CAA Members enjoy a 20% discount in the Hearts & Minds Bookstore
Here is a list of some of suggested titles that may be of interest to those who love the great outdoors, do ministry in the wilderness, who are trying to be more attentive to the beauty of God’s creation, or are interested in leading outdoor adventure trips or increasing their wilderness skills.
Some of these are explicitly Christian; not all, however, share the faith perspective of the Christian Adventure Association (or our book service provider, Hearts & Minds Books.) We do hope that all of these might be helpful to you as you read with discernment and care. The CAA is grateful for our partnership with Hearts & Minds, a bookstore in Dallastown, Pennsylvania. If you have any questions about books, authors, prices, discounts, shipping costs or availability, please contact the good folks at Hearts & Minds by using their contact information shown below.
Following this list (see below) there are links to the Hearts & Minds Bookstore website, the unofficial CAA book service provider.
One, marked INQUIRE, takes you to an inquiry page near their order form page, and you should click there if you have questions. Don’t forget to tell them exactly what you want to know.
The other, marked ORDER, takes you to their webpage’s order form. It is certified secure, and you only have to fill in the obvious information, and tell them what books you want to order. If you have shipping preferences, there is a place to note that, too. They take any standard credit cards and, if you’d rather, they are happy to just send a bill along with the book shipment, and you can pay by check, in a return envelope which they will provide for your convenience. Pay with a credit cards or by check—it’s your
choice. As they explain at the order form webpage, they will send you a personal email confirming your order, usually the same business day (except Sundays.) CAA and Hearts & Minds are grateful for your support.
WE OFFER MOST OF THESE TITLES AT A 20% discount. A few exceptions are noted. The regular retail price is shown, and we will deduct the discount when you order.
OUTDOOR EDUCATION RESOURCES
Christian Outdoor Leadership: Theology, Theory, and Practice
Ashley Denton (Smooth Stone Publishing) $24.95.
There is literally no other resource like this, a great study of leadership and disciple-making, outdoor education theory, and an inspiring look at how evangelical faith can be enhanced as we mentor people in experiential-based wilderness trips.
The Role of the Instructor in the Outward Bound Educational Process
Kenneth Kalisch (Morris Publishing) $21.95.
A classic in the field, written by the legendary Christian leader at Honey Rock Camp, now a professor of outdoor education at Montreat College in NC. A must for serious educators.
Playing: Christian Explorations of Daily Living
James Evans (Fortress) $15.00
This is a short, dense book, opening up fabulous insights into why it is important that we play, and how playfulness and leisure is part of the (revolutionary!) freedom of an authentic spirituality of daily living.
The Christian at Play
Robert Johnson (Wipf & Stock) $20.00
Long considered a classic, this is a serious text exploring why we are called to playfulness, what it means to “recreate” and a theology of leisure. Important for outdoor educators and those pondering experiential education.
Guide for Recreation Leaders
Glenn Bannerman & Robert Fakkema (Bridge Resources) $12.95
n easy-to-use resource for both experienced and inexperienced recreation leaders, a bit of theory and and look at why we play and use recreational experiences. It’s loaded with simple, fun activities for all ages and various groups. Not designed for wilderness settings.
How to Use Camping Experiences in Religious Education
Stephen Venable & Donald Marvin Joy (Religious Education Press) $15.95
Long considered a standard in the field, using development educational insights and outdoors experiential education theories. Although it gives a “nuts and bolts” overview, its hope is clear, sounded out in their slogan “transformation through Christian camping.”
Adventure and the Way of Jesus: An Experiential Approach to Spiritual Formation
Greg Robinson (Wood N Barnes Publications) $19.95
This is a fabulous book, highly recommended, created by a leader in faith-based experiential education. Robinson offers solid and useful insight on group dynamics, leadership, and organizational development.
Lessons on the Way: Using Adventure Activities to Explore the Way of Jesus
Greg Robinson & Mark Rose (Wood N Barnes Publications) $24.95
Currently the President of Challenge Quest, Greg is an expert in team development and collective learning, a seasoned facilitator. He and Rose offer here a new collection of some of the best, time-tested and fun activities for spiritual formation, discipleship, and faith development in the outdoors settings.An essential resource.
