The Green Bible, which hit bookstores in October, sold 25,000 copies within the first few weeks, and some are taking it as a sign that the environmental movement within Christian communities is finally catching on.
The green version of the Bible is simplistic and streamlined in design, with a cotton and linen cover and interior pages made of recycled paper with soy-based green ink. The 1,000 verses included in the book all relate to topics concerning “God’s creation” and his desire for humans to protect it, writes the Arizona Republic.
There is a foreword by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, essays from theologians, and a “Green Subject Index” that organizes verses by topic (e.g., air, dust, pollution).
But the book, endorsed by secular groups like The Sierra Club and the Humane Society, is seen by a threat by some Christians, who worry that environmental activism distracts believers from their mission to literally follow and spread the word of God.
Mainstream evangelicals indeed have a “healthy amount of skepticism” toward the new Bible, according to James Taylor, a founding elder and Sunday-school teacher at Florida’s Living Water Christian Fellowship who is also a senior fellow of environmental policy at the Heartland Institute. They have historically shied away from the topic, calling it a “liberal” cause rooted in politics and questionable science.
Still, Creation Care, or the general movement to stop or prevent harmful activities in the name of protecting God’s creation, is the source of debate and discussion around the issue – which supporters say is half the battle.