Beginning of Life

Abortion has long been at the forefront of public awareness, where the moral status of the unborn child is debated along clear lines. Less clear, however, is the value of other early human life: for instance, the embryo as a source of stem cells for research, cloning of human embryos for research purposes, or embryos and fetuses with defects. Genetic testing of early human beings, either embryos created in the laboratory (via IVF) or fetuses in the womb, often leads to lethal discrimination. Christians need to be aware of the science, the pressures, and the moral issues that are raised at the beginning of life. These resources support a Christian understanding of these concerns.


  • Robert George and Christopher Tollefsen, Embryo: A Defense of Human Life 2nd ed. (Doubleday, 2011).

  • David A. Jones, The Soul of the Embryo; An Enquiry into the Status of the Human Embryo in the Christian Tradition (Continuum, 2004).