A Discerning Look at Prenatal Testing

by: 
Ethan Davis, MA

In the “good old days” an expectant mother would, after a time, deduce that she was pregnant. From there, speculation would take over as to whether her child was a boy or a girl based upon the way she was carrying, or what she had been eating, or the food to which she had developed aversions. Apart from suspicions and the stuff of old wives’ tales, little was known about the growing life within, and the mother was left to anticipate and hope.

Now, an increasing amount of information can be derived through various tests, screenings, and monitoring of the child through its earliest days. For example, genetic tests have become a standard aspect of pregnancy care in medically advanced countries such as the United States.[1] Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) is one such test, and it continues to grow in popularity.[2] Much as going to college is often the assumed next step following high school graduation, prenatal testing is generally accepted as “what you do” when a woman is expecting. It might be prudent, therefore, for Christians to honestly grapple with some of the ethical considerations these tests raise.

 

Chasing Methuselah: Theology, the Body, and Slowing Human Aging

by: 
Todd Daly, PhD

The quest to live much longer has moved from legend to the laboratory. Recent breakthroughs in genetics and pharmacology have put humanity on the precipice of slowing down human aging to extend the healthy life span. The promise of longer, healthier life is enormously attractive, and poses several challenging questions for Christians. Who wouldn’t want to live 120 years or longer while avoiding a slow decline? How do we make sense of human aging in light of Jesus’ invitation to daily take up our crosses with the promise of the resurrection to come? Is there anything wrong with manipulating our bodies technologically to live longer? If so, how long is too long? Should aging itself be treated as a disease?

In Chasing Methuselah, Todd Daly examines the modern biomedical anti-aging project from a Christian perspective, drawing on the ancient wisdom of the Desert Fathers, who believed that the Incarnation opened a way for human life to regain the longevity of Adam and the biblical patriarchs through prayer and fasting. Daly balances these insights with the christological anthropology of Karl Barth, discussing the implications for human finitude, fear of death, and the use of anti-aging technology, weaving a path between outright condemnation and uncritical enthusiasm. Below is an interview with Daly on his book.

 

Transgenderism, Science, and Scripture: A Book Review

by: 
Wilson Jeremiah, ThM

Alan Branch, professor of Christian ethics at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and author of Born This Way? Homosexuality, Science, and the Scriptures, has written a sequel on another hotly debated issue in sexual ethics, namely transgenderism.[1] This second book starts with a list of common claims from transgender activists and public figures:

(1) embracing transgender identity should be celebrated; (2) God is actually behind one’s transgender identity; (3) people claim to have a female soul trapped in a male body, or a male soul trapped in a female body; (4) if you love children, you will agree with the avant-garde stance regarding transgenderism; (5) it is a noble and brave thing voluntarily to go through extensive surgery to transform one’s gender experience; (6) such an experience is liberating (pp. 2–3).

What Do We Make of the COVID-19 Vaccine?

by: 
Kenny Silva, MDiv, PhD (cand.)

This is an adapted version of a letter I wrote for the Village Church of Lincolnshire on behalf of our elders. None of what you’re about to read is intended as medical advice. Before embarking upon any course of treatment, please consult your healthcare provider.

As more and more of our friends, neighbors, and family members get vaccinated, it occurred to me that it would be helpful to offer some biblical counsel on the topic. As Christians, we must take every thought captive to Christ (2 Cor 10:5) as we consult both God’s Word and His world (i.e., scientific research) to discern whether the COVID-19 vaccine(s) are helpful and wise. To that end, I want to offer a set of biblical touchpoints to consider as you think about this issue.

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