Eating for the Kingdom: The Other Journal

Interesting, if lengthy, article at The Other Journal moving forward the discussion on food, ethics and the Kingdom of God.

Includes the best one-paragraph summary of a Biblical view of "our relationship with nonhuman animals" that I've come across. Here it is:

Humans are created alongside other animals who are also given spirit by their Creator (Gen. 1:30). Permission for humans to eat animal flesh is not received until after the flood (9:2-3), coming in the context of God’s recognition of human sinfulness and alongside the proscription of murder (9:6). The attendant rituals of sacrifice (9:4) make visible the death of the individual animal (9:5), reinforcing the intimate commonality between humans and other animals, something modern factory farming deliberately attempts to obscure. Even more notable with reference to Genesis 9 is the covenant in which God promises to be with Noah “and with every living creature that is with you” (9:10); activity which finds a parallel in Hosea, wherein God makes a covenant “with the wild animals” on Israel’s behalf (Hosea 2:18). Job’s protestations about the injustices of life are met with a divine response that puts Job in his place as one animal (albeit one made in God’s image) among many, from the horse to Leviathan (Job 38–41). In Jonah, God exhibits concern for the animals of Nineveh (Jon. 4:11), who themselves are clothed in sackcloth, participating in the confession and lamentation of that city (3:7–8). Eschatologically, Isaiah (11:6–9 and 65:25) and Revelation (5:13) describe humans and animals living peaceably in relationship in visions of the kingdom to come. Paul, often criticized by vegetarians for his proclamations on diet, affirmed that the whole creation is “groaning in labor pains” awaiting “the redemption of our bodies” (Rom. 8:22–23) and that through the blood of Christ, God has reconciled “all things” to himself (Col. 1:20).


If you enjoyed this post, get free updates by email or RSS.

No comments: