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Verse of the Day

Going Vegan for Lent Can Orient Us to Christ's Calling

Following Church tradition and the Bible could help us steward creation through our diets.

In recent years, environmentalists and animal rights activists have called for Christians to commit to veganism during Lent. But while the practice may be growing as a lifestyle choice, fasting from animal products is an ancient Lenten tradition far predating current interest in veganism. As Christians around the world begin the observation of Lent, contemporary thinkers consider how the practice of fasting squares with current science on the impact of cutting meat and dairy from our diets, calling believers to think of the practice not only as a deeply personal part of their spirituality but also as something with social and ethical implications.

Though vegans are a tiny minority worldwide, a 2018 study reported that two out of three Americans had reduced their meat consumption in recent years, citing expense and health concerns as primary reasons for doing so (though environmental impact was also a frequent concern).

Yet thousands of years before veganism became popular, the Bible and Christian tradition included fasting as a way of maintaining healthy attitudes toward food and stewarding the earth responsibly. Dave Bookless, an expert in biodiversity conservation who serves as the director of theology for A Rocha International, pointed out in an interview that fasting from meat and dairy at certain times of the year has long been a Christian tradition. “Lent is traditionally a time of abstinence,” said Bookless, a part-time vicar of a multicultural congregation in London. “In quite a lot of Christian cultures, if you look back through Christian history, people were vegetarian during Lent. That was quite a common thing in many parts of the world. And it’s still a common thing in some Christian traditions.” ...

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Practically, What is Church Planting Preaching?

(The Art of Church Planting Preaching) Part 2

Last week, we began to tackle the distinction between classical preaching (usually aimed at an audience comfortably ensconced in an evangelical worldview), and church planting preaching that, by its very nature, becomes sympathetic to the rational, emotional and spiritual needs of Kingdom seekers within secularity.[1]

To that end, we looked at the first two of six distinguishing marks that characterize church planting preaching. They were:

1. Empathize with your Audience. In this, as missionary envoys, we account for differences in worldview perspectives, biblical exposure, and societal sensibilities. Our message is encoded and sent with precision to its intended receivers.

2. Frame the Issue. Why is this talk significant? What is at stake if I fail to adjust my life to this Kingdom principle? Effective church-planting preachers normally begin by framing the issue in the souls of their audience before ever rolling up their sleeves to explain the answer.

Now, with our audience squarely in mind, from Scripture, we begin to answer the deep longings of the heart by giving a biblically clear answer, by making relevant applications, by introducing a bigger problem, and by allowing for a gospel resolution.

Let’s look at the final four principles:

3. Give a Biblical Answer

At this point, church-planting preaching parallels classic expository preaching in numerous ways. With the firm conviction that the unchanging Word of God speaks powerfully to the lives of twenty-first century issues, the preacher approaches the craft with the care and precision of a surgeon as he carefully exposes the eternal Words of God to the temporal situations of man. With the confidence that the Holy Spirit is guiding and empowering the entire experience, ...

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