Exploring the Power of Solo, Solitude, and Silence
Thomas Smith & Clifford Knapp (The Association for Experiential Education)
We wanted to list this as it is often cited and highly recommended, but it is temporarily out of stock. It may be available through out of print or used book services.
Teamwork & Teamplay: A Guide to Cooperative, Challenge and Adventure Activities that Build Confidence, Cooperation, Teamwork, Creativity, Trust, Decision Making, Conflict Resolution, Resource Management, Communication, Effective Feedback and Problem Solving
Jim Cain & Barry Jolliff (Kendall Hunt)
From the lengthy, fun, sub-title you get that this is a huge resource (over 425 pages!) offering the best of what we know experiential education can accomplish. This is a very useful reference tool, packed with lots of great ideas for both “teamwork” and “teamplay.”
Tips and Tools: The Art of Experiential Group Facilitation
Jennifer Stanchfield (Wood N Barnes) $27.95
Here is what it says on the back cover: Facilitation is an art, by its very nature an experiential practice. It is an ever dynamic process of give and take, learning and development. Tips & Tools explores the facilitator’s role in groups of all kinds and offers creative tools and activities to enhance group experience, as well as sequencing and reflection strategies to increase individual involvement and growth.
Silver Bullets: A Guide to Initiative Problems, Adventure Games, and Trust Activities
Karl Rohnke (Project Adventure) $37.95
Truly a classic in the field, it is a treasure chest of games, initiatives, experiences, and activities to create group cohesion, cooperation and trust.
Open To Outcome: A Practical Guide For Facilitating & Teaching Experiential Reflection
Mari Rudy & Micah Jacobson (Wood N Barnes) $14.95
These two authors are renowned as trainers in their “five questions” process for debriefing experiential learning activities. Excellent for mentors, coaches, trip leaders who embrace this sort of community-based, educational philosophy.
Gold Nuggets: Readings in Experiential Education
Jim Schoel & Mike Stratton (Project Adventure) $20.95
This is a little spiral bound, underground classic, prepared by Project Adventure outdoor educators, reflecting on experiences they’ve had.
Controversial Issues in Adventure Programming
Bruce Martin & Mark Wagstaff (Human Kinetics Press) $49.00
What an amazing resource for serious leaders. These respected authors have assembled a team of more than 50 contributors from around the globe to reassess some of the underlying assumptions on which adventure programming is based. They use a debate format and the conversation is important and lively.
Beyond Learning By Doing: Theoretical Currents in Experiential Education
Jay W. Roberts (Routledge) $41.95
The author is Professor of Education and Environmental Studies at Earlham College, and is long been both a scholar and practitioner of outdoors-based, experiential education. This is one of the more scholarly, foundational texts in the field, recommended for anyone serious about understanding the latest pedagogical theories applied to wilderness experiences. Roberts is widely respected in the field, and writes from a Quaker perspective.
Colors of Nature: Cultural Identity and the Natural World
Edited by Alison H. Deming and Lauret E. Savoy (Milkweed Editions) $22.00
There is simply no other book in print like this; it is unprecedented. This is an important collection illuminating how people of color and various ethnic backgrounds and culture “see” and experience nature. This is essential reading for those leading multi-cultural trips or for anyone who cares about bringing the broadest range of insights to environmental journalism. Very moving, in many ways.
Climbing Self Rescue: Improvising Solutions for Serious Situations
Andy Tyson & Molly Loomis (Mountaineering Books) $19.95
Winner of the American Alpine Institute’s Guides Choice Awards, this is a must for serious, save climbers.
Alpine Climbing: Techniques to Take you Higher
Mark Houston & Cathy Cosley (Mountaineering Books) $21.95
With 155 b/w photos and over 300 pages, this award winning book is loaded with helpful instruction, making it one of the best of its kind.
