Books I have edited… John Stott on Creation Care

This post is part of an occasional series. You can read more about that, and see other posts, here.

John Stott on Creation Care

In her chapter at the end of Living Radical Discipleship, Laura Yoder refers to an unpublished manuscript by Sam Berry, tentatively titled Stott on the Environment. John Stott was known as a bible teacher, author, and leader of leaders, but also a birdwatcher. This book, John Stott on Creation Care, is part compendium of writings, part tracing of Stott’s journey on this issue and changing his mind, and part resource for preachers. It was a privilege to work on the book – a book that in some ways makes no sense, and in other ways is urgent and timely.

This is the first book IVP published that is fully recyclable – right down to the inks and glue. That’s actually quite a feat – usually we and other presses focus on recyclable paper and board, but as we read this book and were impacted by Stott’s challenge to be faithful to scripture, this seemed like the right thing to do. As I say when I lend it or give it to people, if you don’t like it, at least please recycle it.

This is a book for all sorts of people, perhaps most particularly Christians who are wary of environmentalists/ism.

  • it’s for church leaders and pastors: Stott was a preacher and pastor, and that shows. The book includes a comprehensive scripture index, and perhaps one challenge could be to use it to see if creation care is a relevant expositional or applicational point in the text you are preaching.
  • it’s for those unconvinced of the claims of the environmental lobby (Whatever that is). Regardless, this is a book that invites you to read the Bible and see what God intends for creation. We all have a doctrine of creation – Stott invites us to have a truly biblical one.
  • It’s for those concerned about the environment but not sure where it connects with our faith. Stott shows that the Bible is a rich invitation to the care of creation in service of God.
  • It’s for students and teachers in a variety of disciplines: this is a book that shows that biblical faith is not opposed to science, engages with many global and local issues, has an ethical dimension, and that God has something to say through his Word to his World.

Given the nature of the topic and the names involved, John Stott on Creation Care received some pretty exciting endorsements (from multiple continents!) two forewords (one from a Ruth in each hemisphere), and it’s been encouraging to see the reception. A couple of comments from those early readers to finish up this post:

John Stott was known for unimpeachable character, winsome personality, and rich theological clarity. What a gift to be able to sit at his feet once again through this new volume on the vital subject of creation care. The authors and contributors have done excellent work framing, commenting upon, and expounding Stott’s work. Whether a sermon, excerpt, or lecture, each chapter gleams with his characteristic lucidity and passion. Readers will be delighted to learn about his enthusiasm for wildlife, especially birds, his respect for Charles Darwin, and insistence on the ethical imperative of a simple lifestyle. His is not a secular environmentalism with a little God-talk added on, but a distinctly Christian environmentalism born of faith in the Triune Creator God whom we know and worship by caring for his creation. Throughout, we hear fervent appeal to embrace creation care as the responsibility of every Christian and a central part of the Church’s mission. I pray we will heed his call.

The Rev. Canon Emily H. McGowin, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Theology, Wheaton College
I live in a country that is resource-rich and one of the world’s densest in bio-diversity, yet has become poor and disaster-prone because of bad governance, — over creation and over society. The disasters we live in have intensified fears about the ‘end times.’ But this book cogently argues for an alternative picture of the ‘apocalypse’ – a ‘new heaven and a new earth’ as the people of God show up in its remaking. “We are not going to be saved outof the earth,” it says, “but saved along with the earth.”

Melba Padilla Maggay, Ph.D., Institute for Studies in Asian Church and Culture
The collection carefully frames Stott’s writing with accounts of a man who was willing to change his mind, who pursued self-restraint, and who sincerely loved the diversity and beauty of the life he encountered, both human and non-human. In an era where the toxic culture around many evangelical leaders has rightly been exposed, this tribute to a leader of real integrity and vision is welcome and timely.

Hannah Malcolm, Anglican Ordinand and editor, Words for a Dying World: Stories of Grief and Courage from the Global Church


You can get a copy direct from IVP (either recyclable hardback or DRM-free eBook). Other bookstores, on and offline, are also available!

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