to Berry, there’s another way to think about constraints: “Our human and earthly limits, properly understood, are not confinements but rather inducements…to fullness of relationship and meaning.”

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[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”333″ identifier=”1612617751″ locale=”US” src=”http://englewoodreview.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/51sbXxR2XQL.jpg” tag=”douloschristo-20″ width=”238″]Wonder, Whimsy,
and Mystical Love

 
A Review of
 

The Canticle of the Creatures for Saint Francis of Assisi
Luigi Santucci

Paperback: Paraclete Press, 2017.
Buy Now: [  [easyazon_link identifier=”1612617751″ locale=”US” tag=”douloschristo-20″]Amazon[/easyazon_link] ] [  [easyazon_link identifier=”B0778G5PNG” locale=”US” tag=”douloschristo-20″]Kindle[/easyazon_link] ]

 
Reviewed by Bailey Shannon

 

The Canticle of the Creatures for Saint Francis of Assisi entered my life in the most appropriate and timely way. I recently started an internship at a wilderness academy where I instruct children in nature connection and (hopefully) instill in them a love and passion for the natural world. Whenever we walk down to the river, we pass a house with a yard full of herbs and perennials, trees and trinkets, and beautiful garden decor. One of the decorations is a four-foot-tall statue of Saint Francis. The children greet him as we pass by; I like to think he is giving us his blessing.

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[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”333″ identifier=”B0161U7L68″ locale=”US” src=”http://englewoodreview.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/51ptvd6CQoL.jpg” tag=”douloschristo-20″ width=”220″]Love and Care for ALL God’s Creation

A Review of 

Every Living Thing, How Pope Francis, Evangelicals and Other Christian Leaders Are Inspiring All of Us to Care for Animals 
Christine Gutleben, Editor.

Paperback: Front Edge, 2015
Buy now: [ [easyazon_link identifier=”B0161U7L68″ locale=”US” tag=”douloschristo-20″]Amazon[/easyazon_link] ]  [ [easyazon_link identifier=”B0161U7L68″ locale=”US” tag=”douloschristo-20″]Kindle[/easyazon_link] ]

Review by Alexander Steward

 

As we look across the Christian landscape within the United States there are many denominations with varying degrees of theology which guide their doctrine and practices. It is the hope of many to be able to work on an ecumenical level with our sisters and brothers in Christ. We do not always have the pleasure of doing so as we let our differing opinions get in the way of what is better for our communities.

The collaboration of Every Living Thing brings many denominational statements and beliefs around creation care into one convenient resource. While at times we tend to get into a theological war of words, it is nice to be able to see where our common beliefs align and build a foundation to reach out in common care for all of creation. While there definitely are apparent differences when we discuss the specifics, it does not mean that we end up mostly at the same conclusion.

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[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”333″ identifier=”006238581X” locale=”US” src=”http://englewoodreview.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/51DwVkcfYIL.jpg” tag=”douloschristo-20″ width=”220″]A Captivating Vision
for the Christian Life

 
A Feature Review of
 

Way of Love: Recovering the Heart of Christianity
Norman Wirzba

Hardback: HarperOne, 2016.
Buy now:  [ [easyazon_link identifier=”006238581X” locale=”US” tag=”douloschristo-20″]Amazon[/easyazon_link] ]   [ [easyazon_link identifier=”B00Z74LUWG” locale=”US” tag=”douloschristo-20″]Kindle[/easyazon_link] ]

 

Reviewed by Andrew Camp
 

Having celebrated Easter, the church will soon be settling into what she has traditionally called Ordinary Time—the time between Pentecost Sunday and the first Sunday of Advent. Like Peter returning to fishing after the Resurrection, we are called to descend from the mountain top experience of Easter and return to the ordinary, mundane living of our Christian faith.

As we find our bearings in this Ordinary Time, we, through the power of the Holy Spirit, train ourselves to see that the mundane activities we once thought were boring are actually fraught with the love the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Our hearts are captivated by God’s love and we begin to see the primacy of love in all that we say and do.

Rediscovering the centrality of love in the Christian life is Norman Wirzba’s main point in his new book Way of Love. He writes, “Our way into the fullness of life is the way of love…. Love is the eternal ‘yes’ to life’s possibilities and promise. It is the form of protest that says ‘no’ to all the forces in our world that diminish and degrade life” (page 7). Wirzba longs to see the church take her place as the “training camp for love” (7), where in the context of community we are apprenticed in love, unlearning our false visions of love and relearning God’s grand vision of love, most visibly seen in Jesus Christ.

