Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed


Kay Warren’s Controversy (now at Jesus Creed)

posted by Scot McKnight

Over at the CT site called Her.meneutics, Kay Warren stirred some folks up about the distinction between humans and animals. Here is her decisive paragraph (and what do you think?):

Please don’t misunderstand me: God put animals under the care of human
beings, and we are responsible to treat them with love and kindness
(Gen. 1:28). He holds us accountable for his creation — I mean, he’s
the one who thought up puppies and gorillas in the first place, and we
will answer to him for how we cared for and nurtured his planet and his
animals. But how did we get to the place where animals — even ones in
need — are considered equal to or more important than vulnerable or
orphaned children? Animals and people are two different classes of
created beings and they will never be equal in their worth. As precious
as animals are to our daily existence, they operate from instinct, not
volition. Only people have a spiritual dimension. We are the ones
created in the image of the Creator, the only ones with a soul.
Ultimately, people matter most. Jesus didn’t die for animals; he gave
his all for human beings.

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Scot McKnight

posted April 29, 2009 at 7:58 am


I added “Twit this” to two posts this morning and on this one somehow some script showed up at the bottom of the post that is not in my editing box for this post.



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JW

posted April 29, 2009 at 8:14 am


Amen sister!



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tony jones

posted April 29, 2009 at 8:27 am


Wow. I guess I’d need to know what Kay Warren means by “soul” so I could determine if she’s a biblicist or a platonist. Somehow, I expect it’s the latter.



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pat grimm

posted April 29, 2009 at 8:38 am


why are we wasting time with a subject like this? why are we not searching the scriptures for what Jesus has in store for us, for identifying who He is? This stuff is irrelevant for the most part



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Scot McKnight

posted April 29, 2009 at 8:47 am


Tony, should we assume either? Isn’t it better to assume we aren’t sure?
Pat, I disagree. Isn’t faithfulness to the gospel and to Jesus involved in how we relate to creation?



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Rick

posted April 29, 2009 at 8:54 am


The highly respected Walter Kaiser (I think he was one of Scot’s former profs) recently dealt with this issue at Koinonia. He wrote:
“If the imago Dei does not set the boundaries, then where will they be set and by whom? Based on what standard?
Here is an area we must pay more attention to in the coming days, for the gap between mortals made in the Imago Dei and the rest of the creatures of creation continues to become so narrow that one will not be able to set any type of priorities or levels of importance among all the species except for the responsibility of one order of species (mortals) to be responsible to care for all the other levels of creation.”
The full post is here: http://www.koinoniablog.net/2009/04/kaiser.html



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jhimm

posted April 29, 2009 at 8:58 am


her question is invalid on its face. we AREN’T at a place where animals are more important than children. not even close.
thus, the rest is meaningless.
what a pointless waste of time.



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Rick

posted April 29, 2009 at 9:08 am


jhimm-
I think part of the concern (at least per Kaiser) came from the issues raised in this recent NY Times Column: “Humanity Even for NonHumans”
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/09/opinion/09kristof.html?_r=2&scp=5&sq=kristof&st=cse



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Ed Gentry

posted April 29, 2009 at 9:12 am


We must strongly affirm sevral two things:
1) As humans we are a part of the created order – we don’t even get our own day of creation. We are physical, biological, ecological creators – among many other things.
2) Humans are uniquely created in God’s image. This does give us priority so I agree very much with Kay. But I take the primary historical referent if image of God language in Genesis to be much more vocational than ontological – though I would not want to deny the later. So as image bearers we mediate God’s purpose and presence in His very good (but sadly now very broken) creation. So Image bearers means being people keepers and earth keepers.
jhimm, I totally don’t get your disapprobation. This is a very salient issue. We must affirm the uniqueness of humanity on the one hand and our God given responsibly to care for His good creation on the other. Things go really really bad when we forget either one of these.



