In 2015, while serving as President of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS), I took the opportunity in the annual presidential address to raise what I think are some of the most pressing issues facing the church today in medicine, particularly at the edges of life. What follows are thoughts adapted from my presentation.
In my experience, churches are undereducated when it comes to ethical issues raised by advances in medicine and technology, a neglect that is critical because these issues are not just academic ones but touch people’s lives in very tangible and deep ways.
Is it possible to create a baby without a female egg? In recent years, scientists have been working on this development. What are the benefits and disadvantages? CBHD Executive Director, Paige Cunningham, discussed this cutting-edge topic with Mark Elfstrand on AM 1160 Hope for Your Life.
There is a new conversation arising. How do we continue to live faithfully in this increasingly advanced medical and technology age? What choices should we make when faced with moral issues we've never encountered before?
People sometimes remark that churches are not very good at teaching and counseling their members concerning difficult bioethical issues. It is worth pondering why many faithful churches seem to fall short in this important area. Undoubtedly a variety of causes, rather than a single one, are to blame. These bioethical issues truly are challenging, some of them involve private and intimate matters, and many of them evoke memories of painful experiences—all of these factors can make churches hesitant to invest significant time in training their flocks to deal well with bioethical decisions.
Culture is so easily influenced by the entertainment industry. This is why I am sounding an alarm about a very dangerous message in a film released earlier this summer. It’s simply titled Me Before You.
I went to see Me Before You the first week it was out. I was curious because the story is about a young man named Will who became paralyzed in a motorcycle accident. The filmmakers did a great job of conveying his emotional struggles in facing a life without use of his hands or legs. As you might expect, Will falls into suicidal despair. That is, until his mother hires Louisa, an upbeat young woman who sees it as her job to cheer him up. In time, they fall in love.
The 21st-century world of medicine and biotechnology is simultaneously characterized by hopeful promise and the challenging threats. The issues swirling in our culture at this time represent larger worldview issues. The Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity at Trinity International University seeks to address these many and complex issues by helping Christians raise the right questions in the midst of a morally indifferent culture. Involved in these meaningful, thoughtful, and difficult explorations is a need to help followers of Christ develop a coherent and comprehensive way to see and understand the changing world in which we live.
We live at an exciting time in human history, when our medical interventions and technological innovations can do amazing, even seemingly miraculous, things. Yet, amidst all of this there is also a growing discontent with these marvels of our medically and technologically sophisticated age (or what we’ve shorthanded as the MedTech age). Many of us sense that these developments are not wholly the good solutions and the perfect progress that they are often heralded to be.