The Dominion of Love: Animal Rights According to the Bible
From All Creatures Book and Video Review Guide

Author: Norm Phelps

Reviewed by Frank L. and Mary T. Hoffman



Lantern Books
One Union Square West
Suite 201
New York, NY 10003
US $15.00 CAN $22.50
Copyright © Norm Phelps 2002

About the Book:

Reading this very important book filled us with joy and hope. It is almost as though God looks around and thinks, "Who will go forth and set the record straight about My creation that "groans and suffers" in this present time? (Romans 8:18:23) Here we have a book that very honestly answers those who would have us misuse the Bible to "prove" that animals were put on earth for people to use and abuse in any way they please, who twist the meaning of "dominion" to suit their purposes, and who thus conclude that animals have no rights. "If God’s dominion is love, and a king’s dominion is stewardship, why should humanity’s dominion be torture, abuse, and killing?"

One of the outstanding parts of this excellent book is the author’s treatment of the Beatitudes, the opening section of the Sermon on the Mount. (Matthew 5:3-12) Under Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth, Norm Phelps says, "To claim that our appetites, pleasure, and convenience are more important than the lives of animals is also arrogance, and not meekness. God gives no greater gift than life; it is precious to all who receive it. To steal God’s gift from those who have been placed in our care simply because we like the taste of their flesh or hope to buy our own health at the price of their sickness and death mocks Jesus’ gospel."

This is a meticulously researched book that cannot be faulted by even the most conservative of Christians. The author refers to the "ultimate guide to conduct" to which "there are no exceptions" found in Deuteronomy 6:5 in the Hebrew Bible: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might" and in Leviticus 19:18: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." These are "the foremost" of the commandments that Jesus referred to when He said, "On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets." (Matthew 22:34-40, Mark 12:28-34,and Luke 10:25-28)

"Must-read" has become an overused expression; but Norm Phelps’ Dominion of Love truly is not only a must-read, but a must re-read, must discuss and quote, and must give to others to read.

About the Author:

Norm Phelps is spiritual outreach director of The Fund for Animals, where he works to encourage faith communities of all traditions to include animals within the scope of their compassionate ministries.  He lives in Funkstown, Maryland.

Readers' Comments:

Norm Phelps is a wondrous writer. Compassion and clarity are his forte. His fund of knowledge is very large. We need much more from him over many years. And we need excerpts of all his books available in each and every newsletter etc. (e.g. Animal Free Press). ~Gary Melvin Gorlick, MD Los Angeles, CA.

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