Revd Dr Dave Bookless
Director of Theology
Dave’s role as Director of Theology for A Rocha International has two main dimensions. He leads on working to embed creation care into global and international Christian organizations, theological institutions, and mission movements. In relation to this he serves as Lausanne Global Catalyst for Creation Care, co-leading the global Lausanne / World Evangelical Alliance Creation Care Network. He is also on the Church of England’s Environment Working Group and the global Season of Creation Steering Committee. Secondly, Dave is a member of the A Rocha International Management Team, particularly providing advice and resources for ARI’s Trustees, Team and national A Rocha organizations.
Dave has worked with A Rocha since 1997, first as an International Trustee, then from 2001 with A Rocha UK as co-founder (with his wife Anne), National Director, and in other roles, before joining A Rocha International in 2011. Throughout this time he has been a mission partner with CMS, seconded to A Rocha.
Dave’s passion is communicating biblical teaching to today’s cultures, and he has spoken around the world to conferences, colleges and churches. He has a PhD from Cambridge University on biblical theology and biodiversity conservation, and has contributed to many books and articles. One of his books, Planetwise – Dare to Care for God’s World (IVP, 2008) has been translated into Chinese, Dutch, French, German and Spanish and is used as a basic biblical guide to creation care in many contexts. Another, God Doesn’t do Waste (IVP, 2010), tells the story of Dave and his family’s journey into caring for creation leading to founding A Rocha UK, and was selected by Third Way magazine as one of its books of the year for 2010.
Born and raised in India, Dave has a love for Indian food, Indian culture and Indian Christianity. He, his wife Anne, and their family live in multi-cultural Southall, London, where Dave (an ordained Anglican minister) is part-time Vicar of a multi-racial church, St Mary’s Norwood Green and where as a family they try to live as sustainably as possible. Dave is also a qualified bird-ringer and loves birding, islands, running and mountains.
Dave is a regular contributor to Planetwise, the A Rocha International blog.
After an involvement of over 20 years, why are you still with A Rocha?
The majority of the world’s Christians are still not hearing what the Bible teaches about caring for creation, and so the message is more important than ever.
What do you enjoy most?
Three things! I love it when I’m teaching and somebody suddenly understands that the Creator cares about all he has made and wants them to act accordingly – sometimes you really see them ‘get it’. I meet such wonderful people, truly amazing supporters. And I appreciate chances to be outdoors in the beauty of nature with our teams.
Your books and blogs make it clear that biblical teaching and being part of A Rocha has hugely influenced your family’s lifestyle. Are you satisfied now?
Not in the slightest! We make loads of compromises. I think it’s impossible to live lightly within our western culture – the whole system needs to change. I’m just thankful that God doesn’t judge us by how far we’ve got. It’s the direction of travel that matters.
Is there any frequent theme to your prayers?
I long for influential Christians to allow themselves to feel how God feels, to be in touch with his groaning for his creation.
Is there one Bible verse about the environment which stands out for you?
I really resist picking out single verses, because it’s such a major biblical theme. But if pressed, Psalm 24:1, ‘The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.’ It’s such a radical statement.
I couldn’t do my job without…
A walk with my binoculars each week. My supportive family and church. Colleagues. Skype. Fair-trade organic coffee!