Archives For Tripp York


Can we live toward a peaceable kingdom?

A Review of

The End of Captivity? A Primate’s Reflections on Zoos, Conservation, and Christian Ethics
Tripp York

Paperback: Cascade Books, 2015
Buy now:  [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Marilyn Matevia


According to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, more people visit zoos in the United States each year than attend games for all four major league sports, combined.[1] It’s an impressive number, especially considering that zoos in many parts of the US have lower attendance during winter months, while sports events draw crowds throughout the calendar year. For many, there is undeniable attraction and entertainment value in a zoo visit, or we wouldn’t be flocking to the gates in these numbers. What accounts for the attraction? Why do we find animals in zoos so enthralling?

These are among the questions Tripp York asks in his new book, The End of Captivity? A Primate’s Reflections on Zoos, Conservation, and Christian Ethics. He also poses the more fundamental questions behind them: what does our fascination with captive animals reveal about us, and about our views on our place – and their place – in creation? Why do we keep animals in captivity (especially in zoos and aquariums)? More importantly, when we keep animals in captivity, are we enabling, or thwarting, their God-given purpose? And what IS their God-given purpose?

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For the Love of Our Nonhuman Neighbors


A Review of

A Faith Embracing All Creatures: Addressing Commonly Asked Questions about Christian Care for Animals

Tripp York, Andy Alexis-Baker, eds.

Paperback: Cascade Books, 2012
Buy now:  [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]


Reviewed by Meghan Pauline Florian


Editors Tripp York and Andy Alexis-Baker have brought together a diverse, intelligent, and helpful group of writers in A Faith Embracing All Creatures. The book is the second volume in the Peaceable Kingdom series, the first of which is called A Faith Not Worth Fighting For: Addressing Commonly Asked Questions about Christian Nonviolence. In this volume, York and Alexis-Baker have gathered essays that deal with scripture, church tradition, and theology from perspectives ranging from vegan to vegetarian to simply arguing against factory farming. As such, the collection provides a valuable resource to any teacher or person in general seeking to educate others about Christian perspectives on animal care.

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A Faith Not Worth Fighting For - York, Barringer, eds.Honest Questions about War and Peace

A Review of

A Faith Not Worth Fighting For: Addressing Commonly Asked Questions About Christian Nonviolence.

Tripp York and Justin Bronson Barringer, eds.

Paperback: Cascade Press, 2012.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Myles Werntz.

To paraphrase Stanley Hauerwas, pacifism is entirely unnatural to us, but in Christ, it becomes a vocation to be embraced. That being said, articulating how and why Christians should reject war is a constant difficulty. The questions are, in two senses, never ending. First, “war” is never the same all the time, and human conflict is never a straight-forward affair; pacifists, if they are hold to their convictions must continue to revisit their commitments in each and every age. Secondly, pacifism within the Christian tradition is by far the minority opinion; holding to a presumption of nonviolence in human relationships requires that one reckon with issues of Christian history, Scriptural accounts of war and political identity.

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“Following Jesus to the Cross”

A Review of
Two Recent Books
on Christian Martyrdom


By Chris Smith.


The Purple Crown: The Politics of Martyrdom.
Tripp York.

Paperback: Herald Press, 2007.
Buy now from:  [ Doulos Christou Books $15]   [ Amazon ]


To Share in the Body:
A Theology of Martyrdom for Today’s Church.
Craig Hovey.

Paperback: Brazos Press, 2008.
Buy now from:  [ Doulos Christou Books $18]   [ Amazon ]



Two recent books, The Purple Crown by Tripp York and To Share in the Body by Craig Hovey explore the question of what it means to be a martyr church in the present age.  Both authors work from the assumption that martyrdom is foreign to the Church in the United States, and indeed most of the Western world.  However, in exploring this question, York and Hovey take two different – and yet both helpful – approaches.  In To Share in the Body, Hovey works through the Gospel of Mark , forming a scriptural theology of martyrdom from the text of this Gospel.  York, on the other hand, works form the text of church history to develop a political understanding of Christian martyrdom.

                In To Share in the Body, Hovey works through the text of Mark, identifying six themes and images that are relevant to martyrdom.  The first of these images is baptism, the purpose of which, in Hovey’s words, is “to enact and declare membership with a martyr church” (23).  In baptism, we identify with the death and resurrection of Jesus (Romans 6).  Hovey keenly notes that just as the work of baptism is a divine one, so also the work of martyrdom is not primarily that of human will or action (33).  Hovey pointedly concludes this chapter: “The church’s failure to be a martyr-church is supremely seen in those cultures that continue to baptize the young for sentimentality’s sake.  For many, baptism involves neither incorporation into the life of the community of faith nor incorporation into the death and resurrection of Christ.  It is not a drowning in the surging waters, a participation in the suffering of Christ, a commitment to undergo the discipline of the church relative to its new life and mission made possible by Christ’s resurrection” (40).



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