Eco-Justice Ministries
   Eco-Justice: "the well-being of all humankind on a thriving Earth"

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Eco-Curriculum Review for the title
Earth-Wise: A Biblical Response to Environmental Issues

This is the full report format.

Short Description:   Discover how Christians can play a crucial role in maintaining the environment as stewards of Godīs creation. "So,let us join together, not only to explore the dark recesses of creationīs degradations, but also to resurface into the Bibleīs teachings on creationīs care and keeping--and then to ascend into joyful stewardship of the faithful children of God"
Long Description:   Noted environmentalist Calvin B. DeWitt encourages Christians to care for the environment as stewards of Godīs creation. Earth-Wise describes in detail the wonders of Godīs creation and how fallen humanity and modern society have abused it. DeWitt provides biblical and theological perspectives on creation care as well as practical ideas for how Christians can respond to environmental issues. Discussion questions are included, as well as an outline of a workshop session on putting creation care into practice.
Reviewed by:   Diana Kaye Obe, from Pensacoloa, Florida, AA in Biblical Studies from Liberty Christian College

Bibliographic & Purchasing Information
Author:   Calvin B. DeWitt
Publisher:   Faith Alive Christian Resources
Publication date:   2007 (second ed.) Website for this resource:
We know of 1 source for purchasing this resource.
Address Faith Alive Christian Resources
2850 Kalamazoo Ave SE
Grand Rapids, MI   49560  
Phone 800-333-8300   Fax 888-642-8606  
Website E-mail  
Price $12.99  Order #  

Target Audience & Course Sessions
Age levels Preschool    Primary    Jr. High     Sr. High     Adult
NOTE: Our reviewer may have checked a wider age range than specified in the curriculum itself.
Optimum class size 10-15 
Normal number/length of sessions If the curriculum's normal lesson plan is followed, there will be 6 class sessions each lasting about 1.5 hours
Are suggestions included for expanding/contracting the series? This would depend upon the number of attendees and the leaderīs decision of how much discussion would be appropriate given the material and time allowed.  
In the judgement of the reviewer:
 using these materials, or even just one session from them, a reasonable, coherent and self-contained class can be offered in a single session of about an hour.
 using these materials, a class can be offered that runs for at least two sessions.
Are learners expected to do homework? Approximately twelve pages of reading are required before each session, as well as review of the study questions to summarize and reflect on any desired input during class sessions.  
Target audience:
 Interfaith - addressed people of many faiths
 Judeo-Christian - addressed to Jews & Christians
 Christian - addressed explicitly to Christians
 Not explicity faith-based - not much religious content

Materials provided
Materials include:
 Leader's guide
 Student book
 Discussion questions
 Class activities - arts & crafts
 Class activities - group participation 
 Reading materials
 Presentation or lecture notes
 Prayer or worship resources
Other materials required:none specified
Description of the Leader's Guide:There is not a "Leader´s Guide" per se, but the book is laid out extremely well and can easily be used to teach a class or facilitate a discussion class, giving information as to the best group size, suggestions on how to facilitate a group with well defined discussion guidelines and suggested prayer format as well as practical suggestions to implement what is learned.
Description of the Student's Book:The Leader´s Book and the Student´s book are one and the same.

Materials review & Assessment of usability
Are all necessary materials provided in an accessible format? Yes - materials are very well laid out and comprehensive  
Is the leader's guide comprehensive? Yes - materials are very well laid out and comprehensive  
Are class sessions clearly outlined? Yes - materials are very well laid out and comprehensive  
Will it be helpful to have a teacher with above-average expertise in the subject matter? Not Necessary to have teacher expertise  
Preparation time required by the leader:
Subjectively rated as heavy, medium or light

