Thursday, October 30, 2008

Green Bible published

A new environmental edition of the Bible has been published in the US using soy inks on recycled paper and features a foreword by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

"The poor and vulnerable are members of God's family and are the most severely affected by droughts, high temperatures, the flooding of coastal cities, and more severe and unpredictable results of climate change," Archbishop Tutu argues in the foreword to HarperCollins' The Green Bible, Wired reports.

"We, who should have been responsible stewards preserving our vulnerable, fragile planet home, have been wantonly wasteful through our reckless consumerism, devouring irreplaceable natural resources."

The Green Bible has received a stamp of approval from the Sierra Club. The book highlights environmentally significant portions of the holy text in green, is printed with soy ink on water coated recyclable paper bound in a cloth and linen cover, and features Earth conscious essays from Wendell Beery, St Francis of Assisi, Pope John Paul II and more.

It also highlights in green more than a thousand passages relating to God's love for creation and the role of humans in caring for the earth.

Along with the biblical text, the book includes a set of essays by theologians and conservationists (including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Brian McLaren, and Pope John Paul II).

"It helps rectify a misperception that this is not a biblical issue," says Peter Illyn, an evangelical pastor who founded an environmental stewardship group called Restoring Eden to foster awareness across the denominational spectrum.

The Green Bible comes in the New Revised Standard Version, which is accepted by Protestants, Roman Catholics, and the Orthodox.

Matthew Sleeth, a former medical doctor concerned about environmental degradation who came into Christianity through reading the Bible, is the author of "Serve God, Save the Planet." A sought after speaker on campuses and in churches, he wrote the lead essay in the Green Bible, ABC (US) News says.

"When I started doing this, my own church wouldn't let me speak from the pulpit, the only people who would were the Unitarians," he says.

"Now many churches who call themselves quite conservative are taking it up."

Dr Sleeth says he has seen Christian colleges that had no interest in the subject begin to change their behaviour, modifying curriculum and finding ways to reduce their carbon footprint.

"When I speak to an audience, I start with the tree of life in the first part of the Bible and trace trees right through to Revelation 22, which has the beautiful description of the river of waters and the tree of life that is for the healing of the nations," Sleeth says. "It seems there's a tree there whenever anything of significance is happening, from Abraham to Zacchaeus."
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(Source: CTHN)

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