Monday, April 15, 2019

Reforesting Faith by Matthew Sleeth MD

I knew trees were important as I have a heritage of loggers and builders. But I had no idea of the important theme of trees in the Bible. This book is part memoir, part insight into the truth we find from trees in Scripture, and part encouragement to be good stewards of God's creation.

I was surprised to find trees serve as God's favorite metaphor in the Bible. (19) Every major character in the Bible is associated with a tree or parts of a tree. (62) Sleeth gives a good overview of trees in the Bible by going through the stories contained in it.

We are strongly encouraged to be good stewards of creation. Sleeth writes, for example, “What is certain is that Christians are instructed to make this earth look more like heaven. Plant trees, care for trees, and preserve old forests. This is a job for believers.” (117) He even addresses theological issues, like thinking the Lord will return any moment. Whether the world ends soon or lasts another hundred years, Sleeth says planting a tree is something we can do in our own backyard to make the world better. (122)

Sleeth hopes to inspire people to action. “God's original plan was for humanity to dress and keep trees,” he writes. (199) He also is concerned for the gospel. He clearly presents a salvation message and notes the importance of trees in it.

This book seem to be of limited interest to Christians but I would encourage reading it. It does concentrate on a specific aspect of the Bible but it is informative and encouraging. You may just want to go for a walk in the forest after reading it, noticing the wonders of God's creation in the trees.

You can read an excerpt here.

You can visit to watch a video and obtain a number of ideas and suggestions for action, helping you be a good steward of God's creation.

My rating:4/5 stars.

Matthew Sleeth, MD, a former emergency room physician and chief of the hospital medical staff, resigned from his position to teach, preach, and write about faith and stewardship issues. He has spoken at more than a thousand events, including as a monthly guest preacher at the Washington National Cathedral. He is the executive director of Blessed Earth and author of numerous articles and books. He and his wife live in Lexington, Kentucky. You can find out more at

WaterBrook, 224 pages.

I received a complimentary arc of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

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