God as a Gardener, Exploring Parables Illustrated by Plants
Ask most elementary school aged children in the United States where apples, corn, or lettuce comes from and they will respond with, “from the grocery store.” An entire generation of children doesn’t understand that common foods they eat every day are grown on a farm or in an orchard.
Author Dr. Carolyn A. Roth avers that “this seemingly unimportant knowledge deficit in both children and adults has crucial implications for pastors and Christian educators.” She contends that “the majority of parables that Christ spoke was illustrated by plants” and asked “How will today’s generation comprehend Bible parables when they have no idea that herbs, grain, vegetables, and even fruit trees grow from seeds that have to be planted?”
Roth believes that her book, God as a Gardener is the answer for pastors, Christian educators, parents, and youth who want more than a superficial read of the Bible. The book contains 12 parables from the Old Testament and 12 from the New Testament. Dr. Roth described how a plant’s characteristics, whether a grain, fruit tree, or herb, made it the ideal vehicle to illustrate the parable’s spiritual meaning. The book is laid out as a Bible study with questions and reflections throughout each chapter.
Dr. Carolyn Roth is the creator and docent of St. John Lutheran Church Bible garden in Roanoke, Virginia. The Bible garden received the 2015 Bible Garden of the Year Award from the Biblical Botanical Garden Society – USA.
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