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jhimm

posted April 29, 2009 at 9:12 am


i’m sorry, that probably came off as uncivil. this struck a big nerve for me.
her question is very confusing because she provides no point of reference. on what grounds is she asserting that any particular demographic sees animals as more important than people? with the exception of some non-religious groups like PETA, Green Peace or WWF i can’t think of anyone i have ever met who said that saving animals is more important than saving people. ever.
when i look around the world i see a world full of people who are equally unconcerned about the welfare of anyone other than themselves and their own children (many care about their children but not the spouse who helped them have the children). they do all they can to promote themselves above everyone else, to promote their children above all others, and to “enjoy” (aka consume) as much of the world as they can in the life they have, including the consuming of animals.
even assuming for the moment it is true, though, so what? not all of us are called to orphanages, fostering, adoption and child health care. there is more than enough suffering in this world among both people and animals that there is more than enough to go around such that we can all be focused on something different.
my wife and i are not going to have children of our own. we may never have our life in order in such a way that we could in good conscience foster or adopt other children. we feel a calling to older kids, since most people are so focused on getting infants (that they can mold and shape and pretend are their own DNA, it seems). no one wants the damaged goods that are the older, bitter, abandoned kids. but we may never get there. may never have the career stability, the home and space, the finances, to make that a reality.
in the meantime we are highly active in animal rescue. the demands on us are substantially less. we have the space, the resources and the time to focus on this while we do what we can to get our life in order such that down the road we might be able to help children of misfortune.
it hurts to read that someone might come away from a view into my life thinking that i believe that “animals are more important than people” because i have rescue dogs, and a house full of dog beds, clothing, toys, treats, brushes, shampoos and the like, but no children.
it hurts deeply.
are we really so hard up for problems to grapple with that we have to intentionally problematize the relative value of animal welfare vs. human welfare?
or is this about the growing “green” movement and the idea that “saving the earth” somehow detracts from “saving souls”? this is also nonsensical.
mankind cannot destroy the Earth. we just can’t. and we aren’t right now. what we’re doing right now is RUINING the earth such that it will cease to be a hospitable place for human beings. we aren’t destroying the earth, we are destroying ourselves. the green movement is not a movement to save tropical fish, polar bears and rain forest trees. it is a movement to save our grandchildren.
i just don’t understand what on earth this woman is talking about. it’s complete nonsense.



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jhimm

posted April 29, 2009 at 9:18 am


Ed – since i don’t hear anyone not affirming it, her comments come off as though she is a solution in search of a problem.



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pepy3

posted April 29, 2009 at 9:24 am


I have always said as to our dear pets, “…some have entertained angels without knowing it.”
Seriously, I think this is a good discussing to reign in those of us who do not think about the consequences or responsibilities we have to CARE for what was created. I perceive the “green movement” as a reminder that we are stewards…it falls into the same category as how we treat those who harvest coffee, as well (free trade, etc. etc). Are we USERS or are we caretakers of more than just our own interests? Do the things we do reflect our creator? or just consumerism?



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Ed Gentry

posted April 29, 2009 at 9:30 am


jhimm, On reflection I can understand how Kay’s comments could have come off as very jarring even offensive.
Just a quick google search adds these to Ricks references:
http://americanpowerblog.blogspot.com/2008/07/human-rights-for-animals.html
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/6505691.stm



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cas

posted April 29, 2009 at 9:36 am


I don’t think this is the decisive paragraph. The post was about investing resources in animal rescue organizations vs. those that work to save children from AIDS, hunger, etc.
She took a lot of heat for this post from commenters and from CT’s own Ted Olsen. Some critics objected to the idea that we have to choose, but we do choose every day where to invest limited resources. She said herself that it is her eye witness experience of the worst kinds of human suffering that precludes her from investing in animal rescue. That is reasonable, even if her theological argument is inelegant and unconvincing.



