Archives For Creation


Wonder, Whimsy,
and Mystical Love

A Review of

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

Paperback: Paraclete Press, 2017.
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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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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
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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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A Captivating Vision
for the Christian Life

A Feature Review of

Way of Love: Recovering the Heart of Christianity
Norman Wirzba

Hardback: HarperOne, 2016.
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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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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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[ ]

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…


582644: The Friends We Keep: Unleashing Christianity"s Compassion for Animals

A Review of
The Friends We Keep:
Unleashing Christianity’s Compassion for Animals

By Laura Hobgood-Oster
Paperback: Baylor University Press, 2010.

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Reviewed by Marilyn Matevia.

For nonhuman animals, Christian teachings might seem to be anything but “good news.” Many forms of exploitation, neglect and abuse are tolerated and even justified by followers of a faith tradition that holds compassion and justice as core virtues – because the victims are other animals and not human beings. But that has not always been the case. The modern Christian tradition, says Laura Hobgood-Oster, suffers “collective amnesia about the role of the rest of God’s creatures in religion and in life as a whole.” Hobgood-Oster is Professor of Religion and Environmental Studies at Southwestern University, and a dedicated volunteer dog and cat rescuer. In her latest book, The Friends We Keep: Unleashing Christianity’s Compassion for Animals, she attempts to rescue and recover the “good news” for animals from stories, teachings and texts that have been forgotten, marginalized or conveniently overlooked for several hundred years.

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