Gardening Eden Book Review

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I’ve posted a few times about books that I’ve volunteered to read and review.  When I had the opportunity to review a “green” book,  I jumped at the chance;  however, I was sorely disappointed.  Very Sorely.


The book was Gardening Eden by Michael Abbate.  It’s full of great tips on how to preserve the earth and become green while citing biblical references that support the green initiative.  It sounds great, and really, it is great.  I’m a Christian.   I’m an environmentalist.  What a wonderful opportunity to combine the two!  After all, caring for the earth and its animals was one of our original tasks!  This book sounds awesome!  However, I didn’t get far enough into it to get super motivated and excited.


The foreword to this book is written by a man named Randy Alcorn.  Apparently, he is an Christian conservative environmentalist.  He agrees that Christians should be concerned with the well being of our planet.  However, as he presents his case for being green, he explains that it doesn’t make a person liberal to be eco-friendly.  His strong dislike for liberals/democrats emanates throughout the foreword, and it offended me to my core.  I’m a Christian liberal.  Somehow, I think he would find that an oxymoron.  His attitude towards democrats really turned me off and made me disinterested in the rest of the book.


To be honest, I didn’t finish it.  Hell, I barely skimmed over it.   However, to honor my commitment to the publisher, I’m going to publish the book’s summary and the author’s bio.  If you’d like to win a copy of the book, please email me.  I’ll send it to the first person that requests it. (It really isn’t that bad of a book.  It’s full of great suggestions - just skip the forward!)


Gardening Eden:
Before the snake, the apple, and the Ten Commandments, God created a garden, placed humans in it, and told them to take care of it.


“Spiritual environmentalism” did not start out as an oxymoron—it was an invitation. Yet today, many believe God’s original job description for humankind has been replaced by other worthier pursuits. So when did this simple instruction become so controversial? How does one sort through all the mixed messages? Is making the world a healthier place for the next generation really a responsibility—or even possible?


Gardening Eden is a new understanding of how the spiritual dimensions of life can find expression and renewal through caring for our incredible planet. Empowering, simple, and never polemical, Michael Abbaté outlines the Bible’s clear spiritual benefits of caring for creation, exploring new motivations and inspired ideas, and revealing the power of our basic connection to all people and living things through the growing interest in spiritual environmentalism.


Green living is no longer a fad—simple lifestyle solutions are now available to everyone. Gardening Eden shows readers how this shift transforms not only our world, but their very souls as they’re drawn into deeper harmony with the Creator. This book invites them to discover the powerful spiritual satisfaction of heeding the call to save our world.


Author Bio:


A nationally recognized expert in “green” development strategies, Mike Abbaté is a founder of GreenWorks, an award-winning landscape architecture design firm. He frequently speaks to students and leaders about practical ways to minimize the impact of building and landscape design on natural resources. Abbaté’s work has been featured in national magazines such as Metropolis and Landscape Architecture and in many local newspapers and trade publications. He and his wife, Vicki, have two adult daughters and live near Portland, Oregon.


You can purchase Gardening Eden at