BidForGreen: Why do we need a green Bible?
Matthew Sleeth: The Green Bible focuses the reader on the vast amount of scripture that deals with God creating, sustaining, and commanding us to maintain the world. The format of verses highlighted in green allows the reader to easily find relevant scripture. What is God's first commandment to mankind? It is now printed in green. We are to placed on earth to protect and care for the garden. This charge, found in Genesis 2:15, has no time limit. It hasn't run out. We live in an era when environmental questions abound. What should we do about water or fuel shortages? How should we help refugees displaced by flood or drought? The answers can be found in the Bible.
Not only is The Green Bible a tool for finding God's operating instructions for earth, it is an example of how everything we do can model stewardship and sustainability. Care has been taken in the manner of printing and binding The Green Bible, which reflects the understanding that there is no "away." Everything we use will eventually return to our closed system of food, water, and air--even our Bibles.
BFG: Its seems as though you see "green" and "socially just" as one and the same. How do they tie together in the Christian faith?
MS: When my family and I make any decision or purchase, we try to ask ourselves two questions: Will this help me love God with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength? And will this help me love my neighbor? The answers will always lead us to right ("socially just") action that will be pleasing to God.
Stewardship and social justice both require us to replace greed and selfishness with gratitude and service.
A hundred years ago, most people lived on farms. If an area was experiencing a drought, it would be common--and biblical--to pray for rain. There was a direct causal understanding of God's sustaining hand in our lives. With a credit card and a grocery store, God can seem superfluous.
We say a prayer of thanks before eating because we understand that food is God's sustaining hand in our lives, that many around the world do not have enough to eat, and that food is a gift, not an entitlement. Yet how many of us pray when we fill our cars up with gasoline? If we don't, is it because we think everyone has enough, or that gasoline (and access to clean water, unlimited electricity, etc.) is an entitlement?
You can read the whole interview here.