Ice and Mixed Climbing: Modern Technique
Will Gad & Roger Chayer (Mountaineering Books) $24.95
There are many books on rock and ice climbing skills. This is a Benff Winner, very trustworthy and helpful.
Rock Climbing Anchors: A Comprehensive Guide
Craig Luebben (Mountaineering Books) $19.95
Not only has this book won the American Alpine Institute’s Gide Award, it is recommend by the American Mountain Guides Association, assuring you it is one of the very best. 17 illustrations and 325 photos, making it very helpful.
Rock Climbing: Mastering Basic Skills
Craig Luebben (Mountaineering Books) $22.95
One of the standard books, written by a master teacher (and leader in the American Mountain Guide Association) including not only skills and exercises, but comments on safety, understanding hazards, risk management, group trips, and other helpful material for outdoor leaders.
Cave Exploring: The Definitive Guide to Caving Technique, Safety, Gear, and Trip Leadership
Paul Burger (Falcon Guides) $15.99
There are many good books that serve as an introduction to caving; we suggest this one because it does have some helpful material on leading trips.
The Backpacker’s Field Manual (Revised and Updated)
Rick Curtis (Three Rivers Press) $16.00
This hefty, important book would be a bargain at twice the price as it is jam-packed with everything you may need to know (including much that you may not have thought of) before embarking on a serious backcountry journey. Comprehensive, classic, helpful for anyone learning about how to pack for a trip.
AMC Guide to Outdoor Leadership
Alex Kosseff (Appalachian Mountain Club Books) $19.95
Many customers have found this to be an exceptional introduction to all sorts of important matters for trip leaders: trip planning, group Dynamics, decision-making, risk management. Includes a section on leading youth.
Lessons Learned II
Deb Ajango (Watchmaker Press) $22.00
Every outdoor educator or group facilitator must know about risk management. The publisher says this about this useful volume: “through careful examination of accident accounts, followed by analysis of what went wrong and what went right, author/editor Deb Ajango helps readers better understand how and why even seemingly best-laid plans sometimes fail. Starting with two in-depth case studies, the book explores how accidents happen, how the resulting devastation affects participants and their families, and how the ramifications of such incidents affect programs and employees…”
Wilderness Ethics: Preserving the Spirit of Wildness
Laura & Guy Waterman (The Countryman Press) $15.95
A compelling book making a strong claim that even wilderness protection programs in the United States are failing that which we call wilderness—in part because of so many who want to enjoy it, and therefore it needs managed. This asks big questions of what we mean by the wilderness experience and what we are hoping to preserve. The authors have lived for more than 25 years on a self-sufficient homestead in Vermont.
Backwoods Ethics: A Guide to Low-Impact Camping and Hiking
Laura & Guy Waterman (second edition) (The Countryman Press) $15.95
With a foreword by backpacker and environmental activist Bill McKibben, this is a lovely and useful guide, at once visionary and practical. A classic.
Rich Brame & David Cole (Stackpole Books) $19.95
A definitive book from NOLS (The National Outdoor Leadership School) now in an updated fourth edition. A must-read about “leaving no trace” and low-impact camping and hiking. We can ship any of the NOLS books, by the way; their whole wilderness education series is excellent, including titles such as Wilderness Ethics, Backcountry Cooking, Wilderness Medicine, >Wilderness Navigation, or River Rescue.
THE PHILOSOPHY AND THEOLOGY OF PLACE & LANDSCAPE
Landscape as Sacred Space: Metaphors for the Spiritual Journey
Steven Lewis (Wipf & Stock) $16.00
An essential, core book exploring how to appreciate landscape, how to rethink spiritual formation in light of both outdoor educational insights and postmodern theory. This brief work is a significant contribution to spirituality and theology that is exceptional and important. Nearly brilliant, reflective, insightful , this study draws on the serious work of Beldan Lane and articulates how land and place can help in spiritual formation. Physical spaces are named in the Bible–mountaintops, valleys, deserts, rivers–and these clearly serve as symbols on our journey, apt metaphors for moments in everyone’s life. Anyone interested in the outdoors and who enters into wilderness experiences will surely find this a helpful companion for thinking about what can be learned in creation, not so much about creation itself, but about our inner landscapes. From mountaintop experiences to spiritual deserts, this helps us integrate God into daily experience, by exploring life’s landscapes. Provocative and profound; very highly recommended for leaders.
