sunrise over swamps

sunset over melancholy seas

On the Bookshelf: Creation Waits

on October 18, 2013

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Agnes Sanford (1977). Creation Waits. Plainfield, New Jersey: Logos International.

This unique little book is quite remarkable. I think it sits in that rare category of Christian books that would probably be meaningful to people in other nature-centred belief systems, too.

Sanford’s basic argument is this: God’s creation (nature, the world, its systems and functions such as the weather and climate, animals and gardens) are able to be encompassed in prayer. As an environmentally conscious Christian, I appreciate her ability to draw in scriptural arguments and testimonies regarding our duty of care to our planet and its inhabitants.

It’s interesting to note that the book was written in the 1970s. There are Christians who, for a long time, have historically regarded creation as something worth protecting and healing. Some early vegetarian movements in Europe were, for example, based on a Christian theological position that death is a curse, and that vegetarianism pointed the way to a renewed Earth in which the “lion will lie down with the lamb.” We Christians are not all out to plunder the finite resources of the world that sustains us. It is sad, in my opinion, that we so easily twist the teachings of the Gospel to imply a level of self-deserving consumption of resources, thinking that it is our God-given right to take what we want without regard to the consequences of our actions on other people groups and the environment. We take more than we should, and call ourselves blessed.

By seeing the Earth as belonging to God, we seek to uphold it in prayer and in practical acts of conservation and kindness to animals and plants. Sanford details a fascinating, prayerful approach to encompassing the planet in spiritual light, seeing those who have faith as channels for that light.

This book is definitely worth tracking down and reading, studying, and considering that our prayers must be extended to the world beyond our own immediate individual needs.

I bought my copy from Amazon.Com. As it is an old book, most copies I found available were second hand.

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