What Does God say about Bioethics?

Christian Bioethics 517UykgR7dL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_

A review by Stuart Brogden

This book, subtitled A Guide for Pastors, Health Care Professional, and Families, is part of a series on Christian ethics published by B&H Publishing Group. I dare say anyone within each of those groups would be challenged to think more biblically about the relevant issues as well as being better informed by reading this book. In the preface, the series editor tells us the thesis of this book by asking this question: “How do we move from an ancient text like the Bible to twenty-first-century questions about organ transplants, stem-cell research, and human cloning?” This book, written by an ordained minister of the gospel (C. Ben Mitchell) and a physician (D. Joy Riley), gives solid counsel and these emotionally charged issues in 9 chapters, and is broken up into four parts: Christian Bioethics, Taking Life, Making Life, and Remaking/Faking Life. The format of each chapter is a look into a real life situation immersed in the subject, followed by questions for reflection, and Q & A between the authors. Other than a too frequent quoting of Roman Catholics as though that Church is Christian institution, this team provides solid insight from God’s Word on each of these topics.

Chapter 1 gives the reader an overview of the Hippocratic Oath which opened my eyes to the ancient context and false gods the oath was originally made to and the awareness that most doctors today do not subscribe to this oath, which we mostly know as the pledge to, First, do no harm. This was spelled out in explicit language that forbid euthanasia and abortion. The absence of a doctor’s oath to “do no harm” may cause a patient to wonder how much he can trust his doctor. In summing up this topic our physician author observes (page 22, italics in original) “Doctors should work hard to be trust-worthy and humble.” A few pages later (page 28), as they address stem-cell research, our minister reminds us, after quoting 2 Peter 1:3, “God has not left his people without guidance in every area of life. Although the Bible is not a science textbook, its message speaks to the deep underlying values that can guide decisions about scientific matters. Although the Bible is not manual of medicine, its truths may be applied to medical decision making.” This is a key perspective for every child of God to properly understand how to walk in the light of God’s Word. Much of the rest of chapter 2 is good advice for properly reading and understanding the Scriptures, taking into account literary, historical, and cultural context as well the genre of what is being read.

The chapter addressing abortion is sobering and probably eye-opening for most. The authors make a full-court press to establish the humanity of every life, starting from conception. Mitchell makes the essential connection between our view of Jesus and our view of humanity, developing the humanity of our Lord to show how every mortal is given value by the Creator – above all other life forms – from the time the egg is joined with a sperm. At the end of chapter 3, the authors exhort Christians to be active in opposing abortion and supporting life, but they draw no lines of getting involved with pro-life Roman Catholics. Christians must be deliberate and biblically thoughtful in deciding who to get cozy with in the public arena. The next chapter covers death and dying, providing thought-provoking observations about the details of pain and suffering and how one’s Christian world view informs us. A key element in handling the death of any person, they tell us, is to remember the patient (perhaps a close relative) is a human being, not merely a patient to be treated. “Much of the suffering of dying persons comes from being subtly treated as nonpersons.” (page 85) There is discussion of the efforts to extend life, even at the expense of that life being human. It is a long-held desire of fleshly human beings to grasp eternal life in our present form, without submitting to God’s revealed plan of redemption – which includes our death and resurrection. Being a faithful child of God includes how we approach death – do we trust our heavenly Father in our dying as did our Savior? Again, we get faithful advice (pages 100 & 101): “Through the resurrection of Christ, God has given us grounds to hope that death, however awful, will not have the last word.” Amen!

As they move from taking life to making life, the reader is presented with a biology lesson on how babies come into the world. They take this opportunity to reinforce the Christians view of anthropology (page 113): “Knowing that pregnancy occurs at fertilization rather than at implantation will help us make several important distinctions later.” They then cover several options medicine has provided for artificial this or that, discussing the line we cross regarding family integrity and God’s authority, observing (page 123), “When a third party intrudes on the procreative relationship, the divinely instituted structure of the family is altered. Trouble is bound to follow.” This may be unwelcome by some, who have such a great desire for a child that their love for the Word of God is overshadowed. All of us fall into this pit on one issue or another from time-to-time, so let us not rush to judgment.

