Gordon MacDonald on “The Shack”

Gordon’s article is here. Gordon expresses my appreciation for this book that for reasons obscure to me has become controversial. I have enough of a fundamentalist background to appreciate any argument that takes seriously the authority of the Bible and is ready to pounce on anything that compromises its authority. I grow very tired of disputes within the church which are rooted in a skepticism about the Bible or seek to chip away at its “truthiness.” But I also have enough of the liberal arts major and voracious reader in me to appreciate a good story that resonates with biblical realities when I read it. Putting these two together needs some careful expression. Gordon does that. I remain a big fan of The Shack. It uncovers some areas for healing in our inner worlds that are often unrecognized or diminished. Healing is not a “take two verses from Romans and call me in the morning” kind of thing. The process has more complication to it and is slower than most imagine, or had hoped.

The Face on Your Plate

Just read the book by the same name. Bottom line for me: any person who believes in creation stewardship simply cannot support the manner in which we harvest animals for our food supply. I am not talking about veganism, vegetarianism, or eating meat. If animals can suffer by being kept from living out of their nature, then our food supply routines have inflicted a great deal of pain into our earth system. And if there is anything like karma, there is bound to be enough unhappiness in this to afflict us all. Perhaps the high rate of heart disease and colon cancer is just that kind of return.

I remember reading Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle as a freshman in college and the scenes of the meatpacking industry. Of course, the point there is the ultimate dehumanization of the worker. But I can recall the utter horror of how the animals were harversted. Everything was dark all the way around. Perhaps this is the price we pay for being city dwellers who are far removed from our food supply and therefore somewhat immune to what has to happen for us to get our protein through meat. We virtually do not care how we get it.

Even something as supposedly harmless as milk supply and eggs inflicts a kind of pain that no person I know would be willing to inflict on an animal. And fish, which seem to be the least sentient creatures, are subjected to conditions in fish farms that wouldn’t be allowed in a home acquarium by the least tidy among us.

This is an area I need to explore and respond to. I can’t believe how incredibly naive I have been on this topic. By the way the New York Times has a great article on how we eat, or more exactly, the new trends in finding our food supply.