Category Archives: Book Reviews

Serve God Save The Planet – A book review

I have resolved to start writing book reviews on all the books that I read. Seeing that I tend to read a ton of books, I'm praying that I will be able to force myself pause after each one and type up something. =)

The first book on the block is Serve God Save The Planet by Matthew Sleeth.

Summary:

In keeping up with the title, the book show how taking care of the environment and serving God can (and should be) connected. It does this by showing the connection between areas that are usually disconnected:

  • Materialistic lifestyles
  • Abuse of natural resources
  • Rise of cancer and health problems
  • Poverty in third world countries

Through out the entire book, Dr. Sleeth continues to point the reader back to the One True God:

"For me to love God, I must love all people. This book has been about the works we can do to save the next generation. Some may say that I've shortchanged faith. The argument about good works and their relative merit to faith is as old as the book as Acts. The Bible settles this issue: There is no faith without works, and no works without faith. It is like arguing the merit of my left hand versus my right as I flatten a piece of clay between them. One hand may be stronger, but it is useless without its weaker half."

[@more@]Like:

The way Dr. Sleeth connects the dots between a cheap fast-food burger and the Central/South America farmers who are clear-cutting forests. The loss of forest in the Amazon is in turn helping to cause droughts in Africa, which drives poverty and death. Everything is connected…

I also enjoyed the way Dr. Sleeth calls for the Church to simplify their lives so they can do more the Kingdom of God. For example: he calls for people to get rid of their TVs and spend more time with their families. This is something everyone in the US needs to hear as the TV is becoming the next generation's baby sitter.

Dislike:

Sometimes Dr. Sleeth gets a little carried away in telling 'war' stories from his days as an ER doctor. While they are good stories, I didn't see how they fit into the topics being discussed. =/

Ranking (1-10 with 10 being excellent):  8.5

It's a quick and easy read with some great information.

My Reading List

I thought it might be nice to share a bit about the books that I’m currently reading or getting ready to read.  Lord willing, I will get better at posting quotes and/or comments from each of the books as I read them. Undecided

#1 Serve God Save The Planet by J. Matthew Sleeth, M.D.

Written by a former emergency room director and doctor, this book looks at how the materialistic lifestyle of America has lead to an increase in cancer, asthma, and other chronic diseases.  Dr. Sleeth shares how material downscaling led his family to healthier lifestyles, stronger relationships, and richer spiritual lives.  

#2 Protestant Theology in the Nineteenth Century: Its Background and History by Karl Barth

Barth provides an overview of the major theologians who have shaped modern Protestant thought and practice (Rousseau, Lessing, Kant, Hegel, Schleiermacher, Feuerbach, Ritschl). He also looks at some of the lesser known figures in history while exposing his own personal views on doctrine, the church and intellectual history.[@more@]

#3 Kingdom of God and the Teaching of Jesus: In 20th Century Theology  by Mark Saucy

Is the Kingdom already realized when people live in the Christian ethic, or does it await fulfillment in the Second Coming? In this penetrating analysis, Dr. Mark Saucy shows that how we answer such questions is far from being merely an academic issue. He holds that emphasizing the "already" or social aspect of the Kingdom over the "not yet" or apocalyptic aspect results in failed utopianism and devaluation of the Church as the contemporary expression of the Kingdom. [Copied from Amazon.com]

#4 The Quest of the Historical Jesus: A Critical Study of Its Progress from Reimarus to Wrede by Albert Schweitzer

In this broad survey of the efforts to establish, amend, or deny the historical Jesus, Albert Schweitzer presents the history of a debate about what mattered most to millions of people: If God had entered human history, what could history tell about it? Throughout the course of this heated and prolonged dispute, one retelling of the life of Jesus followed another, enjoying — in Schweitzer's phrase — "the immortality of revised editions". [Copied from Amazon.com]

#5 Kingdom of God and Primitive Christianity by Albert Schweitzer

A look at the Kingdom of God throughout the Bible, starting with the Old Testament and working forward to Paul’s writings.

#6 Artemis Fowl the Arctic incident by Eoin Colfer (unabridged audio book)

Ok – this may seem a bit out of place, but it’s a really good young adult series!!!!  If you want a nice, relaxing, fun book – check out Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl books. Laughing

Breakthrough by Derek Morphew

Over the course of my life there have been five books that have changed my life – now there are six: Derek Morphew's Breakthrough. 

Derek Morhpew is a South African theologian who provides an amazing over view of the Kingdom of Heaven/God theology in Breakthrough.  I have spent the last few months reading this book and pondering the themes and implications thereof.  It took so long, not because how the book was written (it is very readable), but because if what it says is true – then everything changes. The way I work, live, eat, server, vote, ect. Everything changes….

Change is always hard… not matter if the change is for good or bad. Yet, to really know God is to invite change. We are to ALWAYS be changing and growing closer to Him – not sitting still or being content with the status quo. This reminds me of a sermon my Grandfather gave about ten years ago. In this sermon, he points out that the Church is an invading force – no matter if one is ten or ninety. We, the Church and Bride of Christ, are suppose to be taking back the land for Jesus!  We are to continue fighting against the gates of hell to our last breath!

Breakthrough. Kingdom of God.

I don't have the space to give a detail view of the Kingdom of God and why it's so important. I will say that the Kingdom of God refers to the rule and reign of God – not an actually geographical kingdom.  Looking at the Bible through these eyes brings new light to EVERYTHING![@more@]

I wish I could copy the chapters about cessationism, healing, Israel, and pre/post/amillennialism so you all could read them…

If your heart is to learn more about the Lord, I pray that you will pick up a copy of this book and read it. While I may recommend many books, this is one of the top six books in my life – and I've read a lot of books!