Death and the Church, Part III

Robert C. Kurka, DMin

I have intentionally titled this series, “Death and the Church.” Given the highly individualistic character of Western culture, many complex human issues are viewed as personal concerns to be dealt with in a manner that keeps friends, neighbors, and even family at a distance. The well-known expression “It is none of your business,” epitomizes an isolationism that has become a core value of American culture. Indeed, “individual autonomy” is given first place among bioethical principles in the so-called “Georgetown Mantra."

C. S. Lewis and The Abolition of Man

Sarah Abbey, MA

What does it mean to be human? This is not a new question. We have been wondering, searching for answers, and debating the purpose of our existence throughout the ages. As the great poet and ancient king of Israel once asked of God,

What is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them? (Psalm 8:4, NIV)

The questions may not be new, but the context we currently find ourselves in has brought about new complexities—and confusions—in our search for answers.

Rachel Crying for Her Children: Remembering the Childless in Our Churches

Will Honeycutt, DMin

Another Mother’s Day has recently come and gone—a day of happiness and celebration. Many churches honor mothers by inviting them to stand and by giving special recognition to the oldest mother, the youngest mother, and the mother with the greatest number of children.

But this happy day is not a happy day for all. Along with those who are mothers, there are also women who have discovered, perhaps again, that they will not be mothers. Another cycle of fertility treatments has failed, or they have suffered another miscarriage.

Whatever the case, we have many Rachels in our congregations—women who are “weeping for (their) children because they are not” or “are no more” (Matthew 2:18 quoting Jeremiah 31:15).

Evaluating Uterine Transplantation

Susan M. Haack, MD, MA, MDiv, FACOG

“As long as patients want it, there will be people trying to figure out how to make it safe and effective.”[1]

The desire to have a child of one’s own is a compelling force for many women. This desire drives many of the technological advances in reproductive medicine of which uterine transplantation is a prime example. Its recent development highlights the quagmire of ethical issues arising from technological advancement. When perfected, this procedure would appear to be a promising achievement, providing women who would have had no possibility of reproducing with the hope of having a child of their own.