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Update Newsletters
21 July 2008 Issue

1. Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman Sermon
2. Our International Ministry
3. New Book by CVA Chair Stephen Kaufman, M.D.

1. Our sermon offering for today is:
"Acknowledging the Blessings of God"

2. Our International Ministry

Pastor Peter Obonyo Odhiambo in Kenya writes: I am very glad to inform you that after receiving the pamphlets from the CVA, I am now sharing them with the children of God. I have a group of 15 pupils which I’m training, and they are doing well. They are very active and they are reaching others with this good news. May GOD bless.

3. New Book by CVA Chair Stephen Kaufman, M.D.

Guided by the Faith of Christ: Seeking to Stop Violence and Scapegoating. Vegetarian Advocates Press, 256 pp. $18. Available at www.vegadvpress.com .

Derived from the weekly essay series published in the CVA e-newsletter from 2003-2006, this book discusses theories about violence and scapegoating derived from the social sciences and relates those theories to biblical accounts. Then, the book offers Christian insights into how we might transcend the human tendency to participate in violence and scapegoating.

In brief, Kaufman argues that scapegoating has often been the glue that has held communities together. Christianity offers an alternative: Christians can come together as a community by adopting the faith of Christ, in which we aim to serve God and get a sense of meaning and self-esteem through that service.

Violence has been a central theme in the Bible, and thinking about violence and scapegoating has prompted Kaufman to reflect on a wide range of challenging topics, including the role of free will, the nature of Satan, whether God is wrathful, prophetic witness, holistic healing, the resurrection story, pacifism, and atonement theologies.

The book is timely, because increasingly destructive weapons has forced humanity to either find ways to manage violence or risk major social upheaval or even extinction.

Praise for Guided by the Faith of Christ

This book is by far the best we have read in defining the reasons for violence in our society and why there is continual scapegoating of humans and animals who can’t adequately defend themselves. It is also a guidepost for teaching what we need to do to eliminate these problems, particularly in Christianity.

Rev. Frank L. and Mary Hoffman, www.all-creature.org  ministry

Rich with insights into topics as seemingly disparate as Biblical interpretation, the psychology of violence, and the role of science in helping us to understand the spiritual message of Jesus, Guided by the Faith of Christ is a seminal work that can revolutionize our thinking about the causes and cure for the hatred and violence that plague our world. This is essential reading for everyone who is concerned about spirituality (both Christian and other), personal growth, and social justice for all of God’s living souls. In my experience, optimistic books are often neither profound nor realistic. But Guided by the Faith of Christ is both, and that makes it exceptionally valuable.

Norm Phelps, author of The Dominion of Love: Animal Rights According to the Bible; The Great Compassion: Buddhism and Animal Rights; and The Longest Struggle: Animal Advocacy from Pythagoras to PETA.  

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