Bioethics and the Christian Life: A Guide to Making Difficult Decisions

Bioethics and the Christian Life: A Guide to Making Difficult Decisions
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VanDrunen, David


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Listen to an episode of Reformed Forum entitled Bioethics.

Publisher's Description

Just about everyone will face a difficult bioethics decision at some point. In this book a theologian, ethicist, and lawyer equips Christians to make such decisions based on biblical truth, wisdom, and virtue.

Though a relatively new discipline, bioethics has generated extraordinary interest due to a number of socially pressing issues. Bioethics and the Christian Life places bioethics within the holistic context of the Christian life, both developing a general Christian approach to making bioethics decisions and addressing a number of specific, controversial areas of bioethics.

Clear, concise, and well-organized, the book is divided into three sections. The first lays the theological foundation for bioethics decision-making and discusses the importance of wisdom and virtue in working through these issues. The second section addresses beginning-of-life issues, such as abortion, stem-cell research, and infertility treatments. The third section covers end-of-life issues, such as living wills, accepting and refusing medical treatment, and treatment of patients in permanent vegetative states.

About the Author

David VanDrunen is Robert B. Strimple Professor of Systematic Theology and Christian Ethics at Westminster Seminary California, an ordained minister of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, and a licensed attorney. He has authored or edited four books, including A Biblical Case for Natural Law, and many articles.

Book Details

256 Pages
Publisher: Crossway/Good News Publishers
Publication Date: October 2009
ISBN 10: 1433501449
ISBN 13: 9781433501449

“Very few books combine competence in both bioethics and biblical theology. Even fewer do it with depth as well as sensitivity to those struggling with the hard questions: infertility, advanced directives, and other forms of suffering here on earth. Still fewer provide guidance for making decisions beyond those that are the challenge du jour. This book does all of these and is extremely readable besides. I now know what to recommend as the best in the field.”
- William Edgar, Professor of Apologetics, Westminster Theological Seminary

“David VanDrunen's stimulating book on bioethics is a great help to us as we wrestle through some very difficult issues in our day. Discussing everything from cloning, contraception, and stem cell research to health care for the incapacitated and how to decide if treatment should be pursued, VanDrunen shows himself an able guide and wise mentor. These are difficult issues, but he addresses them in a thoughtful and accessible way. One of the most promising aspects of this book is VanDrunen's consistent engagement in fresh biblical exegesis, while also drawing from a natural law tradition, all the while maintaining a focus that is both churchly and relevant for today.”
- Kelly M. Kapic, Associate Professor of Theological Studies, Covenant College

“Dr. VanDrunen adds significantly and positively to the bioethical conversation in ways that will help every pastor and every thoughtful Christian to think through issues of life and death. He interacts with contemporary biotechnology and bioethics and asks the difficult questions, giving thoughtful, nuanced answers based on sound orthodox theology and Christian virtue. What distinguishes this book is that particular issues are not approached in isolation from the biblical goal of a well-lived Christian life. Fixed moral truths of God's law do not always yield clear answers to every ethical question, but biblical wisdom enables the Christian to navigate the difficulties and avoid facile answers. VanDrunen is firm in his conclusions when scripture speaks clearly, but he is wisely wary of being dogmatic where scripture is silent. I highly recommend this book. As a primer in Christian ethics it should be the text for a required Christian education course in every church.”
- Gregory Edward Reynolds, pastor, Amoskeag Presbyterian Church, Manchester, New Hampshire; author, The Word Is Worth a Thousand Pictures: Preaching in the Electronic Age; editor, Ordained Servant: A Journal for Church Officers

“Bioethics and the Christian Life provides a much-needed guide to the difficult area of Christian clinical bioethics. While many well-meaning Christians present bioethics for marionette puppets (with God pulling the strings) and secularists claim that we are the masters of our fate and captains of our soul, VanDrunen does the hard work of guiding his reader to exercise autonomy responsibly within God's revealed will in the Bible. Here is rich guidance to help the patient, family member, pastor, or clinician to think Christianly and find biblically sound answers to the vexing problems of bioethics.”
- Thomas W. Ziegler, MD, FACP, Clinical Professor of Medicine (retired), University of California San Diego and VA Medical Center, San Diego, California; Ruling Elder, New Life Presbyterian Church (PCA), La Mesa, CA