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Creation Care Discipleship

Why Earthkeeping Is an Essential Christian Practice

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Although our planet faces numerous ecological crises, including climate change, many Christians continue to view their faith as primarily a "spiritual" matter that has little relationship to the world in which we live. But Steven Bouma-Prediger contends that protecting and restoring our planet is part and parcel of what it means to be a Christian.

Making his case from Scripture, theology, and ethics and including insights from the global church, Bouma-Prediger explains why Christians must acknowledge their identity as earthkeepers and therefore embrace their calling to serve and protect their home planet and fellow creatures. To help readers put an "earthkeeping faith" into practice, he also suggests numerous practical steps that concerned believers can take to care for the planet.

Bouma-Prediger unfolds a biblical vision of earthkeeping and challenges Christians to view care for the earth as an integral part of Christian discipleship.

1. Overture: Why Read This Book
Biblical Meditation: Water, Water Everywhere
2. Beginning and Ending with Rivers and Trees: The Biblical Vision of Earthkeeping
Biblical Meditation: God Remembers and the Earth Re-membered
3. Humble Humans in a Holy World: Learning from Theology and Ethics
Biblical Meditation: Lightning and Wind, Hawk and Vulture, Behemoth and Leviathan
4. Ecumenical Insights: Wisdom from the Global Church
Biblical Meditation: I Am the Good Shepherd
5. Christian Faith in Action: Living What We Believe
Biblical Meditation: Peace Be with You
6. Yearning for Shalom: Becoming Aching Visionaries


"Over many years, Steven Bouma-Prediger has been a leading voice charting the way for earthkeeping as an essential Christian practice. Now in his latest wide-ranging book, Creation Care Discipleship, we are treated to a distillation of the wisdom he has acquired along the way. Read it and let it inspire you to love the world that God loves and has chosen to make his abiding home."

Norman Wirzba, Gilbert T. Rowe Distinguished Professor of Theology, Duke Divinity School; senior fellow, Kenan Institute for Ethics, Duke University

"This is a book that the whole church in the US will want to welcome: a well-tutored but accessible theological synthesis of biblical testimony to God's good earth and a suggestive guide to Christian earthkeeping. Deeply informed by recent ecumenical discussions and creatively engaged with current justice issues, this well-written study is predicated on a lucidly rendered ethic of Christian virtue. Pastors will want to read through this theological testament as a resource for their preaching and teaching. Christian lay activists will want to study this book to be more biblically informed and more practically inspired. College and seminary faculty who are looking for a single volume to introduce their students to current trends in ecotheology and its practices will be well advised to choose Creation Care Discipleship."

H. Paul Santmire, author of Brother Earth, The Travail of Nature: The Ambiguous Ecological Promise of Christian Theology, and EcoActivist Testament

"Steven Bouma-Prediger has the heart of a good teacher, and here he blends decades of reflection, teaching, and scholarship into a comprehensive study. By reexamining the biblical witness and gathering a whole congregation of authoritative Christian voices, Creation Care Discipleship patiently addresses distorted perspectives and ideas, presenting instead a decisive case that creation care is necessary, not optional, to faithful Christian practice."

Debra Rienstra, professor, Calvin University; author of Refugia Faith

"I was twenty-one years old when I read my first Steven Bouma-Prediger book. I remember the moment as if it were yesterday. For the first time in my life, I was seeing someone connect the dots between loving Jesus and caring for creation. I had no idea they could go together. From that moment on--from doing a PhD on the topic to writing three books to founding an urban farm on our property--my life has been a sequence of events reverberating from reading this brilliant thinker. This book will have the same effect on a whole new generation. I can't commend it enough. Indeed, caring for the earth isn't merely part of discipleship. Caring for the earth is discipleship."

A. J. Swoboda, associate professor of Bible, theology, and world Christianity, Bushnell University; author of After Doubt

"This is a book for our times! I have long turned to Steven Bouma-Prediger for wisdom on how to think and live faithfully in light of our intensifying climate and ecological challenges. This book draws from his vast theological and ethical expertise and from his lifelong experience in the holy work of earthkeeping. It is a rich and practical guide for how we can better live out God's call to care for all creation."

Ben Lowe, executive director, A Rocha USA

"Steven Bouma-Prediger's skills as a teacher are on full display in this wonderful book that manages in a short space to introduce readers to the biblical, theological, ethical, and practical foundations for earthkeeping. Few if any books manage to do all of this, and none so well. Interaction with important thinkers from across the Christian tradition enriches the discussion, as do stories and reflections from Bouma-Prediger's own decades of experience. Highly recommended!"

Jonathan Moo, professor of New Testament and environmental studies, Whitworth University

The Author

  1. Steven Bouma-Prediger
    © Hope College

    Steven Bouma-Prediger

    Steven Bouma-Prediger (PhD, University of Chicago) is the Leonard and Marjorie Maas Professor of Reformed Theology at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. He also oversees the environmental studies minor and cochairs the Campus Sustainability Advisory Committee....

    Continue reading about Steven Bouma-Prediger


"No one has written more passionately, expertly, generatively, and faithfully than professor of Reformed theology (at Hope College) and adventuresome outdoorsman Steven Bouma-Prediger. . . . Creation Care Discipleship may be now my favorite book on the subject. . . . There is fresh thinking, great stories, and tons of biblical vignettes with insightful, even profound take-aways. . . . A masterpiece, readable, upbeat, biblical, practical. I adored this book."

Byron Borger,

Hearts and Minds Books