In Pollution and the Death of Man, coauthor Francis Schaeffer describes a visit to a charming bohemian commune located across a ravine from an ugly Christian school. The stark contrast in settings confirmed for Schaeffer the bohemians' critique that the neighboring Christians obviously cared nothing for the physical creation: "When I stood on the Christian ground and looked at the Bohemian people's place, it was beautiful …. Then I stood on the pagan ground and looked at the Christian community and saw ugliness …. Here you have a Christianity that is failing to take into account man's responsibility and proper relationship to nature."
Given that backdrop, one should welcome the recent publication by evangelicals of many fine books examining the relationship between Christian faith and God's creation, such as Lisa Graham McMinn and Megan Anna Neff's Walking Gently on the Earth: Making Faithful Choices About Food, Energy, Shelter and More and Craig G. Bartholomew's Where Mortals Dwell: A Christian View of Place for Today. The latest arrival is Making Peace with the Land: God's Call to Reconcile with Creation (InterVarsity), coauthored by Fred Bahnson and Norman Wirzba.
Where the previous books set their sights on broader themes of place and practical questions of energy use, architecture, transportation, and the like, Bahnson and Wirzba's book focuses on a topic both men obviously know quite well: gardening and agriculture. The final three chapters offer an especially useful treatment of the subject, with Wirzba (a Duke Divinity School theology professor) focusing on the theology of eating, and Bahnson (a gardener, writer, and Duke Divinity graduate) looking at questions of sustainable agriculture, the agrarian ...1