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Living the Good Life on God's Good Earth.

Living The Good Life On God's Good Earth

Edited by David S. Koetje; Foreword by Ronald J. Sider

Faith Alive Christian Resources

2850 Kalamazoo Avenue SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49560 1-800-333-8300

1592552927 $11.50 83 pages

"Living the Good Life on God's Good Earth" is a collection of essays on issues of Judeo-Christian attitudes and teachings with respect to earth stewardship. Contributing authors include academicians Mark D. Bjelland (Associate Professor of Geography from Gustavuas Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minnesota), Christiana deGroot (Professor of Religion and Chair of Gender Studies, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan), Paul Heintzman (Assistant Professor of Leisure Studies, University of Ottawa, Ontario), and many more. A wide variety of backgrounds and locations of the contributors help to diversify and enrich the offerings and value of "Living the Good Life on God's Good Earth" for the reader. A key concept referred to in several of the chapters is the idea of "shalom." This is clearly and beautifully defined in chapter 10, 'Seeking Shalom" by John R. Wood and Stephen C. Bouma-Prediger, quoting Neal Plantinga's "Not The Way It's Supposed To Be A Breviary of Sin:" "The webbing together of God, humans, and all creation in justice, fulfillment, and delight is what the Hebrew prophets call shalom. We call it peace, but it means far more than mere peace of mind or a cease-fire between enemies. In the Bible shalom means universal flourishing, wholeness, and delight--a rich state of affairs in which natural needs are satisfied and natural gifts are fruitfully employed, a state of affairs that inspires joyful wonder as its Creator and Savior opens doors and welcomes the creatures in whom he delights. Shalom, in other words, is the way things ought to be (p. 10) (p. 80)." The expanded definition leads to the facing of hard questions about our daily life choices and patterns of energy and resource consumption. One of the prominent questions raised is "What, in sum, does it mean to seek shalom in the practices and activities of our everyday lives? (p.81)" And the final list of questions for reflection and discussion, taken from the texts of all the chapters, contains this idea: "Chapter 2 suggests that we make shlom, rather than profit, the guiding principle of our lives and work, with the goal of living sustainably and at peace with the creation. What are some societal issues--as opposed to personal issues--that prevent us from achieving shalom (p. 83)?" "Living the Good Life on God's Good Earth" is not the comfort literature of staid Bible study groups; it is instead a challenge to redefine and rediscover what it means to live according to the highest, earth and life sustaining principles.
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Author:Volk, Carol
Publication:Reviewer's Bookwatch
Article Type:Book review
Date:Aug 1, 2006
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