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Michael W. Kruse

posted April 29, 2009 at 9:46 am


Last summer, a committee of Spain’s Parliament passed a resolution to give human rights to apes (Story here.) Princeton ethicist Peter Singer is writing best selling books that include his concerns about specism being similar to racism and genocide.
However, I’m not sure this is what Warren was referring to. Seems to me she is being critical of an imbalance (disproportionate concern for animals) but unfortunately casts the argument as an either/or issue.
What we I suspect we really have here is culture war. Warren’s piece can be taken as a slap at environmentalism though it need not be. (I suspect it was in part.) She expresses her frustration with hyperbole.
Environmentalist friendly folks, in obligatory fashion, took it as an insult. They respond with the intent to minimize and marginalize her. Now the conversation becomes about how it is she became so silly.
Sigh…



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Dave Diller

posted April 29, 2009 at 10:11 am


Human beings are made in the image of God…that is what makes “us” uniquely “us”. Yet I disagree in what Kay Warren said because it seems to assume that the purpose of Christ’s life, death, resurrection, coming again, is about “us”. When we go on a theological trajectory in this way we can promote an escapism eschatology that isn’t very redemptive (or Biblical).
Does God’s redemptive new creation have room for “all things?”
To further the rabbit trail: one might say that animals don’t go to heaven…hmmm…maybe people don’t go either.



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Thomas Frovin

posted April 29, 2009 at 10:15 am


I think I agree with Kay, but I think it should be emphasized, that animals and humans have different worth. We shouldn’t really compare, I think. And as Kay says, we have responsibilities (different!) for both.



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Ed Gentry

posted April 29, 2009 at 10:15 am


Dave Diller, ‘Does God’s redemptive new creation have room for “all things?”‘ I assume that this was rhetorical – cf Col 1:15-20; Romans 8 etc.
Earth keeping for me is profoundly eschatological.



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MatthewS

posted April 29, 2009 at 10:39 am


A fair critique should try to be fair to context the author’s intent. I read her essay to say that humans have a special value and a special place in God’s redemption plan and that whatever effort and concern animals deserve, children deserve more. So if x amount of money and press and emotion is poured into causes related to animals, then x + more should be poured into children.
Perhaps she overstates her case towards the end of the essay and implies that we should not give money to animal causes. However, I share her frustration that “…a page from the playbook of relief agencies for orphans and vulnerable children and reframed it around animals. The minds behind the slick campaign knew that combining the familiar, comforting Christmas carol with pictures of discarded animals would create a Pavlovian response in the emotions of caring people…”
There is a weight of Disney movies, cereal boxes, commercials, etc. that champion the cause of animals – where are the balancing messages and causes for human children?



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mike

posted April 29, 2009 at 10:46 am


genesis 1-2 does indeed show that humans have priority over animals. everything else was made for humankind, which is the crowning of creation in genesis, the creature with the image of God, the one made to rule the other creatures.
but, i don’t think she had to include this tidbit to make her point: “As precious as animals are to our daily existence, they operate from instinct, not volition.” i personally don’t believe that’s true, nor is necessary to make the point.
and, contrary to what people are saying, this is indeed an important issue. i’m at a place right now where more liberal christians would label her (and myself) as a “species-ist” (meant to sound like “racist”) for saying humans are more important than animals. that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
anyhow, thanks for posting this. good conversation. let me add my opinion that she’s right, that it’s definitely important, but that she should cut some of the unnecessary things from her argument (e.g. about animal volition and souls).



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Dave Diller

posted April 29, 2009 at 10:54 am


Ed,
Yeah, it was rhetorical…and I will also affirm earth keeping as eschatological as well; for that very reason I see that Kay’s words may be problematic (stress on the term “may be”). While I am not trying to advocate for animal equality with human beings, I do not want to dismiss (or undermine) God’s eternal purposes for all things (God created the earth with purpose, not just as a temporary “habitat” until we were ready for heaven).
peace



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Darren King

posted April 29, 2009 at 11:18 am


When Kay writes:
“As precious as animals are to our daily existence, they operate from instinct, not volition. Only people have a spiritual dimension.”
I wonder, is she a biologist? Does she really have the background to make such an assertion? Or is she just offering a knee-jerk, evangelical reaction based on a one-dimensional reading of the Bible – without allowing for a nuanced view informed by the fact that these earliest texts were written by people who really had no concept of the shared genetic background of animals and humans?
Sometimes these kinds of black and white distinctions come across as the kind of simplistic tales you might teach to your children – when they have yet to develop the reasoning power to deal with a more nuanced equation.



