Weekly Newsletter from Christian Vegetarian Association CVA - September 20, 2019
From Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)

1. Commentary
2. Review: Beyond Stewardship: New Approaches to Creation Care
3. All-Creatures.Org Ministry

1. Commentary

This is a profound and inspiring newsletter. I would add that animal advocates/animal rights persons live in a constant state of grief over the ongoing egregious cruelty against these precious animals worldwide. I am never without that sadness. I feel helpless to ever stop it. I found a very pregnant black widow in my house recently and of course I didn't kill her. I put her in my bug jar and took her down to the ditch and told her never to come back. None of God' animals are superfluous . . . she had meaning.

Karen Borch, author of Farewell with Love

2. Review: Beyond Stewardship: New Approaches to Creation Care By David P. Warners and Matthew Kuperus Heun (eds.)

Talking in terms of stewardship has been one effective way for animal and environmental protectionists to find common ground with Christians who don’t prioritize animal or environmental concerns. However, as the writers of this collection of essays note, framing animal and environmental protectionism as Christian stewardship can be problematic. They offer different ways that Christians can articulate the need for humans to interact with the natural world in benign ways.

For starters, while most Christians acknowledge that we should be good stewards of the earth, this general consensus has not prevented most Christians from favoring a relationship with nature that is violent, destructive, and, ultimately, not sustainable. Most Christians eat meat and other animal products, which causes massive animal suffering and environmental damage, and denial of human-induced climate change is widespread among Christians.

One reason is that many Christians have notions about stewardship that do not lend themselves to protecting animals and the environment. For many Christians, human stewardship of Creation suggests control of the natural world and discourages thinking about humans as being intimately integrated with and dependent on the rest of Creation. Many Christians, reflecting a humanocentric worldview, align "stewardship" with "wise use." They see nature as God' gift to humankind. We should be careful not to destroy nature not because nature has inherent value but because doing so will ultimately harm humans. Combining this worldview with a conviction that humans can wisely "manage" wildlife and other natural "resources" has repeatedly resulted in ecological and environmental harm. One very nice essay that will likely interest many CVA members is Reimagining our Kinship with Animals by Matthew C. Halteman and Megan Halteman Zwart.

The authors explore other ways we might think about how Christian faith and tradition can inform and inspire a respectful and benign relationship to nature. For example, we could see nature as a sacred manifestation of God's goodness, we could regard nature as belonging to God rather than humans, and we could recognize the finitude of our understanding and be filled with a sense of mystery, awe, and wonder.

Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.

3. All-Creatures.Org Ministry

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