God of Earth

Kristin Swenson. Westminster John Knox, $17 trade paper (146p) ISBN 978-0-664-26157-3
PW reviewer Swenson (Bible Babel), a self-described “lapsed churchgoer of a questionable Christianity,” writes of a “Jesus beyond Jesus, the God of Earth .” What exactly that phrase means is at times hard to pinpoint, but she asserts that Jesus was not just a man from Galilee born 2,000 years ago—he is the Earth itself. Through personal reflections, the author analogizes the events of Jesus’s life to the birth, death, and resurrection of the planet’s natural environment. As she discusses the debate around the Keystone Pipeline and the importance of finding the right balance in terms of environmental responsibility (like not getting so bogged down in making a compost pile you forget to take a walk in the woods), Swenson incorporates passionate pleas for change. A good place to start, she says, is to live with less—less stuff, less fossil fuel consumption, even fewer visits to exotic wilderness areas. One of the most beautiful passages in her book examines the creation story in Genesis and explains the original meaning of the Hebrew words, which gives insight into humankind’s true purpose. “Of all the planets in our solar system” she says, “none compares to Earth .” The natural world is full of stories with important lessons, Swenson insists, that are similar to Jesus’s parables. With a poetic and serene tone, she beckons readers to listen. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/03/2016
Release date: 10/06/2016
Ebook - 978-1-61164-756-3
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