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Karl

posted April 29, 2009 at 11:41 am


Isn’t she just making clear her disagreement with statements like this?
?A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy.? ? Ingrid Newkirk, President, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
Simply to dismiss PETA as fringe would be nice. But there are plenty of people who, while not fans of PETA per se, have trouble differentiating between the weight given to human life and suffering vs. the weight given to animal life and suffering.



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Katelyn Beaty

posted April 29, 2009 at 12:08 pm


Thanks for all for joining the conversation, and to Scot for highlighting Kay’s post. Lisa Graham McMinn, another contributor to Her.meneutics (and professor of sociology at George Fox University), has posted somewhat of a rebuttal to Kay, partially inspired by the nature documentary Earth: http://blog.christianitytoday.com/women/2009/04/humans_in_creation_another_vie.html



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Jeremy Berg

posted April 29, 2009 at 12:10 pm


Tony (#2) –
You may want to label her “a biblicist or a platonist” and you may be right. However, let’s also acknowledge that she is coming primarily from a very traditional, long-standing, widely represented, accepted view of this issue. Whether we agree or not, let’s at least resist trying to push her to the margins and make her appear out of line.
I just think it’s indicative of our current shifting theological landscape that someone can get this much attention for teaching a very accepted, long-held theological position – whether or not you agree with her.
I’m waiting for the day when people are on the hot seat for stating the orthodox teaching on the Trinity. Not that these two are in ANY way equal in doctrinal importance, but I’m just pointing out the trajectory of progressive interpretations. Thoughts?



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Randy

posted April 29, 2009 at 12:21 pm


I offer three observations in comment.
First, England’s Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (1824)was the predecessor and later the inspiration for the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (1875).
Second, since my wife and I have begun seeking to obtain as much of our food as possible from local sources, we have taken much more seriously the lives of animals that we use for food. That has not made us vegetarians; it has made us thankful and thoughtful before God of where our food comes from and how it is produced. Our prayers of thanks to our Creator God sometimes remind of how we used to ridicule Native Americans for prayers to the Great Spirit for the Spirit of the creatures they killed for food. While we don’t quite believe in this spirit of the creatures stuff, we do believe that we should have learned from the Native Americans rather than ridicule them.
Third, as we approach people without Christian experience who come from backgrounds with various perspectives on the relation and difference between people and animals, it obviously is good to have thought through these relations in a meaningful way.
Peace,
Randy Gabrielse



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Joseph

posted April 29, 2009 at 12:34 pm


Why do people give of their limited resources to organizations that help animals over organizations that help people? That’s a deep inquiry into human nature but:
– We see animals every day but rarely, if ever, encounter a starving child in person.
– Many would claim no human can love as unconditionally as a dog. And I tend to agree. All humanity is sin, while the worst thing a dog might do during its entire life is chew up your chair leg.
– People don’t consult the Bible for questions like these. They go where they feel led. Would we say that God is never at work there? He never calls people to help animals, only humans?
– Even for children there are a variety of ways people can help – some good, some perhaps useless or even detrimental.
– If there are no pets in heaven, is it really heaven?



