A Faith Embracing All Creatures: A Review

A Faith Embracing All Creatures: A Review

Tripp York and Andy Alexis-Baker, eds., A Faith Embracing All Creatures: Addressing Commonly Asked Questions about Christian Care for Animals (Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2012), 212 pages, ISBN 9781610977012.

The Christian Animal Rights Movement has presented yet another attempt to “reinterpret” Scriptural teaching about humanity’s relationship with animals. Read my review of their latest attempt in Pneuma Review Fall, 2013.

http://pneumareview.com/a-faith-embracing-all-creatures-reviewed-by-stephen-vantassel/

Stephen M. Vantassel is not only a trained theologian, he is also an expert in the field of wildlife damage management. He has published peer-reviewed journal articles and books in both fields and to his knowledge, is the only Evangelical theologian with field experience in wildlife damage management. In addition to his work at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, he is a tutor of theology at King’s Evangelical Divinity School.

 

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Anthrozoology

If you want to learn more about anthrozoology read

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Wildlife Animals and Human Health and Safety

 Wildlife Animals and Human Health and Safety

Grizzly Bear - Animal - Wildlife - Alaska

Grizzly Bear – Animal – Wildlife – Alaska (Photo credit: blmiers2)

One of the challenges of trying to help Christian Animal Rights (CAR) proponents understand the complex issues surrounding human-wildlife relations is the notion that vegetarianism doesn’t address the role of managing wildlife for human health and safety. Even if you oppose the eating of meat, you still have to answer the question of how to handle wildlife that pose threats to human health and safety.

For example, the Bible contains several passages highlighting the threats posed by wildlife to human health and safety.

Consider Jer 27:6 where God states that He has given Nebuchanezzar power over wildlife. Why would this be important unless wildlife was a threat to either him or Judah’s inhabitants? Amos 5:19 explains the calamity that will face Israel using the illustration of a person being attacked by a lion, bear, and a snake. Hosea uses the illustration of God coming after Israel as a bear robbed of her cubs.

My point is that if wildlife were not a threat to human health and safety than these illustrations would be meaningless to the original hearers. Wildlife certainly offer humans many benefits and enrich our world. But to suggest that wildlife are always play a positive role is to neglect the reality of both Scripture and modern day realities that show that wildlife can and do pose significant threats to human interests if humans fail to manage wildlife properly. One need only do research on deer strikes to recognize that wildlife are associated with billions of dollars of damage and loss of life each year.

Ultimately, I would love it if CAR proponents would answer this aspect of the question. I would love to hear what they have to say because I have yet to hear a scholar or layperson respond to the argument contained in my publications.

About the Author

Stephen M. Vantassel is a tutor of theology at King’s Evangelical Divinity School (http://kingsdivinity.org). His research interests include practical theology, specifically environmental issues. His latest book is Dominion over Wildlife? An Environmental-Theology of Human-Wildlife Relations, Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2009.

He is available for speaking, preaching, panels, debates, and teaching. He can be contacted at svantassel at kingsdivinity dot org.

 

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The New Food Morality

I have written about the New Food Morality that too many Christians (and those who consider themselves Christians) have adopted.

Mr. Murphy of Truth in Food has also waged a good struggle against the disinformation of these food Pharisees. You may want to read his comments at http://truthinfood.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=114:has-hyatt-dressed-up-chipotles-message-with-white-tablecloths&catid=1:feature&Itemid=8

Stephen M. Vantassel

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America and War

Here is the next book I am reviewing for the Society of Christian Ethics.

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Christian Symbol

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ECA Speaks on Supreme Court Ruling on Marriage

ECA Speaks on Supreme Court Ruling on Marriage

I am ordained through the Evangelical Church Alliance. The board chairman commented on the recent Supreme Court Decision that struck down elements of the Defense of Marriage Act. I wasn’t a part of the discussion that led to this statement, but post it for public viewing.

http://ktla.com/2013/06/26/evangelical-church-alliance-reacts-to-supreme-court-decisions/#axzz2XLcaRw1s

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War and the American Difference

War and the American Difference

I am presently reading Stanley Hauerwas’ 2011 book, War and the American

Stanley Hauerwas, War and the American Difference 2011.

Stanley Hauerwas, War and the American Difference 2011.

Difference: Theological Reflections on Violence and National Identity for the Society of Christian Ethics.

He offers some interesting insights on the role war plays in forming our understanding of being an American. He spends a great deal of effort noting how our participation in war is described using a theologically loaded word–sacrificial.

I am not a pacifist nor do I believe that pacifism is a defensible position as a Christian. Unsurprisingly, Hauerwas’ use of Scripture is very thin (at least so far). Nevertheless, it is important to read books from people whose ideas are, if not wrong, misguided, to guard oneself against arrogance.

Cheers.

 

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The Jews, Modern Israel and the New Supersessionism 2013 edition

The Jews, Modern Israel and the New Supersessionism

The standing of Jews in relationship with Christians has been a troublesome

The Jews, Modern Israel and the New Supersessionism  rev. and exp. 2013. Calvin L. Smith editor.

The Jews, Modern Israel and the New Supersessionism rev. and exp. 2013. Calvin L. Smith editor.

issue for much of Church history. Even though Paul spent 3 chapters on the subject (Rom 9-11), many Christians continue to believe that the Church has replaced ethnic Israel and that all the Old Testament promises to them now apply to the Church.

The Jews, Modern Israel and the New Supersession revised and expanded (2013) discusses this debate from various perspectives and concludes that God is not finished with ethnic Jews.

I am pleased to have a chapter in this book entitled, “A Calvinist Considers Israel’s Right to the Land.”

To obtain your copy visit the King’s Evangelical Divinity School store or visit Amazon.com.

About the Author

Stephen M. Vantassel is a tutor of theology at King’s Evangelical Divinity School (http://kingsdivinity.org). His research interests include practical theology, specifically environmental issues. His latest book is Dominion over Wildlife? An Environmental-Theology of Human-Wildlife Relations, Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2009.

He is available for speaking, preaching, debates, and teaching. He can be contacted at svantassel at kingsdivinity dot org.

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My First Wedding

My First Wedding

Tim and Jamie Hiller's weddingOne of the joys of ministry is the ability to marry people. I was honored to be asked to marry a work colleague.

Rev. Stephen M. Vantassel is ordained by Evangelical Church Alliance.

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