You Gave Me a Wide Place: Holy Places in Our Lives
Paul Stroble (Upper Room) $15.00
This includes personal stories, exercises for individual or small-group use, framed by an extended rumination on place, God’s great gift of space, and how our identity is shaped by location. The titles comes from Psalm 18:36.
Landscapes of the Sacred: Geography and Narrative in American Spirituality
Belden Lane (Oxford University Press) $30.00
A highly-respected scholar offers three new interpretive models for understanding American sacred space.Dense, serious, and yet at time luminous. A must for mature thinkers about the role of land, place, wilderness and American religious traditions.
The Solace of Fierce Landscapes: Exploring Desert and Mountain Spirituality
Belden C. Lane (Oxford University Press) $17.95
One of the most esteemed books among those who do serious reading on the geography of faith; literary and smart and important. The author tells of Biblical stories and of ancient monks and their spiritual experiences of both deserts and mountains, even as he writes exquisitely about his own hikes and wilderness experiences. Lane is a historian, philosopher, outdoorsman and born storyteller. Classic.
Where Mortals Dwell: A Christian View of Place for Today
Craig G. Bartholomew (Baker Academic) $29.99
Richly informed by the history of theology and philosophy, this is the premier study of this vital topic from a solidly Christian perspective. No one has attended to this topic as Bartholomew has, making this a one of a kind study. There are endorsements from the likes of Bill McKibben and Norman Wirzba, who rave about the book’s singular vision and exceptional importance. Outdoor educators and wilderness enthusiasts care about the land, so this is good for us; those who specialize in trips and being on journeys, too, will benefit from this study of home and placemaking. How many theological books incorporate a study of maps and topography? Wow.
Ancient Practices: The Sacred Journey
Charles Foster (Nelson) $12.99
Going on pilgrimage is an ancient religious practice, and this fine Christian thinker explores what it is about us that makes us want to “go” and be on journey. He pays little mind to the need for “a sense of place” and thinks the geography of faith is ever-moving as we hike, travel, explore and, yes, take intentional journeys of sacred pilgrimages. What a fun, provocative, and energetic book by a guy who has hiked all over the world.
EXPERIENCING GOD IN THE OUTDOORS & THE SPIRITUALITY OF CREATION
All Creation Sings: The Voice of God in Nature
J. Ellsworth Kalas (Abingdon) $14.00
A wonderfully clear, solid, upbeat reflective meditation on the wonder of creation, what we can learn by attending to God’s speaking through it, as many Biblical texts teach. Most of us appreciate the beauty of God’s wonderful creation, but it takes more attentiveness and Biblical faith to belief that God reveals things to us by way of his natural world. Very highly recommended.
Nature as Spiritual Practice
Steven Chase (Eerdmans) $18.00
One of the deepest and most insightful studies of its kind, an innovative study on how we can seek God in nature, being transformed by attentiveness to the movements and seasons and wonders of creation. Chase weaves together historic contemplative practices and contemporary nature writers…a bit heavy, broad-ranging, profound.
A Field Guide to Nature as Spiritual Practice
Steven Chase (Eerdmans) $8.00
A companion book to the above title, this practical resource gathers together additional contemplative exercises and “nature practices” to echo the theory and vision outlined in the primary text. Very nicely done, helpful for those looking for advanced, mature guidance.
Worship Feast Outdoors: 25 Experiences of God’s Great Earth
Jenny Youngman (Abingdon) $17.00
If you are going on an outdoors trip, especially if you are going with youth, don’t leave without this exciting and innovative guide to four different sorts of outdoors worship experiences. These services include worship with water, worship with wonder, worship with awareness, and worship with the seasons. Very creative and quite useful.