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JohnB5200

posted April 29, 2009 at 12:39 pm


Sounds like Kay is on track to me.
I recently saw a video on the Animal channel in which a group of rescue workers (firemen, paramedics I think) were risking their lives to rescue a dog from an icy river. At one point, the dog lashed out and bit his rescuer and almost tore out his eye.
I thought how odd that men were willing to risk their lives to save a dog. I mean, if something had gone wrong, how do you tell a child “Your Dad gave his life for a dog that fell in the water?” And, if that man had lost an eye, would he have thought it was worth saving a dog? I certainly wouldn’t.
People today, at least in places like America and Canada, have totally lost perspective on animals. Men, women and children around the world are dying for need of basic health care, and in the U.S., pet owners are spending millions (if not billions)to give their cats and dogs cancer treatment, operations and cosmetic surgery (not to mention grooming, spas, hotels and clothes.)



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Dave Diller

posted April 29, 2009 at 12:40 pm


Hey Jeremy (25),
I don’t think that “biblicist” or “platonist” terms are marginalizing terms (if that’s indeed what someone thinks, then that is what they are). I would agree that her thoughts represent a wide grouping of people (even “traditional”) that however does not make it orthodox.
While I see what you are trying to convey with you statements on the doctrine of the Trinity, question Kay’s comments are not necessarily grounded in “progressive interpretations”. Part of Kay’s reasoning (especially with regards to “soul”) seem to formed out of a very Greek/Western understanding of the dichotomy between “body” and “soul”…a split that the Hebrews, nor orthodox christians made. If our theology advocates a “saving of the soul” as the primary function of God/Jesus, then it can put into practice a “less than” care for creation.



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Sue Van Stelle

posted April 29, 2009 at 12:45 pm


I can’t speak to the conversation about whether or not animals have “souls” or “spirits”, but what I hear Kay Warren asking is similar to this:
If a child and an animal are in a burning building and you have to choose between saving one or the other (you have to choose, saving both is not an option) as a Christian do you EVER choose the life of the animal over that of the child?
Does it make a difference if the animal is a rat?
Does it make a difference if the animal is an ape?
Does it make a difference if the animal is your own and the child is not?
Does it make a difference if the child is profoundly handicapped and the animal is highly trained?
While this is NOT the situation we face in the real world, we do have limited time and financial resources. To say that saving the life of an abandoned animal in the USAmerica is EQUAL to saving the life of an abandoned child in Africa says something that ought to make every last one of us very, very uncomfortable.



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Daniel

posted April 29, 2009 at 1:01 pm


I agree that this is an important question.
To take evolution seriously (cf. RJS’ series) is to take this question seriously.
Like many others, I would argue that ‘imago dei’ is a calling more than it is a standing. Humanity is to represent the Creator to the creation. We ‘stand for’ God. Now it is true that we have some unique capabilities (language, conceptual thought, etc.) which allow us to do a decent job at this when we try. However, this does not mark us off as ontologically ‘special’–especially since not all of us are rational, linguistic creatures (think of the very young, the very old, the mentally handicapped and disabled, etc.).
THE KEY QUESTION IS NOT ONE OF ‘VALUE’. ‘Value’ is a human construct, not a ‘given’ reality. The question is not ‘what has value?’, but rather, ‘what ought we to value?’ And if we are to fulfill our call to BE imago dei, then surely we must value animals much more than we currently do.
THIS DOES NOT MEAN PAMPER YOUR PETS. In fact, I tend to think ‘pets’ are a bad idea (speaking as a dog-owner…). This might mean that you should read up on how your meat was treated before it was slaughtered and shipped to your plate. Consider going vegetarian or vegan.
Re-read Genesis 1, and Isaiah 11 and 65.
Contrived ethical ‘dilemmas’ (if your house were burning down and you could save only a child or an animal…) do not give us clarity here.
Do we not (rightly) celebrate those who saved animals after Hurricane Katrina? Why assume life will give us an either/or (you can save either a human or a non-human animal)? Is our calling not both/and?
So yes–remember than humanity is created AND called ‘in the image of God’. The DIRECT implication of this is that we must care BOTH for other human animals AND for non-human animals.
My two cents.
Peace,
-Daniel-



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Sue Van Stelle

posted April 29, 2009 at 1:34 pm


Daniel #32,
It isn’t a contrived ethical dilemma. Kay Warren’s point isn’t that we choose between saving animals and saving humans, but in a world where we have limited resources, how do we prioritize using those resources? If I have $10 to spend (and only $10 to spend) and one person asks me to contribute to a local animal shelter and another asks me to contribute to saving an AIDS orphan in Africa, how do I make that choice? That’s a REAL choice, and Kay Warren believes that the life of the child ought to take priority over the animal in the animal shelter. Why is she wrong about that?
And if value is ONLY a human construct, then why is it wrong to value one race over another? Why is it wrong to value the wealthy over the poor?



