My children woke up excited to get ready for school. They put on their green shirts, old jeans, and tennis shoes. They packed their gloves, milk jugs (for watering the plants), hand shovels and weeding tools.
Let's face it, today was like no other day of the year. It was Earth Day!
The first Earth Day (April 22, 1970) had some 20 million demonstrators involved. Today, Earthday.org, which seems to serve as the central hub of Earth Day events, lists "31,464,418 acts of green and counting."
Well, isn't that nice.
After a day with their family at the beach, Nancy Sleeth asked her husband, Matthew Sleeth a question that would change his life forever. "What is the biggest problem facing the world?" After thinking of all the problems of war, disease, terrorism and poverty, he finally replied that, "The world is dying."
After much reflection and many life changing decisions, Dr. Sleeth, an emergency room physician released the Green Bible early in 2008. The Green Bible is bound in environmentally friendly, cotton/linen cover, recycled paper, soy-based ink, and a water-based coating.
There are many essays in the opening of the Bible by leading conservationists and theologians. Those passages which support stewardship of the earth are highlighted with green text. In the sidebars, Wendell Berry and others are quoted to offer further encouragement for the stewardship of the Earth.
While the publication may have good intentions, there are some biblical scholars who (perhaps justifiably) criticize the Green Bible. Here is an excerpt from Laurence Vance's article, "Is God Green?"
"Some of the biblical passages highlighted in green mention pollution. For example:
If a man divorces his wife and she goes from him and becomes another man's wife, will he return to her? Would not such a land be greatly polluted? You have played the whore with many lovers; and would you return to me? says the Lord (Jeremiah 3:1).
"The land here is polluted because of moral activity, not because someone put toxic waste in a dump. Examples could be multiplied to show that many of the 'green' verses in The Green Bible are not green at all.
"What we are never told by any of the contributors to The Green Bible is that the two biggest environmental catastrophes in the history of the world catastrophes that dwarf anything man has ever done are both deliberate acts of God: Noah's flood in the past (Genesis 7:4-10) and the burning up of the earth in the future (2 Peter 3:10).
"It is fitting that the New Revised Standard Version is the version of choice for The Green Bible. It is one of the few Bible versions that says the earth and everything in it will be "disclosed' instead of "burned up' (2 Peter 3:10)."
Many of the Green Bible's book reviews exalt the opening essays which comprise nearly half of the 1440 pages as the most powerful part of the book. , What is troubling is the remainder is of course, the BIBLE!
Dr. Matthew Sleeth's essay, entitled The Power of a Green God, describes the transformation of him and his family :