Book Review ARTICLES

The Emergent Church - Dan Kimball

Thoughts on CTCR's "Immigrants Among Us"

The Sabbath: Its Meaning for Modern Man - Abraham Joshua Heschel

Hard Questions, Real Answers - William Lane Craig

Simply Christian by N.T. Wright

Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

Dr. Kenneth C. Haugk's: "Don't Sing Songs to a Heavy Heart:; How to Relate to Those Who Are Suffering"

Normand Bonneau's "The Sunday Lectionary: Ritual Word, Paschal Shape"

Robert Wuthnow's "After the Baby Boomers"

Mike Aquilina's Signs and Mysteries: Revealing Ancient Christian Symbols

Mudhouse Sabbath: An Invitation to a Life of Spiritual Disciplines

Book Review: Doug Powell's Holman QuickSource Guide to Christian Apologetics

College Ministry from Scratch

Power, Politics, and the Missouri Synod ...a book review

Heaven is For Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back by Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent

The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis

C.S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy: a review

The Culture-Wise Family and Pop Culture Wars, reviewed

Lutheranism 101

A review of "Together With All Creation: Caring for God’s Living Earth, A Report of the Commission on Theology and Church Relations"

A Review of Jeffrey Jensen Arnett's book : Emerging Adulthood: The Winding Road from the Late Teens through the Twenties

A review of Mike Hayes' book: Googling God: The Religious Landscape of People in their 20’s and 30’s

A review of David Dark's book The Gospel According to America: A Meditation On a God-Blessed, Christ-Haunted Idea

A Review of Dean Hardy's Book :Stand Your Ground: An Introductory Text for Apologetics

A Review of Gilbert Meilander's Book: Bioethcis: A Primer for Christians

A review of Gene Edward Veith’s The Spirituality of the Cross

The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict

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Tribal Church

Additional "Book Review" Articles

 

A Review of Gilbert Meilander's Book: Bioethcis: A Primer for Christians
Published: 9/7/2010 1:15:16 PM

 

Biblical Christians make headlines for their stance on a few hot button bioethical issues - namely abortion and embryonic stem cell research. Yet the realm of bioethics is much broader, and without a more fundamental approach to the role of technology and the human body, Biblical Christians seem to break down into inconsistencies very quickly. Why is it wrong to destroy embryos for medical research, yet not wrong when excessive embryos are created in the in vitro fertilization process - embryos that are ultimately either stored perpetually with no hope for life, or destroyed outright as no longer necessary?

The Biblical answer would be that neither situation is proper. Yet because IVF seeks to create life, many Biblical Christians don't see a problem with it, even when it creates excess embryos that are then sifted through for best viability. This is an example of inconsistencies that result from not having thought (and prayed) through the many facets of biotechnology.

This book is an excellent introduction (hence the name) to a broad smattering of biotechnology applications, providing some fairly clear and lucid considerations for a Biblical Christian bioethics stance. In addition to the expected topics of embryonic stem cell research and abortion, Meilaender also covers important areas such as euthanasia, organ donation, and the quandry of the appropriateness of participating as volunteers in various medical (or other) experiments.

Only once did I think Meilaender was way off base - and that was his argument that abortion was acceptable in the case of rape or incest. While I laud the compassion that would lead Meilaender and many others to that conclusion, two wrongs don't ultimately make a right. I don't believe that saddling a woman with the double-baggage of both what happened to her and the destruction of a human life is ultimately the best form of compassion.

Some topics covered in this book seem very straightforward. In others, Meilaender provides food for thought and a nudge in what he feels is a good direction, while acknowledging that the individual is going to have to sort things out for themselves to some extent, hopefully through prayer and the influence og a strong Christian family & community.

This book is unabashedly Christian. While Meilaender's conclusions are grounded firmly in the Biblical witness of a creating, redeeming and sanctifying God, his passionate and consistent arguments in favor of defending all human life in all stages of that life should resonate with a broader audience.

I enjoyed this book greatly, and was both challenged and informed through it.


By Paul Nelson

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