Author: Dan Button
Under normal circumstances, the old adage “fools rush in where angels fear to tread” would be tagged posthaste onto anyone brave or foolish enough to tackle a topic related to animal theology. But these are not normal circumstances, and Rob Cook is not a typical theologian. I should preface this by disclosing that my sporadic association with Rob over the past decade has given me the rare privilege of regarding him as both a friend and a mentor, one whom God has gifted with the excruciating ability to sharpen others’ thinking – as is apparent once again in “The Place of Animals”.
Rob came to theology from a philosophical background, and it would seem once again his unrelenting philosopher’s inquisitiveness – to seek answers to unanswerable questions -would not allow him to simply fine-tune some previous topic of inquiry. This is no culmination of years of scrupulous research, but rather a typically enigmatic foray into a theological quagmire – the place of animals in God’s ultimate purpose for creation. Even actors shy away from working with children or animals, but thankfully for us, Rob’s desire to probe the imponderables of the universe overrules professional caution. For those who appreciate philosophical speculation, biblically rooted and skillfully reasoned, “Animals” is a breath of fresh air; but for those who (like my former theology professor who often remarked, “speculation is the devil’s work”) believe that where Scripture is silent, so should we be, this is a noisy rushing wind – which will doubtless pass over and leave behind it the quiet calm unknowingness which only heaven may awaken.
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