About our book

Our book “No oil in the lamp Fuel, faith and the energy crisis” goes on sale on the 2oth of August.  We are having a book launch at Greenbelt on the 27th August 11am at Eden.  I have to be honest and say I’m very excited since I’ve never published anything before.When we started writing the book way back in 2009 there were no other books on Peak oil from a Christian perspective.  (In fact this is one of the questions the publishers ask you when you submit the first few chapters to them -are there any other books on this area?).  In those days we could honestly say no.  Since then two books have been published, beating us to it.  In a way this is encouraging since it shows there is growing interest and concern in Christian circles in this area and proves to our publisher they were right to back us.

The other books are in order of publication “The coming oil storm” by Ron Rhodes and “Let us be Human: Christianity for a collapsing culture” by Rev Sam Norton.

We have read the first of these.  I think its fair to say that Ron Rhodes theology is not shared by either of us.  He writes very well and his description of the problem is first class.  His theology of end times is not shared by us however.

Sam Norton’s book we have not read.  This is mostly because we were very close to a publishers deadline.  I was worried that if we read it we might want to add more to our book when it was already too long!  It has a fairly apocalyptic title but my understanding is that he rejects the end times theology of Ron Rhodes.  Its also mainly theology.  We would like to think that our book is complimentary to Sam Norton’s book. Here is a brief synopsis of our book.

Chapter 1.  “What’s the problem?”  We describe the background to peak oil and look at some of the moral issues facing Christians from oil use.

Chapter 2. “What about Christians?” We look at Christian attitudes to this issue but also those in popular culture.

Chapter 3. “Can’t we just make do with Coal, Gas or Nuclear power?”  We ask the question can any conventional energy sources save us? and we look at some of the moral issues facing Christians from use of these sources of energy.

Chapter 4. “What about alternative energy? Part 1: Renewable electricity”

Chapter 5. What about alternative energy? Part 2: Renewable heat and Transport”

One criticism of some of the secular books we have read on peak oil is that they either embrace or dismiss renewables (but either way without looking at the alternatives in depth).  We have and there are lot of them to cover, hence two chapters.  We have a more balanced view, neither thinking there is a technofix or dismissing them completely.  We also look at some of the moral issues facing Christians from these sources of energy.

Chapter 6. “But we don’t eat oil, do we?”  In this chapter we briefly look at the neglected area of food and chemicals.  These are two of the major challenges we face from peak oil.

Chapter 7. “Surely the Market will provide? – The Economics of resource depletion”.  In this chapter we critique the current economic system and briefly examine some the alternative models that may be compatible with a life after oil from a Christian perspective.

Chapter 8. “What are the consequences if we just carry on?”  We do a bit of futureology.

Chapter 9. “Transition – What’s the big idea?”  We look at the transition movement, a social movement that is a response to peak oil and climate change at the local level.

Chapter 10. “Does the Bible have anything to say here? (Towards a theology of peak oil).
At last we get to some theology.  We do not claim to be theologians but have a go…

Chapter 11. “What can I do?”  A very practical chapter.  We look at transport, energy, food and chemicals at three different levels of difficulty (and expense).

Chapter 12.  “What can my church do?”  We raise some questions about doing church in the 21st century and look at practical examples of what some churches have done to save energy etc. We also look at the Christian discipline of meditation as an aid to imagining a different future (not as weird as it sounds).

Chapter 13. “Where do we go from here? (Conclusion)”.  We wrap it up and look at the encouragements and discouragements as we go forward.  There is also a short glossary and the inevitable study guide.

Neil

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4 Responses to About our book

  1. Hey Neil – great to discover other people working in this field. You’re right, I’m definitely not an end-timer (in fact, part of the book is a debunking of that). As I will be at Greenbelt myself, I’ll come along to your book launch and give you a free copy of mine ;o) perhaps some beer afterwards??

    • admin says:

      Thanks for your very quick reply. Look fwd to meeting you. I hope you don’t mind what I have said about your book. It looks to me like they are complimentary rather than rivals? Byron has a copy of the book he can lend me. I am going to link to your blog.

  2. PS I agree that our books are complementary (hopefully we can be complimentary too…)

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