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Karl

posted April 29, 2009 at 1:52 pm


As another societal example of debate around this kind of issue, watch the coming media reports on NFL player Michael Vick, his release from prison where he has been serving time on federal dogfighting charges, and his attempts to rejoin the NFL.
And listen to the public rhetoric discussing it all. It will range all the way from “what Vick did was no big deal; after all they were HIS dogs” to “He should face the death penalty for what he did.”



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Ken

posted April 29, 2009 at 2:03 pm


Psalm 36:6 (The Message)
5-6 God’s love is meteoric,
his loyalty astronomic,
His purpose titanic,
his verdicts oceanic.
Yet in his largeness
nothing gets lost;
Not a man, not a mouse,
slips through the cracks.



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Pat

posted April 29, 2009 at 3:18 pm


I agree with Kay. While we should care for all of God’s creation the way that we have elevated animals is, in my opinion, out of whack with the created order. God told Adam to have dominion over every living thing and to subdue the earth, not make animal his equal. I understand the connection that many feel to their pets, but when we will give greater rights to animals that human beings, something’s wrong. I suspect something deeper is going on, however. Our society has become so fragmented even in the midst of so-called social networking, that animals have truly become man’s best friend. Loyal, seemingly unselfish, giving. So some people feel they can trust no one but their pet. Maybe the answer lies in us returning to nurturing healthy relationships with other human beings. If that happened, we wouldn’t have a need to invest so much emotionally and financially into our animals and maybe even animal cruelty would decrease.



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jhimm

posted April 29, 2009 at 3:50 pm


if we are going to insist that to use resources to help/save animals means to prevent resources from going to help/save people, then the ONLY ethical way to make the choice between people and animals is to become a radical vegan who lives in complete sustainability and near autonomy so that your focus exclusively on helping/saving people does not by negation automatically hurt and damn animals.
it is the ONLY ethical choice. and i don’t see very many Christians making that choice. which means we are either all hypocrites, or we don’t REALLY believe that our charitable resources are a zero sum game.
the only remaining alternative is that we genuinely believe that the earth and its non-human inhabitants is ours to consume as we see fit. which is clearly indefensible simply by looking at the contemporary consequences of that prevailing mindset for centuries.



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Sarah

posted April 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm


I appreciate this discussion. I’ve always have been an animal lover. As someone who grew up raising beef cattle, I think many of us need to be far more conscious of how those creatures upon which we depend are treated (a value instilled on the farm). If memory serves, early animal welfare org’s sprang from the same Christian root as human rights advocacy. “A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel” (Prov. 12:10). When we abuse or abandon fellow humans we directly violate the image of God they bear. When we wantonly harm our fellow creatures we degrade the One in whose stead we are stewards. I agree with Warren’s broad point (I won’t feel guilty eating fish tonight; I probably would if I harvested a few neighbor kids) but think she could be more nuanced. I do see a problem in our culture as people have fewer social connections and more income. It’s one thing to love and appreciate animals; it’s another to turn them into surrogate children.



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MatthewS

posted April 29, 2009 at 5:29 pm


chuckling about a thought: Scot recently posted that sometimes the emotion level in a discussion ratchets up when the a person is unsure of his/her argument. Perhaps some of the commenters at her.meneutics are just unsure of their positions…



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tscott

posted April 30, 2009 at 9:48 am


The implications of an ecological view must be
added to this discussion. Prior to Aldo Leopold
the land managers of this world, no matter theological
positions, operated too narrowly. It was Rachel Carson
who opened peoples eyes in the biological sense.
Not theologians, but profoundly important to
any discussion of life here and sustainabilty.



