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Serve God, Save the Planet: A Christian Call to Action
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Serve God, Save the Planet: A Christian Call to Action

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  424 ratings  ·  101 reviews
Five years ago Dr. J. Matthew Sleeth and his family lived in a big house, had two luxury cars, loads of money, and lots of stuff. As chief of the medical staff at a large hospital, Sleeth was living the American dream�until he realized that something was terribly wrong. As he saw patient after patient suffering from cancer, asthma, and other chronic diseases, he began to u ...more
Hardcover, 216 pages
Published May 1st 2006 by Chelsea Green (first published 2006)
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My fifteen year old daughter attends an online Christian highschool and she regularly is the "odd student out" on their online forum, disagreeing with the majority of her fellow high schoolers on everything from politics to capital punishment. We are proud that she is so passionate about her beliefs and we regularly have deep conversations with her about the world and our place in it as Christians.

One topic that comes up regularly is environmentalism. We are pretty passionate about being "green"
Summary: He really had me for the first half of the book, but after a while his tone really started to get to me.

Pros: His passion for the environment is clear, and I admire most of the philosophy behind it. Also, while not new, his ideas on how distracting "stuff", busy-ness and television can be were good reading for me. He struck a chord with the part of me that desires not to be wasteful of the resources entrusted to me, and to be more peaceful and reflective. His call to put convictions int
I'm a big fan of being a good steward of the blessings God gives. I also love finding ways to save money. That's why I skimmed Serve God, Save the Planet. I didn't take time for a leisurely read (since I found it on my Aunt's bookshelf when we were there for an overnight), but took time to glean what I could in a 45 minute skim.

Here are some "take-away" notes that I jotted down while perusing this book -- Things that I intend to try and apply (to the best of my ability, without being completely
Shellys♥ Journal
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I am a Christian who happened to be born in a log cabin with no running water, electricity, TV, phone etc...So, I grew up with an understanding of the importance of nature and the role that Christians should have in the stewardship of creation. I picked up this book hoping for a book that would really analyze the idea of humanity being the stewards of God's creation. That is not what I got. This book seemed like an introduction to the idea that caring for the environment and Christianity could g ...more
The title of this book had me hoping for something it wasn't. I mean, Sleeth worked hard to bridge the gap between Christian evangelism and environmental stewardship, but the writing didn't have the eloquence and the ideas didn't have the substance I was hoping for. There were a few philosophical nuggets I dug, but not enough.

A few of my favorite passages:

P. 84 - "I love music, but until my current system dies or can no longer be repaired, I'm set."

I tend to agree with this. A different exampl
Joshua Hedlund
The environmental arguments that the Earth is dying and the theological arguments that we should steward it better were both weaker than I wanted them to be, with many questionable anecdotes and factoids (including a terrible chapter on overpopulation that should have been left out) mixed with the more interesting personal experiences. However, the book still contained many revealing, thought-provoking critiques of the culture we take for granted, from the schoolchildren who think they aren't "r ...more
Carrie Doan
Jan 05, 2009 Carrie Doan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Anyone who wants to become aware of how each decision of our daily routine can impact our earth and our future needs to read this. His perspective as a previous ER doctor gives the viewpoint much credibility.
Challenging read - Sleeth really drives home the need for Christians to take drastic steps now to save the planet. Highly recommend.
I love how this book illustrates the connection between being environmentally conscious and loving your neighbor. Highly recommended!!
William Deyo
Ever read a Christian self-help book before?

Do not be fooled, this is no different. Same tone, same "I'm toeing the line and being 'controversial' but I'm right" attitude, same reluctance to actually say anything controversial.

Sleeth mostly uses this as a platform to spout off a bunch of really obvious things that annoy him, few of which actually have to do with "saving the planet." At the end of chapters he'll sort of try to tie it around to make it relevant, but (not to be too cynical), this m
TEAR Australia
Review by Christina Harding


Why should Christians be more aware of, and involved in, the conservation issues facing the human race today? J. Matthew Sleeth lays out the logical, Biblical and scientific reasons why part of loving God is loving his Creation, and how this un turn is a way of loving our neighbours.

Sleeth's stories of how he and his family grappled with the issues we all face today are easy to identify with, even though the context
I was drawn to this book because it was one of the few on Christian Environmentalism. Other people like Tony Campolo have discussed the responsiblity of Christians to live responsibly in the world where we currently reside.

I also bought it because Dr. Sleeth lives in Wilmore Kentucky. Yeah, its a statehood pride thing!

There were subjects in this book that I didn't want to look at OR think about. For isntance, as a doctor he mentions Americans obsession with healthcare and longivity. How we can t
Dr. Sleeth does a great job of providing, in a lot of ways, an introductory book on the idea of Christian environmentalism (with a few other ideas added in). There were a number of places in the book, where I had that "a-ha" moment and am trying to implement some things he talked about. Not because they were necessarily new ideas to me, but he just had a great way of presenting them. The appendices in the back of the book are priceless and useful.

A couple of ideas bothered me, however. First, he
J. Matthew Sleeth used to be a doctor and a director of a Hospital Emergency Room. Giving it up for a life of simplicity, he now goes around teaching about creation care and the environment. This book provides a biblical basis for Christian environmentalism – which according to him, boils down to loving God and loving our neighbours. He then goes about suggesting ways in which we can play our part – some of them familiar, others surprising. How can we make a difference in our world by watching l ...more
I liked the way the author ties in Christian values with making changes in how we treat the environment. I think it helps those people who are not Christians see that Christianity is not based off of politically right-wing, hardline Republican Christians who seem to dominate the news and tend to give all Christians a bad name.

