Walking Gently on the Earth: Making Faithful Choices About Food, Energy, Shelter and More, By Lisa Graham McMinn and Megan Anna Neff

Walking Gently on the Earth

Making Faithful Choices About Food, Energy, Shelter and More

by Lisa Graham McMinn and Megan Anna Neff

Walking Gently on the Earth
  • Length: 237 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5 × 8.25 in
  • Published: August 04, 2010
  • Item Code: 3299
  • ISBN: 978-0-8308-3299-6

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  • 2010 Foreword Book of the Year

God created the world in a delicate balance for the good of all plants, animals and people. Tragically, though, from the Fall to today, we as humans have lived in ways that keep living things--including fellow human beings--from surviving at all, much less flourishing.

But we can change that.

Sociologist and author Lisa McMinn and Megan Anna Neff invite you to rediscover, through new eyes, the beauty and goodness of our earth, and to make faithful choices that will help it prosper. Each chapter uniquely begins with a prelude by Megan Anna that highlights an African perspective or practice, helping us glean the wisdom of another culture and reminding us of the interconnectedness of everything on the earth. Lisa's fluid, passionate writing then offers both the truth about the state of the earth and inspiration to get back to shalom--a peace that allows all things to thrive. Covering such topics as

  • farming practices
  • slave labor
  • consumer power
  • climate change
  • alternative energy sources
  • and family size

Lisa clearly demonstrates the effects of our choices and makes it easy for us to choose with discernment, with lists of resources and organizations at the end of each chapter. Infused throughout is a deep celebration of the earth God made and declared "excellent in every way" (Genesis 1:31).

Come and read. Then go and live with intention, using the power of your choices to walk gently on an earth that is beautiful and broken, that it might come to flourish once again.

"One of the few books in its genre that really addresses Protestant (Evangelical) concerns about these issues in an honest, non-condescending way. . . .The authors give the reader emotional 'room to breathe' and perhaps also open the readers' minds to new ideas."

Foreword Sept/Oct 2010

"If you're looking for a creation care book by a recent convert to 'religious environmentalism' with some nice stories and a few Bible verses mixed in, this is not the book for you. Walking Gently on the Earth has real substance from an academic who walks the walk, who challenges us to respond to the hidden stories behind our lifestyles and choices. Even if you don't agree with everything she writes--and why bother reading a book if you do?--Lisa McMinn will challenge you to think more deeply and more faithfully about life on earth."

Rusty Pritchard, Ph.D., natural resource economist and cofounder of Flourish

"In the last five years there have been many books published on the topic concerning a Christian's response to environmental stewardship. . . . This new work, Walking Gently on the Earth, now leads the pack. Lisa McMinn is a very gifted communicator with a writing style that is enjoyable and easy to understand. This book is balanced in its presentation of academics blended with common sense--it is challenging and thought-provoking. Walking Gently on the Earth is definitely a book for every twenty-first-century Christian to read and contemplate."

Tri Robinson, pastor of Vineyard Boise Church and author of Small Footprint, Big Handprint

"This book is a loving and urgent invitation to Christians to fall in love with the earth that God created. Lisa Graham McMinn, assisted by one of her daughters, has deftly woven together an impressive thread of information on how Western culture has divorced us from the land our Creator gave us, and why God calls us back to eating and living in a healthy--physically and spiritually--manner. . . . I heartily recommend this new contribution for those who want to know more and who want to make a difference--walking gently along the way."

Michael MacLeod, assistant professor of political science, George Fox University

"Walking Gently on the Earth is a field guide for Christians who want to honor God with every decision as they traverse an unjust world. With grace and humility Lisa and Megan Anna connect our everyday decisions to the impoverished garment-factory worker in Indonesia, to an unstable climate and to the profiteers of oppression. Walking Gently challenges Christianity to become more relevant to an ever hurting world while providing practical steps, thoughtful biblical reflections and hopeful nuggets to inspire along the way. With an increasingly unstable climate and a growing disparity between rich and poor we need this book more than ever."

Jason Alfonse Fileta, The Micah Challenge USA

"This is a book about change. And hope. Drawing on wisdom from cultures the world over, McMinn and Neff show us that the call to live well as part of God's creation is as urgent as it is ancient, and its faithful pursuit is as much an art as it is a science. By challenging how we see the world, they help us understand, in practical ways, that balance is a thing of beauty, and that celebration and stewardship go hand in hand."

Ben Lowe, activist and author of Green Revolution

"Walking Gently explores its topics in greater depth than do most non-academic creation care texts, in part because it isn't so preoccupied with justifying itself."

Kendra Langdon Juskus, Books Culture, January/February 2011

"A good entrée for those new to 'creation care' . . . McMinn and Neff assume the best of people and are unabashedly optimistic. Their gentle tone is encouraging and persuasive, and they remind us that we have met other global environmental challenges successfully before."

Wendy Bell, Yes! Magazine, Winter 2011

"Walking Gently on the Earth introduces the range of pressing environmental questions of the day . . . For anyone just approaching these questions, though, particularly as theological questions, this book presents a substantial introduction. . . The resources that end every chapter are an immensely helpful guide to organizations working to mend many of these relations."

Brent Aldrich, Englewood Review of Books, Advent 2010

"In a market where many books on environmental stewardship can come across as negative and at times apocalyptic, McMinn and Neff exude an incredible amount of hope ... This is also one of the few books in its genre that really addresses Protestant (Evangelical) concerns about these issues in an honest, non-condescending way."

Gabriela Worrel, ForeWord, September-October 2010



Prelude: Siamese crocodiles
Chapter 1: For the Beauty of the Earth

Prelude: Strength lies in unity
Chapter 2: Farming Practices

Prelude: Help me, and let me help you
Chapter 3: Dining at tables of Compassion

Prelude: The teeth and tongue
Chapter 4: Living in the Marketplace

Prelude: God is in the Heavens
Chapter 5: A Matter of Degrees

Prelude: The Earth Has weight
Chapter 6: Fuels that Fire our Engines

Prelude: Except for God
Chapter 7: Sustaining the Blessing of Families

Prelude: It is God who swats the flies for the tailless pig
Chapter 8: Final Words

Appendix A: What Might a Home Audit Look Like?

Appendix B: A Primer on Traditional Energy Sources




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Lisa Graham McMinn

Lisa Graham McMinn (PhD, Portland State University) is professor of sociology in the department of sociology and social work at George Fox University in Oregon. Her other books include Growing Strong Daughters (Baker), Sexuality and Holy Longing (Jossey-Bass), and The Contented Soul (InterVarsity Press). Her articles have appeared in Journal of Psychology and Christianity, Sociology of Religion, Journal of Psychology and Theology, Research on Christian Higher Education, and Christianity Today.

Megan Anna Neff

Megan Anna Neff (MDiv, Princeton Theological Seminary) is currently pursuing her doctorate in clinical psychology at George Fox University. She has also done research and worked with nonprofits and churches in Malawi and Ghana.