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While away last week on vacation with dear friends in Augusta, Georgia, the Lord graciously gave me this magnificent eight-point.  In addition to the low-fat venison for the best chili you can imagine, for which I thank Jani, the mount is going up on my wall.

Let me say to my friends who enjoy hunting, thanks for rejoicing with me.

Let me say to my friends who don’t appreciate hunting, we can agree that it is one of many arguable areas of life, where biblical people can reach different conclusions and still share in one another’s joys as if they were our own, because we love one another, for the Lord’s sake.  And that deep sympathy of spirit is not arguable but clearly biblical.

One of the many things I love about the gospel is how it creates a for-you relational tone that didn’t exist before.  I am so for my friends who don’t appreciate hunting.  I cheer them on as they occupy their space before the Lord, seeking him and pursuing life as they judge best.  And how wonderful that they graciously cheer me on as I do the same.

Space for all, within biblical parameters, is the new relational environment only the gospel can create, to the praise of Jesus Christ, who is rejoicing over us all.

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14 thoughts on “Space for all, within biblical parameters”

  1. DanB says:

    Congratulations on a successful hunt! I too appreciate getting out in the woods to enjoy God’s creation while hunting. Great thoughts to go along with a great picture.

  2. Kathleen says:


    1. Paul Walton says:

      Sweetheart you need to unlock the caps button, and enjoy a cheeseburger, perhaps it will calm your spirit.

      1. Barry says:

        lol !!! sent w/o caps, from Burger King.

  3. LauraB says:

    He’s a beaut! Congratulations! Deer stew at the Ortlund’s!

  4. Eric says:

    Dad, that’s a great buck! Now what would put it into over-the-top awesomeness would be if you got it with your crossbow.

  5. Shaan says:

    Sahweet buck uncle Ray! Praises to God!

  6. Flyaway says:

    Hunters are good people to know in case of an economic collapse. Hunters and gatherers are special people.

  7. sean carlson says:

    Hmm, seems Ray you feel compelled to justify hunting in a day when we no longer need to do it but choose to do it. The evidence is your dragging the Lord Almighty into it. I recognize that hunting is used to control wild animal populations [deers are actually pesky things in ranching/farming communities], still to glory in it escapes me. Still in Bambi’s corner on this one my friend. :)

    1. Barry says:

      OH, but many, many still do *require* it.

      I suspect that one criticism may rest in the fact that unlike angling, hunting provides no opportunity for “catch & release”.

  8. Erin Ortlund says:

    As long as I continue to eat meat of any kind, I don’t see how I could criticize hunting.

  9. Stan Engeles says:

    Purposeless life taking. Does this really honor God?

    1. Ray Ortlund says:

      Does Acts 10:13 dishonor God?

    2. Barry says:

      The created order is replete with predation, some of which is arguably ‘purposeless’ from a human perspective, i.e., wanton overkill w\o consumption. To my eyes, these taxa appear as “poachers” and not predators (hunting).

      Most sportsmen (recreational hunters) are conservationists as opposed to poachers = the anathma to all of us!

      Practising discernment, let’s separate so called “deep ecology” from that legitimate science endorsed by the likes of ALdo Leopold, et al. I appreciate the ‘grace’ with which Ray bracketed his account! Forgive me if i’ve done less.

      (a Certified Ecologist)

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Ray Ortlund

Ray Ortlund is senior pastor of Immanuel Church in Nashville, Tennessee, and serves as a Council member with The Gospel Coalition. You can follow him on Twitter.

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