Reconciling All Creation
A Brief Review of Edward Brown’s
Our Father’s World:
Mobilizing The Church to Care For Creation. by Chris Smith
Ed Brown’s Our Father’s World: Mobilizing The Church to Care for Creation is a good introduction to environmental issues for evangelical churches. In the first half of the book, Brown makes a compelling biblical and theological case for caring for creation. In latter half, he offers practical suggestions for our churches to demonstrate their creation-care. The most significant contribution of Our Father’s World however, is that it finds its hope for better environmental care in the action, not of individuals, but of the Church. Brown says: “The church can do the most good for the environmental crisis by simply being the church, as long as ‘being the church’ encompasses the comprehensive redemption that God has in mind” (104). For those who have given some reflection to the church’s responsibility in environmental concerns, there is not much new here, but the book’s emphasis on the Church is a breath of fresh air in the stagnant, prevailing culture of individualism – a philosophy that has contributed greatly to the environmental crisis in which we find ourselves. Brown is right that it is only by the cooperative efforts of church communities committed to demonstrating a different way that we will begin to find hope for the healing of the wounds that humanity has inflicted upon creation.
C. Christopher Smith is the founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of a number of books, including most recently How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (Brazos Press, 2019). Connect with him online at: C-Christopher-Smith.com