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Barb

posted April 30, 2009 at 8:17 pm


As the reader who pointed Scot over to the Her-menutics discussion of this topic I’m glad to read the comments posted above.
I was concerned when I read the comments that kay received for two reasons–1. people were very uncivil in what they said about Kay. 2. some people were very sure that theologically animals had souls and would be resurrected.
Interestingly, to me anyway, was that a couple of posts later Lynne Hybles stated the case for more support for women and children.–and only received 5 comments vs. the 68 that Kay generated.–to me that proves Kay’s point–just talking about how to help children isn’t interesting to people (even Christian women who are supposedly reading that blog) however, just suggesting that your dog is less important than a child starts a stream of angry comments.
I’m guessing that Kay didn’t know that she would be hitting such a nerve. I brought the subject up in several conversations with people I know and they all said it was too emotional of an issue for people.
I did want to hear how you at this blog would state the case theologically.



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Scott M

posted May 1, 2009 at 7:28 am


A theological perspective? Well, I’m not a theologian but I will offer the closest I have to ‘theological’ thoughts.
First, I think we should avoid speaking with certainty about details of the eschaton. The truth is that we do not truly know what it means for creation to be made new. I am inclined to believe several things based on the Christian belief that ‘eternality’ (for lack of a better word) is an attribute only of God. First, it seems to be only man who was created with the potential for either mortality or immortality (an immortality derived from a sharing or communion in the life of God). We did not and do not naturally choose life so death reigned over man. In the incarnation, faithful life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, God joined the human nature with his own, defeated the power of death, and changed the cosmos so that it is no longer the nature of man to die. And so it seems to me likely that even in a creation made new and with man properly serving, administering, and working within it, some sort of cycle of life will continue. But I hold that lightly and am perfectly willing to be wrong.
With that said, I do not think that the sort of reduction the author’s post indicated is either desirable or possible. We were created to care for creation and reflect God into its every nook and cranny. As Christians, if we embrace that vocation, we cannot say that we will only care for human beings. Our love and care, it seems, must spill onto every part of the world we touch. That’s why we see Wilberforce, for one example, not only fighting against all odds to abolish slavery, but establishing the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. It’s all interwoven and interconnected.
We all need to do more on every front, not less on any. That’s the best ‘theological’ answer I can give.



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Our Common Prayerbook 30 - 3
Psalm 30 thanks God (vv. 1-3, 11-12) and exhorts others to thank God (vv. 4-5). Both emerge from the concrete reality of David's own experience. Here is what that experience looks like:Step one: David was set on high and was flourishing at the hand of God's bounty (v. 7a).Step two: David became too

posted 12:15:30pm Aug. 31, 2010 | read full post »

Theology After Darwin 1 (RJS)
One of the more important and more difficult pieces of the puzzle as we feel our way forward at the interface of science and faith is the theological implications of discoveries in modern science. A comment on my post Evolution in the Key of D: Deity or Deism noted: ...this reminds me of why I get a

posted 6:01:52am Aug. 31, 2010 | read full post »

Almost Christian 4
Who does well when it comes to passing on the faith to the youth? Studies show two groups do really well: conservative Protestants and Mormons; two groups that don't do well are mainline Protestants and Roman Catholics. Kenda Dean's new book is called Almost Christian: What the Faith of Ou

posted 12:01:53am Aug. 31, 2010 | read full post »

Let's Get Neanderthal!
The Cave Man Diet, or Paleo Diet, is getting attention. (Nothing is said about Culver's at all.) The big omission, I have to admit, is that those folks were hunters -- using spears or smacking some rabbit upside the conk or grabbing a fish or two with their hands ... but that's what makes this diet

posted 2:05:48pm Aug. 30, 2010 | read full post »




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