Book Review

Cherishing the Earth: How to Care for God’s Creation by Martin J. Hodson and Margot R. Hodson. Monarch Books, Oxford, Englan, 2008; 256 pages, ISBN 978-0-82546275-7, paperback, $14.99.

 Having read other books on how best we may deal with and relate to the Creation as portrayed in the Christian Bible, I was pleasantly surprised with this one. Usually I have read how we are a “separate” creation or are somehow “above” Creation in toto. However, this husband and wife team – a scientist and a theologian – does not devalue us as humans but rather have elevated the rest of the Created world, including the animals, to a level where we are all on the same level. Written from each author’s field of expertise, we learn the scientific and scriptural arguments for each issue discussed and learn that the two schools can and do complement one another. This book looks at Scripture, how it has been interpreted down through history and, by extension, what this means for the Creation today in terms of environmental impact by humans. There are many useful facts and lots of quotes from past teachers to help us reflect deeper on our personal beliefs in relation to the natural world. For instance, Jewish philosopher Moses Maimonides (1135-1204) in his The Guide for the Perplexed (1190) wrote that “The universe does not exist for man’s sake but each being exists for its own sake, and not because of some other thing.”  This view is very similar to that of Panpsychism. There are many endnotes which may have been better served as footnotes, this being my only criticism of an otherwise fascinating and uplifting book. – Heathclyff St. James Deville (November 2009)   

Book Reviews