Film / Book Reviews

God’s Gardeners

Creation Care Stories from Singapore and Malaysia

How do we show love and stewardship for God’s creation in one of the world’s most densely built-up cities? God’s Gardeners—“Singapore’s first book on creation care” —is a collection of essays that shows how we can start, no matter what our walk in life might be.

The book, edited by Melissa Ong and Prarthini M. Selveindran, consists of essays by writers affiliated with A Rocha (an international network of environmental organisations with a Christian ethos) as well as others from a range of specialties, such as ecology and conservation, the food and service industry, management, transport, media and even theology. The book’s underlying message is that the stewardship of God’s creation is the responsibility of, and can be undertaken by, everyone—not just in their day jobs, but in their world views.

Creation care can be traced back to role that God appointed Adam in the Garden of Eden. God’s command to love our neighbours as ourselves involves recognising that how we treat “the natural environment has tangible impact on others’ welfare, especially the poor and disadvantaged whom we desire to look out for”. Social responsibility (incidentally also one of Methodism’s social principles) is thus a biblical driving force behind creation care.

The book is not prescriptive—the authors realise that “there is not one fixed way to ‘do’ creation care” and show us there are a myriads of ways to manifest it in our careers and daily lives. Dr Goh Wei Leong and the Rev Lam Kuo Yung from Katong Presbyterian Church write about how they made the effort to do so in their church renovation project and the running of their church. Reuben Ang discusses how he does so in the food industry by responsibly addressing the issues of waste management in his catering company. Mary-Ruth Low works on fruit bat conservation in the NGO where she is employed. They, as do all the book’s writers, do what they do because of their love for God and His creation.

The book is timely in the light of increasing awareness of the climate crisis our planet is facing. Its essays are divided with interludes before each of the broad sections of “Ecology”, “Beauty”, “Dominion”, “Shalom” and “St Francis”, bookended with a biblically-grounded Preface and Afterword. It includes further reading and action points for those who desire to explore its topics in greater depth.

God’s Gardeners: Creation Care Stories from Singapore and Malaysia

Edited by Melissa Ong and Prarthini M. Selveindran

Published by Graceworks (2020), 168 pages

$16 (e-book; no GST); $20 (paperback; no GST, free shipping within Singapore)

Enjoy 10% off the price of God’s Gardeners by using the promo code gg10 at the webstore’s checkout page (valid from 1–30 Apr 2020).

Sheri Goh is the Editor of Methodist Message.

Book visuals courtesy of Graceworks