Advent Hope for a MedTech World

Michael J. Sleasman, PhD

Amidst the bustle of Black Friday, Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday, and holiday parties, we may forget it is also the season of Advent. In this strange cultural juxtaposition of commercialism gone awry and theologically rich celebrations of historic Christian significance, several thoughts come to mind as we prepare for our holiday celebrations. Advent marks the beginning (and, in some distinct theological ways, the end) of the liturgical calendar. This season is often visibly celebrated through the practice of lighting candles on an Advent wreath—one of those rare ecumenical rituals that emerged from a single Protestant tradition (apparently an early Lutheran custom), but is now widely practiced.

Peter Lawler’s Stuck with Virtue—and Technology

Michael Shafer, PhD

I was sad to hear of the recent passing of a well-respected political philosopher, Peter Augustine Lawler. I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Lawler several years ago at a meeting for the President’s Council on Bioethics in Chicago. I had just finished reading his book Stuck with Virtue, so during one of the breaks I approached him and struck up a conversation. I do not recall the exact questions I asked, but what impressed me most was that while standing in a room with some of the brightest ethical minds in America (he was not at a loss for great conversations) he was still incredibly gracious and attentive to a young doctoral student asking lots of questions.

Dying Well—Jonathan Edwards

Bryan Just
Douglas A. Sweeney, PhD

As soon as Jonathan Edwards’ colleagues had discerned that he should become the third president of the College of New Jersey (later Princeton University), “he girded up his loins,” as Hopkins stated, “and set off,”[1] leaving in early January of 1758. He left his wife and children behind, intending to move them in the spring after the weather had improved.

After settling into his house, Edwards met his students and tutors, preached to them on several Sundays in the Princeton College chapel, wrote some questions in theology for Princeton’s senior class, and was installed “in the president’s chair” by the Princeton Corporation on the 16th of February, 1758.[2] Things seemed to be going smoothly.

No sooner had he settled into a regular routine, however, than Edwards chose to set a good example for the locals and receive an inoculation.

When Christians Face Infertility

Janie Valentine, MA

In June, Will Honeycutt encouraged churches to be sensitive to congregants struggling with infertility and suggested several practical steps church leaders can take to display empathy and support for infertile couples. Honeycutt’s piece concludes, “We must...defeat the notion that the inability to procreate makes life meaningless or robs men and women of their identity.