Reforesting Faith: What Trees Teach us about the Nature of God and his Love for us – Matthew Sleeth MD
Waterbrook Press, 224 Pages, £17.99, ISBN 9780735291751
I heard about this book through an article the author wrote on trees in Christianity Today last autumn. It was enough to whet my appetite for the whole book, which this week landed on my iPad via Kindle.
Author Matthew Sleeth is a doctor, who worked for seven years as a carpenter before his medical training, and Reforesting Faith explores the importance of trees in the Bible and in our lives.
Sleeth reminds us that after God and humans, trees are the most mentioned living thing in Scripture – and he also demonstrates that every major character and event in the Bible is associated in one way or another with a tree.
The book takes us on an arborial tour from the trees in the Garden of Eden, through the tree on which Jesus died to the fruit-bearing trees growing by the River of Life at the end of the Book of Revelation.
Reforesting Faith provides an informative, delightful and persuasive case for seeing the tree as a central image of communication in Scripture. The book is also a valuable resource for giving a biblical foundation for a well-thought through approach to environmental concern and care. Perhaps it will lead us to think about planting a tree, and let the planet breathe a little easier.
John Woods is pastor of Lancing Tabernacle in West Sussex