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[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”0801038812″ locale=”us” height=”333″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51-SVmIjUYL.jpg” width=”222″ alt=”Jonathan R. Wilson” ]Working toward God’s Shalom

A Feature Review of

God’s Good World: Reclaiming the Doctrine of Creation
Jonathan R. Wilson

Paperback: Baker Academic, 2013.
Buy now:  [ [easyazon-link asin=”0801038812″ locale=”us”]Amazon[/easyazon-link] ]  [ [easyazon-link asin=”B00CA0VTDK” locale=”us”]Kindle[/easyazon-link] ]

Reviewed by Scott Elliott.

God’s Good World: Reclaiming the Doctrine of Creation by Jonathan R. Wilson is a book full of hope. In this theology of creation Wilson seeks to help Christians recover the full message of the gospel. He believes the good news is not just a message of redemption, but a message of creation and redemption. Wilson presents a theology of creation that is meaningful and relevant,  a theology that does not get weighed down in political disagreements, because its politics is rooted in Jesus. Both Biblical and practical, God’s Good World is a book that will benefit any Christian who takes the time to mine the many treasures found within its pages.

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An excerpt from Dom Helder Camara’s classic book…

Sister Earth: Creation, Ecology and the Spirit

Dom Helder Camara

Paprback: New City Press, 2008.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]





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An appropriate poem from another noted speaker at the Festival of Faith and Writing, Luci Shaw.

From her book:

The Green Earth: Poems of Creation.

Luci Shaw.

Hardback: Eerdmans, 2002.
Buy now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle
]

Read our review of Luci’s recent book of poetry, Harvesting Fog





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“Giving Praise to God for All Creation

A review of
Brother Sun, Sister Moon
Reimagined by Katherine Paterson.

Review by Leslie Starasta.

[ Browse this book online here… ]


BROTHER SUN, SISTER MOON - Katherine PatersonBrother Sun, Sister Moon:
Saint Francis of Assisi’s
Canticle of the Creatures
.
Reimagined by Katherine Paterson.
Hardback: Chronicle Books, 2011.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]

If you say the name Katherine Paterson, many individuals automatically bring to mind her Newbery Award winning novels such as Bridge to Terabithia and The Great Gilly Hopkins.  However, in her most recent work, Paterson turns her attention to one of the great figures of church history, St. Francis of Assisi, and brings his famous “Canticle of the Creatures’ down to a child’s understanding.  Wedded with beautiful illustrations, this picture book begs to be read and admired by children and the young at heart.

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A Brief Review of

The Love Story of Creation: Book One:
The Creative Adventures of
God, Quarkie, Photie, and their Atom Friends.
Edward Ruetz.
Paperback: Universe, Inc., 2009.
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]

Reviewed by Karen Altergott.

Imaginative interweavings of the scientific story and the God-story of creation make The Love Story of Creation unique.  A tale is told with the help of a cast of animated atoms and photons who, along with the Godhead, spend billions of years together.  Beginning from before all time and ending with the existence of 92 atom families and bacterium and a eukaryote cell in a mere 322 pages is an ambitious enterprise.  Carefully incorporating the best science available and the theology of divine love and creativity is an amazing accomplishment.  Ruetz communicates with beauty and delight about a God who is present during the minute transformations of matter into the complex reality we know.  This book conveys the miraculous and the true drama of those billions of years!  What a miracle today is, when we consider all that came before.

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“Whither Wisdom?

A review of
Old Testament Wisdom Literature:
A Theological Introduction

by Craig Batholomew and Ryan O’Dowd.

Review by Mark Eckel.


Old Testament Wisdom LiteratureOld Testament Wisdom Literature:
A Theological Introduction

Craig Batholomew and Ryan O’Dowd.
Hardback: IVP Academic, 2011.
Buy now:
[ ChristianBook.com ]


Cloud watchers, unite!  Wonder, mystery, miracle, and marvel enfold us in God’s world.  All of life screams of The Creator.  Yet, we Westerners tend to disregard the wisdom resident in creation.  Comfortable in our homes, we forget that one look outside the window might refocus our attention on what matters most.  Daily life surrounds us with displays of Heaven’s call to humans everywhere.  And what is that “call”?  Order, rhythm, pattern, and wholeness bear silent testimony to what should be painfully obvious—because Truth exists, the world works.  Pragmatists that we are sometimes, we think the opposite; if it works it must be true.  Creation and Wisdom should be forever linked in First Testament studies.

Experiential wisdom can be providentially practical.  Biblical wisdom is tied to daily life and its connection to real-world experiences for every time and place.  So, it was with delight that I opened Bartholomew and O’Dowd’s Old Testament Wisdom Literature (OTWL). The authors invest time in obvious concerns: “the fear of The Lord,” poetic devices, theology of wisdom, etc.  But this text supersedes all others for its intersection with and excitement for God’s creation.  Continue Reading…