A Hunter’s Field Notes: Inspiring Stories of Meeting God in the Rugged Outdoors
Jay Houston & Roger Medley (Harvest House) $10.99
Obviously, this is for hunters, who realize that there is more to hunting than just the harvest. This has some very helpful suggestions for learning how to tell your own stories, explaining your own adventures, your faith, and how unexpected incidents in the mountains have strengthened your own faith. Set mostly amidst the Rocky Mountains, hunting elk.
Devotions for Outdoor Adventures
Larry Wiggins, Jack Harris & Amy Garascia (CreateSpace) $12.95
Created by friends who work in outdoor education, we are happy to promote this neat little paperback full of devotional thoughts from and for (as the subtitle puts it) “Backpackers, Hikers, Climbers, Canoeists, and Other Outdoor Enthusiasts.” These are solid evangelical reflections on the Word and the world, inspiring, insightful and perfect for the outdoors. Handsome pen and ink drawings of cliffs, crags, birds, and such are themselves worth meditation upon.
Water, Wind, Earth, & Fire: The Christian Practice of Praying with the Elements
Christine Valters Paintner (Sorin Books) $14.95
Organized around “The Canticle of the Creatures” by St. Francis of Assisi, this explores ways in which praying with the natural elements can enliven our Christian spiritual lives. The author is a Benedictine Oblate sister, a beautiful writer, and a mature thinker about faith and creation. Very useful as a guide to growing closer to God in nature, and, specifically, praying about our natural surroundings. Lovely.
When the Rain Speaks: Celebrating God’s Presence in Nature
Melannie Svoboda (Twenty-Third Publications) $12.95
Through this lovely collection of short devotions, Sister Melanie helps us experience God through His good creation, beholding the details of the glories there. As we notice and attend to that which is before our eyes, we can increasingly learn the habit of thankfulness and worship, deepening our contemplative walk in God’s world. Very nice.
N. Thomas Johnson-Medland (Resource Publications) $17.00
Tom has been involved in Christian camping and leading outdoor retreats for years, as a pastor and poet he knows well how to evoke our heart’s desires and concerns. He calls these poems and essays “landmarks” which help us focus and remember God’s faithfulness. The cover says this includes “poems, prayers, mindful amblings, about the places we wet aside for meaning, prayer, and the sacramental life…” Nice.
Bridges, Paths and Waters; Dirt, Sky, and Mountains
N. Thomas Johnson-Medland (Resource Publications) $20.00
More reflections and poems by an expert Christian leader in camping and outdoors ministry. He calls this a “portable guided retreat on creation, awe, wonder, and radical amazement.” Who doesn’t long for greater gratitude and wonder? Who wouldn’t benefit from ruminations on beauty and meaning in our lives?
Indescribable: Encountering the Glory of God in the Beauty of the Universe
Louie Giglio & Matt Redman (Cook) $14.99
Neither author is a scientist or wilderness expert, but they have avocations in astronomy and use their instincts as worship leaders—preacher and musician, respectively— to see God’s great grace and glory in the wonder of things. There is some good natural science here, some basic astronomy that any outdoors-lover will appreciate, but it is mostly developed for the sake of devotion and praise. Wonderful.
Earth’s Echo: Sacred Encounters with Nature
Robert Hamma (Sorin) $15.95
The author is a very fine, meditative writer and a serious observer of all sorts of aspects of God’s good creation, and invites us in this small, quiet book to attend to the holy ground around us. Called “awe-inspiring” by Annie Dillard. It is a beauty to hold, a square-sized paperback.
Renewal in the Wilderness: A Spiritual Guide to Connecting with God in the Natural World
John Lionberger (Skylight Paths) $16.99
The opening story of this mid-life guy coming to experience God for the first time on a wilderness trek with Outward Bound is itself worth the price of the book. Lionberger, who had been thoroughly unchurched, found himself drawn to Christ and eventually became ordained, commissioned to help others experience God’s presence in the outdoors. He brings an interfaith approach, from a mainline church setting, leading trips of various sorts. Lots of stories make this easy to read and nicely inspiring.
