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By James Jones / SPCK / 2003
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In Jesus and the Earth, Bishop of Liverpool James Jones explains what Jesus has to teach us about respect for the creation and the environment. He argues clearly and passionately that Jesus is the savior not only of humanity, but also the savior of the planet and of the whole cosmos, which came into being through Him and for Him. In Jones’ words, “to desecrate the earth is not just a crime against the earth and future generations, which it is. To desecrate the earth is a blasphemy. It is to defile Christ's own gifts.” A series of questions is provided at the end of each chapter to stimulate personal reflection and group discussion. At the end of the book there are also practical guidelines on how churches and individuals might become more environmentally responsible.
What was Jesus' attitude to the earth? What, if anything, did He say about the environment? Is there a divine “earth-ethic” to be found in the Gospels? As the ecological threats to the earth multiply and intensify, Christians are turning to the pages of the Old Testament for guidance on environmental ethics. But is wisdom about this critical issue to be found only there?
James Jones, Bishop of Liverpool, set out to discover if his own concern for creation found any sympathy in the teaching and example of Jesus. Jesus and the Earth is the result of his search. It had the honor of being the Anglican Church’s 2004 Lent Study Book.
I very much hope that this timely and insightful book from James Jones will inspire many individual Christians and the Church as a whole to be far more ‘militant’ in defence of God's earth.
—Jonathan Porritt, Forum for the Future
James Jones’ book has introduced a breath of fresh air into our traditional understanding of the Gospel; he has shown that ‘God’s will’ continues to be revealed, through His word to an enlightened generation, to those willing to listen and learn. To know more, you must read Jesus and the Earth.
—Christian Vegetarian Association of the UK
It's not everyday that a Bishop admits to a new conversion experience! In this remarkable little book, James Jones… writes about his "ecological conversion" as a result of re-reading the Gospels. He examines in detail the seven occasions when Jesus speaks of himself as the Son of Man (literally 'son of one made from the soil') at the same time as speaking of the earth… As a prominent evangelical, Bishop James states firmly that God's Kingdom is about far more than ‘saving souls’ and includes a ‘peace on earth’ that has profound ecological dimensions. There is much more in this book to provoke thought and action - read it and be converted.
This is an interesting and thought provoking book that makes the case that we have a God given responsibility to care for the earth that He gave for our use… This book touches on many subjects such as centralization of the church rather than Christians connecting with their local communities, the 'earthiness' of Jesus' ministry, and end time theology… This book would be useful for anyone interested in what God might have to say about environmental issues.
—Together for the Harvest
The Rt. Rev. James Jones is the current Bishop of Liverpool, having taken the position in 1998 after serving as Bishop of Hull since 1994. He has written a number of books and lectures widely. He also regularly broadcasts on Thought for the Day. His extensive environmental efforts include chairing the City Academy, the first Academy to take the environment as its field of specialization; and setting up Operation EDEN, an organization working across faith communities to engage local people in the holistic transformation of their local environment.