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Sandra L. Richter cares about the Bible. She also cares about the environment. Using her expertise in ancient Israelite society and economy as well as in biblical theology, she walks readers through passages familiar and not-so-familiar, showing how significant environmental theology is in the Bible's witness. She then calls Christians to apply that message to today's environmental concerns. Richter is a master Bible scholar. Each chapter in this timely book draws out a biblical mandate about care for the land, for domestic and wild animals, for people at the margins, and more. She is also a master storyteller. Well informed on the most significant challenges to present-day environmental stewardship, Richter includes case studies connecting the biblical mandates to modern day issues. Though current political values may tempt readers to separate or even polarize Christian faith and ecological concerns, in this short, accessible book Richter urges us to be driven by God's values instead.
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"No newcomer to serious biblical thinking about the environment, Sandra Richter is a learned and seasoned interpreter of the Scriptures. Her vision begins with Scripture, the overarching story of redemption, stressing the grand themes of the Christian faith. She brings into focus how care for our broken world occupies a vital place in robust biblical faith and discipleship. Bringing God's living Word into contact with his hurting world, she issues a call that every follower of Christ will need to take seriously."
-Lawson Stone, professor of Old Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary
"Creation is groaning like a woman in travail, and we are called to be midwives, delivering God's creation to future generations in as good or better shape than we received it. Sandy Richter is a gifted biblical scholar and teacher, the right messenger with the right message at the right time."
-Matthew Sleeth, author of Reforesting Faith and executive director of Blessed Earth
"The environment is one of the most pressing as well as polarizing issues today. As Sandra Richter points out, this issue is not simply a political question but a human question; it's a matter of life and death. What are Christians to do? First and foremost we turn to the Bible to find out what God tells us about our role in the world. For that reason Stewards of Eden is critically important as it skillfully and clearly interprets the relevant biblical passages. All Christians should read this book."
-Tremper Longman III, distinguished scholar and professor emeritus of biblical studies at Westmont College
"Sandra Richter marshals evidence from her decades of first-rate engagement with biblical theology, her extraordinary knowledge of pertinent Ancient Near East sources, and her awareness of unconscionable contemporary environmental disasters in order to challenge the church. The earth is the Lord's and we are privileged to be stewards thereof. That mandate transcends current political divides and puts the matter squarely in the realm of 'kingdom politics.' The task of the church is thus to nurture lives of restraint as we use resources and charity as we share them."
-Elaine A. Phillips, Harold John Ockenga Distinguished Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies, Gordon College
"This deeply moving, impassioned, and informed argument for responsible Christian engagement with environmental concerns is the fruit of years of careful biblical study and wise application to contemporary issues. Stewards of Eden challenges, disturbs, and encourages us to recognize God's consistent concern for the well-being of all creation and our responsibility as God's stewards. Sandra Richter's work is both very readable and richly insightful—I highly recommend it!"
-Christine D. Pohl, professor emeritus, Christian ethics, at Asbury Theological Seminary
"We can scarcely overstate the relevance of the subject of this volume for Christians who identify as evangelicals. For too long we have turned a blind eye to the ecological crises facing our planet—often based on our theological precommitments or our appeals to isolated texts in Scripture. The issues involved in turning around the rapid degradation of our earthly home and the home of all species of life (both plant and animal) are complex. Surely we must begin by reexamining the witness of the Scriptures to our roles as images of God and deputized stewards of his creation. Combining sound interpretation, engaging literary style, and awareness of the current urgency, Richter provides Christians with an invaluable resource for study, reflection, discussion, and action. This book should be required reading for all who seek to make a difference in this world."
-Daniel I. Block, Gunther H. Knoedler Professor Emeritus of Old Testament, Wheaton College
"My soul comes alive hiking mountain trails or kayaking across a saltwater bay. I remember and give thanks to the Creator. I encourage my congregation to sabbath and rest in creation. Yet, how is creation stewardship expressed in our day-to-day living as followers of Jesus? There I fall short. Stewards of Eden provides a compelling biblical analysis and a wake-up call to our responsibility as those who bear the imprint of the Creator. All creation groans because of the weight of the fall. Let's no longer be paralyzed by political agendas or blinded by an ignorant consumer mindset. Let's be the church! Dr. Richter's wisdom paired with practical suggestions awakens a movement toward justice for all of creation."
-Melissa Maher, lead pastor of Mercy Street, a church within Chapelwood United Methodist, Houston, Texas