CREATION Health: A Journey of Discovery, Chris Blake, Florida Hospital Mission Development, Orlando, Florida, 2013, 228 pages, US$14.99. Reviewed by Stephen Chavez, coordinating editor, Adventist Review.
Health is hot. You can’t go anywhere without seeing an article, an ad, a program about eating healthfully, losing weight, beating addictions, or reducing your risk of heart attack, stroke, or various forms of cancer.
A generation ago Adventists were well-known for speaking out against smoking, using illicit drugs, and drinking alcohol. Indeed, in many venues ours was the predominant voice in opposing these habits.
Now it’s not only Adventists who lobby against corporations that promote tobacco, alcohol, and factory farming. Some might wonder whether we have anything to offer, or if we’ll ever have the influence we once had.
CREATION Health is one response. The book, written by well-known author Chris Blake, is an exposition of the CREATION health outline adopted by the General Conference Health Ministries Department and embodied by the Florida Hospital Health System. CREATION health (choice, rest, environment, activity, trust, interpersonal relationships, outlook, nutrition) is the twenty-first-century child of the NEWSTART health system, used so well and so effectively as part of the Adventist health message in the last half of the twentieth century.
The book CREATION Health defies description. It’s not a textbook; it’s not literature; more than anything it’s a workbook, packed with more information, activities, questions, and quotes than can be absorbed in one setting.
And that’s the idea. This isn’t a book to curl up with and read straight through; it’s a book to digest, a little at a time, preferably with friends or fellow church members in small groups. According to Robyn Edgerton, Mission Development director for Florida Hospital and editor of the book, the book is designed to go where Adventists aren’t generally invited: government agencies, county health departments, community recreation centers.
And why not? With the current emphasis on health and health care, employers, employees, and individuals are increasingly looking for ways to stretch their health resources, to find cures that are simple, effective, and lasting.
CREATION Health’s message is overwhelmingly positive. It’s not a book about prohibitions. It’s a book of prescriptions: “eight universal principles for living life to the fullest.” Author Chris Blake uses three words to describe the book: accessible, deep, practical. All the principles begin with the Bible, but they don’t end there. They move into our lives and touch those areas where we live, work, recreate, share relationships, and enjoy life.
The only drawback to this book can be stated in one word: accessibility. As of this writing (the first week of November), the only way to get copies of this book is to call Mission Development at Florida Hospital and order them. The phone number (407-303-7711) isn’t even toll-free. For a generation used to one-click shopping, this is a huge disadvantage. Books
can also be ordered from
CreationHealth.com, but when I went to the site I couldn’t find a link with which to order the book.
CREATION Health is ideal for small-group Bible studies, prayer meetings, Sabbath school classes, youth and young adult groups. It’s also a great, nonthreatening way to introduce people to the practical truths of the Bible. The writing and activities are engaging and thought-provoking, providing many opportunities to make personal applications.
If only it were available on Amazon.com or at Adventist Book Centers.