Ethics and the Beginning of Human Life

Megan Best, medical doctor and bioethicist, has authored a new book, Fearfully and Wonderfully Made: Ethics and the beginning of human life (Kingsford NSW, Australia: Matthias Media, 2012), on the biblical teaching of the beginning of human life and the moral and ethical issues surrounding this teaching. Best “is passionate about the value of human life and has been involved at both state and federal government levels in the development of Australian legislation regulating the treatment of unborn humans.”

This is an important issue that all of us face or will face in one way or another. Often good resources for Christians from a Christian perspective are limited or not available. This is one of those invaluable resources.

In The Preface, Best explains the reason for and goal of writing this book (pp. 9-10).

I have written this book in response to many requests from Christians who are struggling to find the information they need to think clearly about the morality of reproductive technology. I write from the perspective of believing that human life begins at fertilization and deserves protection from that time. . . . The book will be particularly relevant to those who hold the Christian Bible as authoritative, and want to see how it can be applied to modern reproductive dilemmas.

D. A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament at TEDS, writes the following commendation of the book:

At last – a single volume examining beginning-of-life issues that is equally competent in biology, theology, philosophy and pastoral care. Scarcely less important, Dr. Best’s book is admirably clear, simple without being simplistic, comprehensive without being overly complicated. This is now the ‘must read’ book in the field, a necessary resource not only for pastors, ethicists, and laypersons who share her Christian convictions, but also for anyone who wants to participate knowledgeably in current bioethical debates.

John F. Kilner, Director of Bioethics Programs, Franklin and Dorothy Forman Chair of Christian Ethics and Theology, Professor of Bioethics and Contemporary Culture at TEDS, who also served as the first president and CEO of The Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity from 1994-2005, writes this of the book:

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made, by Dr. Megan Best, is a well-researched book that is easy for a broad public to read--an unusual combination! Compassionate toward people who need medical treatments for illness or "reproductive assistance" for infertility, she offers wise counsel for pursuing these endeavors in life-affirming and God-honoring ways. This is one of the very best books on this topic.

It is encouraging to know, as stated by Best in the Acknowledgements, of the influence of Trinity International University, our EFCA school, and one of its ministries, The Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity* and their influence in the writing of this book (p. 7): “The book was greatly enhanced by the generosity of a grant from The Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity at Trinity International University in Deerfield, Illinois, USA, through their Global Bioethics Education Initiative.”

This material can be purchased through Matthias Media in the following ways:

*For those who may not know of this wonderful ministry, here is an explanation from the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity website:

The Center is a bioethics research center at Trinity International University and is one aspect of the University’s Bioethics [at Trinity] initiative.  Our mission, “exploring the nexus of biomedicine, biotechnology, and our common humanity,” designates our commitment to anticipate, interpret, and engage the pressing bioethical issues of our day. As a center of rigorous research, theological and conceptual analysis, charitable critique, and thoughtful engagement, we seek to bring clarity to the complex issues of our day.


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