Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Point-Counterpoint with a Christian Animal Protectionist

Unfortunately, more and more self-professed Christians are adopting a quasi-animal rights perspective on human-animal relations. Whereas the church, for thousands of years, has held humanity has the right and privilege to use animals for human needs and wants (provided they didn't serve the sole purpose of inflicting pain and injury), these individuals believe that Christ wants us to extend reconciliation to the animal kingdom.

I was invited by Ben DeVries of Not One Sparrow to answer questions related to this issue. I also had the opportunity to ask him questions. I will let you decide whether I answered him in a biblically grounded fashion and whether he did the same.


For the record, I welcome anyone who can explain to me what exactly Ben DeVries position is. I have asked him on several occassions, and I still haven't received an answer.  For example, 1. When may humans morally kill animals? 2. Since he believes eating meat is a personal decision based on conscience, how does this fact impact his understanding of extending reconciliation to animal kingdom? 3. Is hunting, trapping, and fishing moral and a proper activity for the Christian? and 4. Why didn't Christ rescue the pigs he saw drown when the demons entered them?

Stephen Vantassel, CWCP, ACP  is author of Dominion over Wildlife? An Environmental-Theology of Human-Wildlife Relations (Wipf and Stock, 2009).

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