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Thanks to globalization, and scientific and technological achievements in industrial agriculture, food has never been more abundant and less expensive than it is today. But these changes have come with a cost - obesity, illnesses, environmental degradation, the demise of the family farm and traditional animal husbandry.
When choosing food these days we must navigate the competing claims of the industrial system and the contemporary food movement - organic versus conventional, whole foods versus processed foods, free range animals versus caged animals, locavores versus globalization - the choices are seemingly endless.
Does our faith tradition speak to these issues? Are there moral, spiritual, and religious implications to our food choices? How do we make sense of the frequently contradictory, sometimes overwhelming, and often bewildering, set of messages coming from the food industry and the contemporary food movement?
John Wesley and the early Methodists were no strangers to these very issues. Wesley and his followers recognized the importance of nutritious diets, moderation in consumption, the humane treatment of animals, and the ethics of food choices in ways that may be surprising to Christians today. Organic Wesley: A Christian Perspective on Food, Farming, and Faith examines the intersection of the teachings of John Wesley with the ethics of the contemporary food movement. Wesley's teachings can provide us with guidance as we seek to make food choices that are consistent with our Christian values - the choices that are best for our bodies, our fellow creatures, our communities, the environment, and all of creation.
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William "Bill" Guerrant and his wife, Cherie, raise vegetables, chickens, pigs, and goats on White Flint Farm, their chemical-free farm in Keeling, Virginia. A former attorney, Bill is a graduate of Asbury Theological Seminary. He and his wife speak frequently on the topic of sustainable living.Review:
Winner of the 2016 Dunnam Prize for Excellence in Writing in the Wesleyan World
"For a tradition whose central expression of faith is a meal, it is lamentable that many - if not most - of our churches rarely talk about our relationship with food. Eating is a daily opportunity for us to grow in our discipleship to Christ: I believe Bill Guerrant may have written the most important book in Wesleyan studies for the next decade."
- Sean Gladding, author of The Story of God, the Story of Us (IVP, 2010); TEN: Words of Life for an Addicted, Compulsive, Cynical, Divided and Worn-out Culture (IVP, 2014); and Centurion (Seedbed, 2015)
"If we are Jesus followers, we know that Christian discipleship involves every area of our life, without exception. Certainly this includes food and concern for healthy bodies and healthy land. Bill Guerrant in Organic Wesley shows that Wesley in the 1700s understood this very well - and that Wesley's insights can help us be better and more healthy Christian disciples today. This new study is both inspiring and healing."
- Howard A. Snyder - Visiting Director, Manchester Wesley Research Centre, Manchester, England
"In Organic Wesley, Bill Guerrant offers a finely crafted theological argument for rethinking the ways we eat. This book will be of benefit, not just to Methodists, but to all who seek follow holistically in the way of Jesus."
- C. Christopher Smith, co-author of Slow Church, and founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books
"Organic Wesley is a unique and deeply inspiring work that mixes the deep soil of a particular theologian and his plot of modern church history with the current conversation on sustainable agriculture, healthy eating and the reformation of food production in our times. Bill Guerrant has penned something that, in the tradition of Wendell Berry, only a farmer-theologian could write with such clarity. For many of us in the Christian food movement it is a reaffirmation that our prophetic work is rooted in historical Christian discipleship."
- Jason Fowler, co-founder Sustainable Traditions
"In an age in which flesh is separated from spirit and bodies from the earth we are in need of a practical theology that will bring us toward wholeness. In Organic Wesley Bill Guerrant shows us that John Wesley provides just the sort of guidance we now need to find our flourishing. Articulate, profound, and deeply accessible, this is a book that offers important insights for all of us who struggle to live rightly in a complex world."
- Ragan Sutterfield, author of This is My Body and Cultivating Reality
"Every person eats every day. Rarely do we spend time considering our food choices in the light of the gospel. But John Wesley did, and we can too. Organic Wesley sheds new light on the historic connections between the Christian faith and ethical eating. It turns out that we in the Christian food movement are not pioneers , we are heirs of Wesley's practical wisdom and everyday ethics. This inspiring and informative book is an invaluable addition to the contemporary conversation on food and faith."
- The Rev. Nurya Love Parish, Editor of Guide to the Christian Food Movement and Co-founder of Plainsong Farm
"Organic Wesley is an important, deeply satisfying, and exuberant contribution to the ongoing discussion among people of faith and other sympathetic voices regarding the things that sustain or destroy us, physically, communally, and spiritually. Bill Guerrant puts his sharp mind, teacher's heart, and soil-covered hands to good use as he explores ideas that are both immediate and timeless. Both Bill, and his book, come highly recommended. I'm honored to count myself among his admiring students."
- John J. Thompson; Author of Jesus, Bread, and Chocolate; Crafting a Handmade Faith in a Mass Market World (Zondervan / Harper Collins)
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Book Description Seedbed Publishing, 2015. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1628242175