The Wisdom of Wilderness: Experiencing the Healing Power of Nature
Gerald May (HarperOne) $13.99
May is a renowned spiritual director, a counselor and genteel, literary scholar. (He was often associated with his friends Parker Palmer and Henri Nouwan.) Who know he was an avid outdoorsman, and he writes here beautifully about how doing solo tenting trips–canoeing, encountering a bear, paying attention to creation’s awe–helped him through a very difficult time in his life. Well written, profound, and enjoyable.
Fly-Fishing The Sacred Art: Casting a Fly as a Spiritual Practice
Rabbi Eric Eisenkramer & Rev. Michael Attas (Skylight Paths) $16.99
Forget the jokes about a Rabbi and minister going into a bar; here they go out to streams, explaining the allure and spiritual potential, in fly fishing. Beautiful, interesting, informative, with describing things from tie flying to enjoying the flowing streams to working on river conservation. Lovely.
When the Trees Say Nothing: Writings on Nature
by Thomas Merton edited and compiled by Kathleen Deignan, with sketches by John Giuliani (Sorin Books) $16.95
Thomas Merton is one of the most-respected Christian mystics of the 20th century, a prolific, humorous, intense Trappist monk who died in the late 60s and the environmental movement was taking off. These are writings of his, many from early in his career, when he wrote about the beauty of nature, God’s presence in creation, and how to stand in silence and awe before the world.
The Green Bible Devotional: A Book of Daily Readings
Taken from The NRSV Green Bible (HarperOne) $14.99
Taken from the “Green Letter” New Revised Standard edition, this includes short meditations from a wide array of fine Christian thinkers, leaders, activists. Easy to carry –and very uplifting.
A Spiritual Field Guide: Meditations for the Outdoors
Bernard Brady & Mark Neuzil (Brazos Press) $12.99
This may be our favorite daily devotional, outlined specifically for either day hikes or longer treks. This is Biblical, inspiration, offering Scripture and readings from classic Christian writers. Nicely done.
Wilderness Time: A Guide for Spiritual Retreat
Emilie Griffin (HarperOne) $14.00
Produced by Renovare, this is not about wilderness settings, but uses the metaphor of wilderness for any intentional spiritual retreat. Very useful.
OUTDOOR MEMOIRS AND NATURE WRITING
Wisdom Chaser: Finding
My Father at 14,000 Feet Nathan Foster (IVP) $16.00
The son of the famous spirituality writer (Richard Foster) has messed up his life, realizes he needs to reconsider his own lifestyle and faith commitments, and, mostly, must get to know his mysterious father. In a riveting mountain climbing memoir, father and son are reconciled and new beginnings are envisions. This is great reading for anyone who enjoys a good adventure tale; better for those wanting to see how God can use the stress of adventure experiences to rebuild relationships, trust, and hope. Highly recommended.
Surprises Around the Bend: 50 Adventurous
Walkers edited by Richard Hasler (Augsburg) $14.99
Hasler is both a pastor and a hiker, and he has offered us this delightful gift: a compilation of various excerpts of the journals of many famous walkers (from Francis of Assisi to John Bunyan to Dietrich Bonhoeffer), their observations and insights, pleasures, adventures and, in many cases, spiritual insights. Arranged almost like a daily devotional: very nicely done.
The Way is Made By Walking
A Pilgrimage Along the Camino Santiago Arthur Boers (IVP) $16.00
Although this pilgrimage along the El Camino trail is more of a spiritual practice than an adventure trip, the insights gathered as the merry band of folk travel this ancient trail are fascinating. Not a few backpacking trips into the wilderness have used this as a study book. Includes a nice foreword by avid day hiker and Bible scholar Eugene Peterson.