The last part of this fine book covers the definition of death and the forces behind the changes we’ve seen in the last 50 years; organ donation and transplants; cloning and human/animal hybrids; and life extension practices. In this last category, we are introduced to trans-humanists, a group that wants to extent life in the human body and beyond. This was the topic of recent movie, Transcendence, which traced the consequences of a computer scientist whose “essence” was transferred into a powerful computer he had built. It gets very ugly before it ends. In summing up how we who profess Christ ought to look at aging, Mitchell provides a contrast between Christians and Trans-humanists (page 181): “Interestingly, the trans-humanists and Christians seem to have some common concerns. We share:

  • The quest for the good life.
  • Longing for immortality
  • Pursuit of the relief of human suffering
  • Appreciation for technology’s benefits.

Where we differ is in the mean to achieve these aims. For Christians the good life and the goods of life are found in God and his presence in our lives. The good life is not defined by the number of years one lives but the reality of God’s presence in however many years one lives. While we, like the apostle Paul, long for immortality, Christians understand that they already possess it. … Another place we differ with the trans-humanist is in loathing every human limitation. Because we are creatures and nor creators, we accept most limitations as gifts from the One who made us.”

And while there is much more in this book that will do the reader much good, I think that is a wonderful point on which to end this review. Christian – are you content with our God’s provision in your life? Do we think we deserve better than YHWH has given us? To quote the Apostle, “Who are you, oh man, to answer back to the One who made you thus?” Let us, as did the Lord Jesus, trust ourselves to the One who judges justly. Trust God, rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. In living and dying – and all that comes between those two finite points.

The Fallacy of Pope Francis

Big Bang Theory true according to Pope Francis

Once again, the world has the distinction of hearing “Thus says the man in the white robe” instead of “thus says the Lord.” If we question the veracity of God’s Word and the foundations which He has established, then it will be easy to cut out further parts of Scripture. Here are a few things to consider as to whether pope Francis is right or wrong.

There are several problems with Christians accepting the Big Bang Theory and the theory of evolution.

1.  It questions the validity and work of the Trinity. Genesis states that each member of the Triune Godhead was involved in creation.

A.  God the Father is attributed with the work of creation throughout the Old Testament. If creation is not true, then we must exclude every writer who spoke and wrote falsely giving credit to the holy God. This means that Job, Psalms, Isaiah, Jeremiah, the five books of Moses, and others must be taken out of the Bible.

B.  God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, speaks of the creation during His earthly ministry, especially when He addresses the matter of marriage being between one man and one woman.  If Jesus was wrong about creation and the beginning of the world, then He cannot be God for He spoke at least one lie.

C.  God the Holy Spirit is attributed with the inspiration of the Scriptures. 2 Peter 1:21 says, “For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” Thus, if the words written are attributed to the moving of the Holy Spirit, then we can only come to one of two conclusions. 1) Either the prophets wrote contrary to the leading of the Holy Spirit, or 2) there is no Holy Spirit that guides into all truths.  Therefore, the Holy Spirit made a mistake in the work of inspiration which makes Him no longer God, or the Bible is not inerrant and we have nothing which we can believe.

2.  If these theories are correct, then there is no hope for mankind.

A.  There would be no reason to accept any absolutes.

B.  There would be no morals on which to base our lives. If survival of the fittest is truly an underlying principle of evolution, then logic MUST dictate that what Stalin, Mussolini, Hitler, Nero, Genghis Khan and others did is acceptable. They weeded out those who added nothing to the gene pool.

C.  There would be no such thing as sin. Any “wrongdoings” are only based on one’s upbringing, culture, and societal mores. What would be unacceptable in one culture must be acceptable in another. Therefore, as one example, if evolution is correct, then what ISIS is doing cannot be considered as wrong. If evolution is correct, then we have no right to correct the actions of another culture or society that has “evolved” in a different manner than we have.

