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Update Newsletters
6 October 2010 Issue

1. Activist Feedback

2. Essay: Science and the Bible, part 1

3. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman

1. Activist Feedback

Taylor, who leafleted the Women of Faith Conference 9/10-11 in Anaheim, CA, writes:

It went pretty well, and Marisa and I each handed out a box of leaflets. I would like to donate to Compassion Over Killing!

[The CVA will contribute $18/hr for up to two hours to the veg. or animal protection group of each volunteer’s choice. Popular choices have included Vegan Outreach, Compassion Over Killing, Mercy for Animals, and the Christian Vegetarian Association.]

Upcoming Activist Opportunities  

10/14 CA San Jose Make A Difference Tour Third Day

10/14-15 OH Cleveland Benny Hinn Miracle Crusade

10/15 CA Bakersfield Make A Difference Tour w/ Third Day

10/15 MD Columbia B. Reith Christian Rock Concert

10/15 CA Taft Tenth Avenue North Christian Rock Concert

10/15 OR Klamath Falls Tenth Avenue North Christian Rock Concert

10/15-16 FL Tampa Women Of Faith Conference

10/17 AZ Glendale Make A Difference Tour w/ Third Day

10/17 CA Monterey Tenth Avenue North Christian Rock Concert

10/19 CA Fresno Tenth Avenue North Christian Rock Concert

10/2010/21 CO Colorado Springs Make A Difference Tour w/ Third Day

10/22 TX Lubbock Third Day Make a Difference Tour 2010

10/22-23 TX San Antonio Women Of Faith Conference

10/22-23 MN St. Paul Women Of Faith Conference

10/23 TX Wichita Falls Third Day Make a Difference Tour 2010

10/23 FL Tampa TABLE Central Florida VegFest

10/24 KS Topeka Make A Difference Tour w/ Third Day

10/27 IA Cedar Rapids Make A Difference Tour w/ Third Day

10/28 WI Green Bay Make a Difference Tour Third Day

10/29 OH Dayton Make a Difference Tour Third Day

10/29 IA Decorah Relient K Christian Rock Concert

10/29-30 WA Seattle Women Of Faith Conference

10/29-30 FL Ft. Lauderdale Women Of Faith Conference

10/30 NC Fayetteville Make A Difference Tour w/ Third Day

10/30-31 MA Boston TABLE Boston Vegetarian Food Festival

11/6 FL Jacksonville TABLE Northeast Florida Veg Fest

12/9-10 FL Coral Gables Benny Hinn Miracle Crusade

Contact Paris at christian_vegetarian@yahoo.com  if you can to help. To find out about all upcoming leafleting and tabling opportunities in your area, join the CVA Calendar Group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/christian_vegetarian/  

2. Essay: Science and the Bible, part 1

There are many ways in which the findings of scientific research have seemed to contradict the Bible. For example, there are passages that indicate that the sun orbits the earth (Joshua 10:13; Ecclesiastes 1:5), and the Church put Galileo at house arrest and burned Bruno at the stake for arguing otherwise. Likewise, there is overwhelming evidence from a range of scientific disciplines that the earth is far older than the roughly 7000 years indicated by a literal reading of the Bible. Is it possible to reconcile science and religion?

Everyone recognizes that there are parts of the Bible that should not be taken literally. All Christians agree that some of the biblical descriptions should be regarded as metaphors. As John Dominic Crossan has said, “Jesus may be the Lamb of God, but that doesn’t mean that Mary had a Little Lamb.” However, it is often unclear when the Biblical text is meant to describe historical facts and when it is meant to convey messages using metaphor. Differences of opinion as to what is historical and what is metaphorical have accounted for greatly different interpretations of the Bible among faithful Christians. I’ve heard it said, tongue in cheek, that liberal Christians take the Song of Solomon literally and the story of Jonah metaphorically, and for conservative Christians it’s the other way around.

Though I think it is fair to say that all Christians revere the Bible, many Christians have been troubled by certain stories, particularly stories in which God seems to approve of violence and destructiveness. Consequently, many Christians have wondered whether the Bible is completely true, or whether the hand of humanity has played a role in its construction. In my opinion, the Bible isn’t false, but I don’t think it is completely true. My reasoning is based on the observation that no story is completely true. Every story must omit details that, if the story is well told, are relatively less important. For example, consider the story of the Good Samaritan who cared for a man who was badly injured by robbers. We are told nothing about the Good Samaritan’s personality, which might have strongly influenced his decision to help the man. Likewise, we don’t know what his past interactions with Jews, positive and negative, had been. We also don’t know all the motives of the priest and the Levite who choose not to assist the injured man. These facts are evidently not essential to the main message of the story, but they are essential if we want to understand fully the motives of those who did or did not help the man. As we try to discern the meaning of this story for us as readers, the text does not provide all the details we might want, including the following: Who besides the lawyer was present? Was the attitude of listeners one of interest, skepticism, or something else? What was the tone of the lawyer’s voice and what was his facial expression? What was Jesus’ tone and facial expression? Did the people in the crowd regard Jesus as having greater or lesser stature than the lawyer? Complete answers to these questions would offer further insight into what the story meant for those present and, presumably, for us today.

If no story is completely true, then those seeking greater insight and understanding must seek other sources that complement the story. Sometimes, we can search elsewhere in the Bible for complementary information, but the Bible as a finite text cannot cover everything. Indeed, we have libraries with millions of volumes that attempt, but have not fully succeeded, to describe who we are as human beings and what is the nature of the world in which we live. Here is where the social and physical sciences can assist in our understanding and appreciation of the biblical stories. Indeed, the biblical stories would make no sense to us without some understanding of psychology (whether studied formally or intuited by our interpersonal relationships) and our knowledge of the physical world. In what ways are the sciences true, and what are their limitations? What are the implications for scientific insights for animal issues and vegan and vegetarian issues? I will explore these questions next week.

Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.

3. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman

Daniel, God’s Man in the Field (Part XII)
http://www.all-creatures.org/sermons97/s17sep89.html .

Your question and comments are welcome

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