Hiking Through: One Man’s Journey to Peace and Freedom on the Appalachian Trail
Paul Stutzman (Revell) $13.99
When this was self-published it became an underground classic, appreciated by many, and we are happy to now have available this new edition. After Stutzman lost his wife from cancer, he heads out on the AT, realizing that a life-changing journey begins with a single step… God’s grace and guidance become evident as the author tells of this 2,176 mile trip through 14 states. Good outdoor writing, fun adventure tales, but it is also about love, family, friendship, courage, discovery, healing, and finding God beyond the trailhead. A page-turner, offering solid faith and great insight.
Soul Survivor: A Spiritual Quest Through 40 Days and 40 Nights of Mountain Solitude
Paul Hawker (Northstone) $15.95
A passionately honest account of a man–he described himself as “restless and rudderless”—trying honestly to hear the voice of God by going on a remarkable soul quest. Set in the treacherous Tararua Mountain range in New Zealand.
Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why
Laurence Gonzales (Norton) $15.95
Gonzales has perhaps studied this topic, and interviewed more survivors of tragic accidents–from plane crashes in Peruvian wilderness to mountain climbing trips gone wrong—and was perplexed why some people (and some groups) found stamina and courage to endure, and who did not. This is by all accounts compelling reading, at times intense and even chilling. And, it is very important for anyone undertaking potentially life-threatening adventure trips. Recommended.
Wind River Winter
Virginia Stem Owens (Regent College Press) $19.95
This memoir is achingly beautiful as Stem Owens, one of our finest contemporary Christian writers (who is a keen observer of nature, and has written a previous book on quantum physics) takes us into the beauty and mystery of watching the world of the desolate Wind River mountains of Wyoming. Beautiful language, profoundly Christian, excellent insights or reality and grace in a fallen world.
Reading the Mountains of Home
John Elder (Harvard University Press) $24.95
This is a splendid book, important and enjoyable on many levels. Firstly, it is a memoir of a set of day hikes near the author’s beloved Vermont county. Elder is a professor of environmental literature at Middlebury College, and he is actually doing a series of outdoor experiences following the general plot of a rare Robert Frost poem (which has him getting lost, building a canoe, etc.) As he hikes and observes both poem and landscape he concludes that it is important to know your own locale. This is, as he explains, a huge controversy within American nature writers, conservationists and modern moutaineers: must we always go “out West” for the dangerous, rugged terrain, or might there be (as Thoreau chided Muir) wilderness in less dramatic locations? This is an argument for finding joy in the local, taking up outdoor adventure wherever we are, and not necessarily presuming that the best experiences are the most dramatic or far-away. For anyone who loves well-written stories, a bit of poetry, some New England geological lessons, and a wonderful insight about “reading the mountains of home.”
Jesus, History, and Mt. Darwin: An Academic Excursion
Rick Kennedy (Wipf & Stock) $14.00
Kennedy is a professor of history at Point Loma Nazarene University and here he gives us an extended essay in the genre of Thoreau’s travel-thinking essays. It is the story of his three-day climb into the Evolution Range of the High Sierra mountains, nearly fourteen thousand feet. (Yes, the range is named after the famous evolutionary thinkers, and he is indeed climbing Mt. Darwin.) In this wide-ranging study, he ponders the meaning of education, the nature of his work as a Christian in higher education, the reliability of the claims of Jesus in the gospels, and, of course, natural history. A stunning reminder of humility, the importance of science, all told amidst a narrative of mountain climbing.
Sea Fire: Tales of Jesus and Fishing
Irene Martin (Crossroad) $19.95
This is really surprising, part detective story, part Bible study, part cultural history of the fishing communities of the Sea of Galilee. Martin is an Episcopal priest, New Testament scholar and a life-long fisher in the Pacific Northwest. A bit academic, but could be fun to read for those who love fishing.
Who Owns the Mountains? Classic Selections Celebrating the Joys of Nature
Henry van Dyke (Northfield/Moody Press) $14.00
At the turn of the century that took us into the twentieth, Van Dyke was a literary star, especially known for his beautiful The Story of the Other Wise Man. A dedicated Christian and renowned outdoorsman, this collection offers his stories, poems, and essays of fishing for salmon in Quebec, experiencing the folk lands of Scotland, hiking the Franconia notch in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and more. Beautifully realized, pleasant and uplifting.
CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVES ON CREATION CARE
Remember Creation: God’s World of Wonder and Delight
Scott Hoezee (Eerdmans) $15.00
This is basically a set of sermons, but, oh, what delightful and well-crafted sermons they are! Without being overly political, Rev. Hoezee reminds us that the ecological crisis is at first theological: God loves the creation He made and things like species extinction take away some of the glory and delight that God desires. A moving, basic, book of solid Biblical reflections on why we should enjoy and care about the integrity of creation.
EarthWise: A Guide to Hopeful Creation Care
Cal DeWitt (Faith Alive) $14.99
This is a fabulous, insightful, very useful Bible study guide with short chapters, incisive, rich ideas, and good study questions. The best little paperback study of it’s kind, written by a legendary evangelical, scientists and outdoorsman. Recently updated. Great for studies on the trail or camp.
Green Like God: Unlocking the Divine Plan for Our Planet
Jonathan Merrit (FaithWords) $16.99
Merrit is a popular young voice of engaging evangelical faith, an emerging leader in Southern Baptist circles, and a great voice for Biblical orthodoxy applied creatively to the environmental crisis. There are many books reflecting on environmental issues from a Christian perspective, and this is one of the best, most basic, and yet insightful ones. A great read! Highly recommended.
For the Beauty of the Earth: A Christian Vision for Creation Care
Stephen Bouma-Predigar (BakerAcademic) $25.00
This is, in our opinion, the most important book yet done on a uniquely Christian perspective on the environmental crisis and the Biblical call to creation care. Very thoughtful, serious, and essential. A must-read for anyone who cares for the earth and appreciates her beauty and wants a profound understanding of our times. Some of this is nearly poetic, but much is solid environmental science, informed by great Biblical insight. Bouma-Predigar is a popular teacher at Hope College.
Tending to Eden: Environmental Stewardship for God’s People
Scott Sabin (Judson Press) $18.00
Again, there are many great books on creation care, and we are listing just a few essential ones here. This is indeed one of the very best, bringing together various streams of thought from several disciplines, written with candor and great care. The author is an energetic leader, not the director of Plant with a Purpose, a Christian relief and development organization.Very highly recommended.
Green Revolution: Coming Together to Care for God’s Creation
Ben Lowe (IVP) $15.00
We suggest this for several reasons, one of which is that it shows the fabulous work being done in this field throughout the consortium of Christian Colleges and Universities schools. That is, there are fantastic examples of faith-based, evangelical activism from places like Wheaton, Messiah, Gordon, Calvin, Seattle Pacific and the like. Well written, informative, and very inspiring. A must!
The Gospel According to the Earth: Why the Good Book is a Green Book
Matthew Sleeth (HarperOne) $22.99
Dr. Sleeth, of Asbury KY, is known for his great, little Serve God, Save the Planet (Zondervan; $14.99) and this is his more mature, ecumenical manifesto on why Christians simply must actively attend to and care for the beauties of the creation. There is some very insightful Biblical study here, and tons of great information.
Song of a Scientist: The Harmony of a God-Soaked Universe
Cal DeWitt (Square Inch Books) $14.99
DeWitt has been an evangelical, Reformed voice in the movement for Christian creation-care for decades and in this recent book he shares his own faith, his love of Scripture, creation, enviromental science, and offers keen insights about how it is all integrated together. Very nice, insightful but not difficult reading at all. Highly recommended.
The Wonder of the Universe: Hints of God in Our Fine-Tuned World
Karl Giberson (IVP) $16.00
One of the great scientists working in the Christian tradition (and co-founder of the BioLogos) is renowned for his Science & Religion Writing Workshops at Gordon College (and his much-debated book, Saving Darwin.) Here, like a detective sleuthing out the greatest mysteries of all, he shows how great scientists are exploring the wonders of nature. From modern cosmology to the history of science, from the beauty of the stars to the details of physics, this is a delightful, if serious, overview of how to see creation as the theater of God.
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