D.  Fighting against the inevitable will be a horrific exercise in futility if evolution is correct. Therefore, those who have some deformities, or the wrong skin color, or mental imbalances are doomed to eventual extinction for they add nothing to society and the future of a greater man.

E.  If evolution is true, then there is no sin to die for. There would be no reason for Jesus Christ to have died for a sub-species of animal that has simply evolved from a primordial soup. If evolution is true, then Christ died in vain as a good person, and not as the God-Man.

Now, here is a further thought about the article I have linked to at the top in which pope Francis endorses these false theories. Many in so-called evangelical circles have decided that the Roman Catholic church is also Christian and that their teachings are compatible in many ways with evangelicalism or fundamentalism. There is little that could be further from the truth than this thinking. The Roman Catholic religion is not based on Scripture but on the traditions of man.

Many want to claim that Roman Catholics are going to heaven, but the ONLY way to heaven is by grace through faith alone in Christ alone. The RCC does NOT teach this, and has NEVER taught these truths. To the pope and the teachings of the RCC, all who believe that salvation is only through Christ are to be considered anathema and accursed to the deepest regions of hell.

Before somebody accuses me of hating those who do not believe like me, this is not about me. This is about what the Bible teaches. Either God is true or He is not. If He is not true, then He cannot be God and we are yet in our sins. My prayer is that people will come to Christ alone and realize the joy that comes by believing by faith in the work of creation and the finished work of Calvary.

These theories of the big bang and evolution are NOT based on the truth of Scripture. Any time, science comes up with a new theory designed solely to undermine intelligent design and the truth of a Creator, then the Bible trumps the scientist. The Bible does not ever discredit true science but endorses the truths of what we find in the scientific world.

To conclude, my response to the false teaching of the pope, the heresies of the Roman Catholic church, the false theories of science, and the falsely held positions of a growing number of people in evangelical circles is based on the words of Martin Luther when he was being held to account by the religious establishment —

My belief is based on God and His infallible, inerrant Word. Here I stand, I can do no other. So help me, God.



Science is Always False

If the title sparked your attention, good.

That was the point. The phrase first uttered by apologetic giant, Gordon H. Clark, and resounds louder today than ever. If you are unfamiliar with Clark’s apologetic on this topic I would recommend you examine the lecture as it will provide context for this post. If you have time, I recommend the audio as well as the written explanation.

I deeply enjoy science. Prior to finally going after philosophy as a major, physics and chemistry were strong choices for how I would spend my days. I don’t think that scientists are more evil than the rest of humanity. I think that they are people who look at what is in front of them to come to their conclusions, and trust in the “scientific method,” as a way of finding both facts and truth.

Getting to the Point

I am a Young Earth Creationist (YEC). I think that you should be too.

I am not a scientist. I don’t play one on TV, and I didn’t come to my conclusion about the age of the earth because of science.

I am a Theologian. I don’t play one of TV, but radio, the internet and in person are fair game. I can define the Protoevangelium and many other theological terms without a second thought. I listen to worship songs before singing them, and can think of no better way to past the time than with a cigar, a beer and a group of men who want to talk theology.

I came to my conclusion about the age of the earth theologically. I came to my conclusion about the age of the earth without the input of things outside of the scriptures and I did so for several reasons.

  1. Science is always False. The Scientific Method is void of a solid philosophical defense when dealing with non-repeatable events like abiogenesis, and other such origin based questions. 
  2. The assumption of uniformity is bunk.  (I will leave an expanded explanation of this for a later time.)
  3. I actually believe in Sola Scriptura.
  4. I think that the best person to tell us how we got here, is the person who got us here. ( A bit circular, I know… I am a presuppositional apologetist what do you expect? )

The question I have for you, dear reader, is what caused you to come to the conclusion about the age of the earth that you did?


A Georgia member of the House of Representatives recently stated that he believes the Bible, and that evolution is false, and the earth is approximately 9000 years old. That’s not controversial as far as I’m concerned.

But since some people think it’s controversial, I appreciate the stand he’s taken. The truth will ultimately win the day, and isn’t determined by popular vote.

Here’s the story from the Washington Post.