Content focus
Is this curriculum explicitly focused on environmental awareness or action? Yes, as a primary focus  
Does this curriculum deal with a specific environmental issue or problem? A mindset, individual or corporate, with a lack of proper or any stewardship of the Creation.  
How is the scope of the environmental impact positioned?  Impact on specific human communities
 Impact on humans in general
 Impact on humans and non-human parts of creation
 Impact on non-human parts of creation only  
Does the curriculum address questions of social or economic justice in relation to environmental issues? Yes - as a major theme  
Does the curriculum provide detailed content in a particular academic area?   For example, is there significant content in biology, physics, sociology, economics, etc.?
Biblical & theological content are covered below
The curriculum is scientifically based and technical, yet written in a manner that can be understood by the average reader.  
Biblical/theological content
Does the curriculum have explicit biblical or theological content? Yes, as a major emphasis  
How are the Biblical materials used? Individual texts are presented as meaningful ('proof texts')
Several texts are developed to show a larger biblical theme
Texts are placed in a historical or cultural context
Texts are presented as authoritative
Students are invited to comment/reflect on the meaning or authority of texts
Biblical texts are of equal importance to other scriptures/readings  
The checked statements reflect how ethical guidelines are grounded The Bible tells us how we should live/act
A theological tradition or other authority tells us how we should live/act
We should make decisions about how to live/act based on defined ethical norms
Caring for creation is an assumed norm  
The curriculum views humanity's role in creation as:
The checked lines are clearly affirmed
Domination - God created the Earth for human use; there are no real restrictions on what we can or should do.
Stewardship - "The Earth is the Lord's"" and humans are in a position of managing the creation according to God's will.
Partner - Humans are part of the web of creation, and participate in it as one species among many.
Intruder - Humans are separate from nature, and inherently destructive.
In evaluating changes to "solve" environmental problems, does the curriculum tend toward an approach that is: Confessional - I/we need to change
Confrontational - Some other person, policy or institutions needs to change
Combination - a mix of confessional and confrontational

Content approach
Which of these are a primary target outcome of the curriculum?  Increase awareness or concern about the environment in general
 Increase awareness of concern about a specific environmental issue
 Acquiring factual knowledge about an issue
 Changing or deepening personal beliefs
 Change in self-awareness or self-identity
 Changes in personal behaviors or lifestyle choices
 Influence on institutional (church or other) practices
 Increased political advocacy
 No change, or goal not clear
Other:  Increase awareness of Biblical foundation for mankind´s responsibility to care for creation.
Range of perspectives offered:   A single perspective is offered
  Compares 2 or more perspectives
  A diversity of perspectives presented

Subjective Reviewer Feedback
In general, would you use this program with your congregation/organization? Why or why not?
Yes, I would. The book is Biblically as well as scientifically grounded, presented in a logical and concise manner, and has a clear defined pattern for group study, incorporates "how toīs" in regard to putting action to what is learned, and also covers grounded arguments to common erroneous reasoning for not having any responsibility to care for the creation.
What specific feedback do you have after reviewing these materials? What did you like? What did you not like?
There was nothing I did not like about this book. It is one of the best laid out books I have read in regard to the problem facing this generation concerning the abuse of the earth, the solutions, what and how we can do something about the problem, and how to educate others and be personally responsible and well as corporately responsible to the issues at hand.
What questions did you have after reviewing the materials?
I do not have any questions. I learned enough new things to assimilate that I may and probably will have have questions later, but do not have any at this time.
What, if any, concerns do you have about the use or implementation of this curriculum?
I think perhaps a group of 10 would be more practical and certainly not more than 15 as the discussion is thought provoking.
What content, if any, does this program seem to be missing? What would you like this program to cover which it does not?
I can not think of anything. I think the book is amazingly thorough for the number of pages. The author is one that I would identify as a careful, methodical writer and has obviously put much thought into the book and the study.
Have you ever used this program in the past, or heard of others who have used it? What if any response was received?
No, I have not.

Eco-Justice Ministries   *   400 S Williams St, Denver, CO   80209   *   Home Page:
Eco-Justice Ministries ended all programming on July 31, 2020. This site is an archive of writings and resources.
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