Introduction taken from Born-Again Dirt
When I started farming several years ago, this is the book I wanted to read. When the Lord began to convict me that my farm needed to bring glory to Him in the way it was designed and operated, I found there were very few resources to encourage and equip me. The majority of farming books weren’t written by authors with a Biblical worldview, with the refreshing exception of Joel Salatin. His books were extremely inspiring and instilled in me a desire to explore how my love for the Lord Jesus Christ should affect the way I farmed and viewed farming. Finding no existing books, I ended up doing my own informal research, and eventually felt that the Lord wanted me to write a book for the encouragement of other Christian farmers. After much toil and labor, this is the imperfect result.
The primary message of this book is that the transforming work of the Gospel in the hearts of farmers should also transform our agriculture. If we want to glorify God we must be Christian farmers, not just farmers who are Christians. The way we work the dirt must spring from a Biblical worldview. This is the concept of “born-again dirt”.
This book is primarily written for the growing number of Christian families and individuals who are moving back to the land and trying to learn to farm. This includes me. As the Lord works in our lives to change our hearts I believe we begin to value the benefits that an agrarian lifestyle offers:
•The ability to work with our hands
•The opportunity to work with and spend time with family
•The bountiful harvest of healthy, fresh food
•The reliability of providing directly for our needs in a fragile economy
However, there is a danger.
If we don’t recognize the spiritual battleground within agriculture and don’t purposely lay a biblical foundation for the way that we farm, then we will fail to give glory to God in our farming. Agriculture is dominated today by those who deny God’s existence or ownership of all creation, or by those who live as though He doesn’t impact our lives or the way we farm. And they are the ones, unfortunately, who provide the majority of the farming training resources available to us inexperienced Christian back-to-the-landers. We must equip ourselves with a solid, Biblical, agricultural worldview through which we can filter this information, or we will end up worshiping their idols.
I have begun the journey of transforming my farm so that every aspect of it is based in God’s Word. This is what I mean by having dirt that is “born-again.” Perhaps some people may be uncomfortable with my use of this term, but I believe it helps communicate the fact that Christians must view farming differently than non-Christians. A man who has been born-again has been given a new heart, and this new birth changes his perspective on the entire world. A farmer who is born-again should adopt God’s perspective on everything he does, including farming.
I am not a skilled writer, but I would like to share with the body of Christ some of the things I am learning from God that might be of benefit to others. My purpose is not to provide all the answers, but instead to raise questions, look at scripture, share testimony, and provide practical examples of application. I am not as concerned with convincing you to adopt particular methods as I am with challenging you to adopt biblical thinking as the foundation for your methods.
My desire is to see Christian farmers around the world begin a journey of seeking to glorify God though their farms. I want to see the whole Church rise up and take back agriculture for the Kingdom of God by not only farming, but also by being willing to support Godly farming. I believe this will result in the spread of the Gospel of Christ and also in the most successful farms the world has ever known.
To God be the Glory!