For Immediate Release
April 20, 2006
Contact: Jessica Saturley, (802) 295-6300, ext. 106
Serve God, Save the Planet
A Christian Call to Action
by J. Matthew Sleeth, M.D.
Serve God, Save the Planet is a deeply personal book with a very public message about what we can do to save the environment before it’s too late. Although written for Christians, it will be of great interest to anyone whose religion figures in the genesis of life-changing decisions. This is a rarity: A moving personal story that is practical. Serve God, Save the Planet lays out the rationale for environmentally-responsible life changes, and a “how-to” guide for making those changes.
Five years ago, the Sleeths lived in a big house on the coast. They owned luxury cars and they had many material possessions. As chief of the medical staff at a large hospital, Sleeth was living the American dream—until he realized that something was terribly wrong. He saw patient after patient suffering from ailments that were uncommon in his grandparents’ day. The complaints ranged from cancer and asthma to auto-immune disorders and depression. He began to see a connection between these illnesses and the polluted world we inhabit. Seeking answers, he turned to his faith for guidance and discovered how the scriptural lessons of personal responsibility, simplicity, and stewardship could be applied to modern life. The Sleeths have since sold their big home and given away more than half of what they once owned.
In Serve God, Save the Planet, Sleeth shares the joy of adopting a less materialistic lifestyle, as his family discovered much healthier lifestyles, stronger relationships, and richer spiritual lives. With the storytelling ease of James Herriot and the logical clarity of C.S. Lewis, Sleeth relates a prescription for sustainable living in the twenty-first century.
“Although I believed in the “environmental cause” before I accepted Christ as my Savior, my belief did not translate into action,” Sleeth writes. “After I became a Christian, I went through a process of examining my life, and I found it was filled with sin and hypocrisy. I decided to conduct an assessment and figure out a rough estimate of the actual environmental impact by my family. This honest inventory indicated what the Christian faith required of me.”
“Because of these changes,” Sleeth writes, “we have more time for God. Spiritual concerns have filled the void left by material ones. Owning fewer things has resulted in things no longer owning us.”
Serve God, Save the Planet addresses the questions:
- How can I live a more equitable and meaningful life?
- How can I help people today and in the future?
- How can I be less materialistic?
- ow can I live a more charitable life?
- What would happen if I led a slower-paced existence?
Earlier this year, 86 evangelical leaders released a Call to Action on climate change and ran a full-page ad in the New York Times; it signaled a historic moment in the Christian community and a growing clarity about the role evangelicals must take in environmental stewardship. A film that has been released nationally, The Great Warming, features Richard Cizic, who wrote the foreword for the book, as well as Dr. Sleeth, discussing the concept of creation care. A poll released in Feb. 2006 by Ellison Research showed that 84 percent of evangelicals agreed that reducing pollution is a form of obedience to the biblical command to love your neighbor. Now, they have a handbook they can trust to guide their steps.
Sleeth writes: “Serve God, Save the Planet is meant to elicit personal accountability rather than political change. Its lessons are meant to teach individuals, families, and communities not much larger than a congregation; yet it looks at larger issues because they profoundly affect each of us. . . . . As the 30 million evangelicals—and all those who consider themselves people of faith—grow in their understanding that God holds us accountable for care of his creation, we will begin to see positive changes on an unprecedented scale.”
Available May 2006 | Paperback | $25 | 1-933392-01-0 | 6 x 9 | 224 pagesFind out more about Serve God Save the Planet