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) Georgia Rep. Paul Broun said in videotaped remarks that evolution, embryology and the Big Bang theory are “lies straight from the pit of hell” meant to convince people that they do not need a savior.

The Republican lawmaker made those comments during a speech Sept. 27 at a sportsman’s banquet at Liberty Baptist Church in Hartwell. Broun, a medical doctor, is running for re-election in November unopposed by Democrats.

“God’s word is true,” Broun said, according to a video posted on the church’s website. “I’ve come to understand that. All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and Big Bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of hell. And it’s lies to try to keep me and all the folks who are taught that from understanding that they need a savior.”

Broun also said that he believes the Earth is about 9,000 years old and that it was made in six days. Those beliefs are held by fundamentalist Christians who believe the creation accounts in the Bible to be literally true.

Broun spokeswoman Meredith Griffanti told the Athens Banner-Herald (http://bit.ly/Us4O0Z ) that Broun was recorded speaking off-the-record to a church group about his religious beliefs. He sits on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

It seems unlikely that Broun’s remarks were supposed to be kept private. The banquet was advertised, Broun spoke before an audience and the video of his remarks was posted on the church’s website.

Science & Faith: Friends or Foes?

I received an advertisement for a conference where the question “Science & Faith: Friends or Foes?” will be answered—or at least discussed. I don’t know what the speakers will say about it, but I thought it was an interesting question.

The answer is that anyone who puts any stock in science has faith that the future will behave as the past. This is one of the fundamental assumptions on which science is built. When you do an experiment on Tuesday, under the same conditions, you expect the same results on Thursday.

If you try to start your car, and it doesn’t turn over, you wouldn’t assume the laws of physics had changed. You would assume the laws of physics were the same, and that the battery was dead.

Atheists have no good reason for this fundamental assumption. They don’t believe there is someone or something that ensures the laws of the universe will remain constant. Essentially, their faith in science is blind.

Many atheists I’ve spoken with mock Christians for being unscientific. The irony is that they cannot account for why science works.

If you ask an atheist why he or she assumes the future will behave as the past, you won’t get a good answer. Usually, the individual will offer a fallacious answer: The future always has been like the past so it always will look like the past. That is begging the question. If you get him or her to understand this answer is flawed, the atheist will usually say that he or she will continue to trust in science as long as it continues to work. By saying this, he or she admits to being irrational and having no reason for his or her beliefs—taking a blind leap of faith.

Why, then, does science work? What makes the future behave as the past? Christians have an omniscient Being who has revealed to us that He upholds the universe (see Colossians 1:17 and Hebrews 1:3). He maintains order in the world. He is the reason science works.

The ultimate authority for Christians is the God of the Bible; He provides reasonable answers for why the world works. Atheism is bankrupt, because its ultimate authority and assumptions are fallacious. Atheists who love science are being inconsistent with their own worldview, and borrowing from the Christian worldview. Science and the Christian faith are indeed friends.

Sermon of the Week: “The Flood” by Voddie Baucham

We’ve seen Veggie Tales versions of the great flood, talking about the love of God on Noah and his family, everyone having a fun time with the animals and the water. The Scripture is very clear – the flood came upon the Earth (the whole planet) because the Lord (Creator, Judge, and sustainer of ALL things) judged mankind for his sin.

Far from being a nice, fun story for children, the tale of Noah’s ark is a sober reminder of the consequences of sin – no less so than Sodom and Gomorrah. What awaits all whose name is not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life is foreshadowed by the fire that destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah and the flood that destroyed all life on the surface of the Earth, save eight persons and animals on the ark.

But for those who are loved and saved by the grace of God, we have this promise which cannot be broken: “There is, therefore, no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1) Do not sweep away the lesson of God’s wrath on sinners (not their sin – their persons) because it is so difficult for our human souls to accept. Do not lose heart because God is righteous and His judgment is sure – as are His promises to His chosen ones. Rejoice if your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life and worship God because of His mercy on the redeemed and for His judgment on the wicked, as do the angels in Heaven.

Listen here to The Flood.