My only concern is that the author does come off a little "high and mighty" with some topics and I'm not sure if he does it on purpose or not? His background, before he mad
Loved this book. J. Matthew writes about the effects of polluting God's creation on humanity and that it's up to us to take care of the gift that God gave to us through our responsibility and stewardship for the Lord. As someone who already composts, recycles, gardens, buys locally grown produce, and reuse items as much as possible; its inspiring to know that what I have chosen to do in life is God supported as its stated in the Bible, but also allows me to show my love for God's children all ov ...more
Mar 12, 2012 Gloria rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Christian Earth Lovers Primarily
Christian environmentalist and medical doctor Sleeth is speaking nearby and I wanted to check out the book before hearing the speaker. This compact book is passionate about stepping out of the mainstream and cutting out the excess in our lives. His view is simply that if we fail to do this, there will not be an earth as we know it today to leave to future generations. His spiritual approach is meant to improve family life, save marriages, reduce stress, etc. It is clear he has a fully supportive ...more
Beth M.
I enjoyed reading this book as a Christian response to "going green." The author is a very engaging writing who used a lot of personal anecdotes, and well as, I think, sufficiently reminding U.S. Christians that they are rich simply by dint of being born in the US - doesn't matter what quintile you fall into. You can't get out of this, so you've gotta engage it.

I like how the author didn't shirk from the "hard stuff" (eg: population control), and provided specific ways to reduce your carbon foo
This is a wonderful and challenging book by a Christian doctor/ environmentalist/family man about how we can love God more, care about our neighbors, and become better stewards of the environment God gave us!!! This is a very eye-opening and practical book. It also includes an energy audit and many tips to steward our finite natural resources together. It talks about many interesting topics like materialism, work, television, parenting, food, house, power, energy, etc. Ultimately, our everyday a ...more
Perla Santoyo yates
this book really made me sled analyze my lifestyle and consumer choices. I think thus book makes it easy for the average person to start being better stewards of the earth. It provides a list of things to consider doing in order to lessen your impact on the planet which makes it very practical. There were some ideas that seemed a little weird but I found this book useful overall.
Aug 11, 2008 Rhonda rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Christians who care about the enviroment
Recommended to Rhonda by: A Rocha Santa Barbara
Shelves: read-2007
This book is such a good overview that I am reading it a second time with my homegroup (summer 2008)! Sleeth makes biblical case for why Christians should care about the planet and what we do to it. He spends most of the book trying to give practical guidelines and suggestions. While many of the ideas are not new or profound, his message is: get going. He seems to favor doing some things and starting out small to get people moving in the right direction. He wants us to understands that here is a ...more
Travis Cargle
Apr 04, 2008 Travis Cargle rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Travis by: Dr. Matthew Sleeth
“Serve God Save the Planet” has been a great read for me the past few months (yes, it takes me a while to read one book!). Dr. Matthew Sleeth is inspiring, heartfelt, brutally honest and allows for you to become quite humble in your existence. This book is a great start for those who want to understand what they can do to serve God and His creation and also how they can better improve the conditions here on earth. Sleeth sums up his book in a since in this passage:
“The most important truth in th
Book was good inspiration and had lots of good ideas for making small changes in our daily lives regarding the environment. There wasn't any novel ideas or striking moments but it's a good start. Its definitely written with the everyman in mind.

I had the privilege to hear Sleeth speak at a local Arocha event in March and I can understand how his experiences in the third world have shaped his approach to scaling back and living simply. When faced with how little people have the issue really becom
I picked up this book a while ago when it was on sale in a religious store. The title and description was intriguing, but I really wasn't sure what to expect from it. Having read it now, though, I can say that it exceeded my expectations.
The main message I got from this book is the importance of considering the impact your decisions make on others and on this world. It also focuses on the idea of stewardship of the blessings and resources God has blessed us with in this life. In doing this, it
Patrick Walsh
Serve God, Save the Planet is as serious and as radical a book as I have encountered to date giving an evangelical's perspective on creation care. While I might cavil about some minor factual errors, the errors do nothing to diminish the force of Dr. Sleeth's argument. Also, as it was written about a decade ago, recent data about the most alarming of environmental crises, including climate change and changes to the oceans' chemistry, are not included. Nonetheless this book provides a solid bibli ...more
Three stars because tt has some really great ideas about conserving energy in the home. It's also really annoying to hear the author talk about his rich life all the time.
This book is a call to evangelical Christians to stop making excuses and do something now to help out the environment and the fellow citizens of the worlds. The author gives examples from his own life as he has taken steps to move from a consumer-driven lifestyle, to one that is simpler and more sustainable. He is trying to speak to people who may not have considered the need to "green" their lifestyle before. He uses Biblical arguments and presents concreate steps one can take. It touches on di ...more
This is a deeply profound book. The author Dr. Sleeth grips my soul with his writing and causes me to ask important questions about faith and what it means to be human. While this is a book about creation care ultimately it is about loving God and loving our neighbor. Dr. Sleeth challenges us by saying that if we love our neighbor we will be concerned how we make use of the planet that everyone lives in.

This book is extremely warm and readable, yet it will cause you to ask deep questions about
Wong Mei
Sleeth presents an extremely radical call to change the way we live for the sake of being a good steward of a planet given to us by God. However, as a reader from Malaysia, not everything suggested or advocated in his book is easily applicable and his anecdotes sometimes come across as being rather high-handed in its religiousity. Still, his rationale is sound and should go down well with every Christian who feels that humans have a lot to answer for when it comes to the state of the planet.

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