Of Embryos and the Incarnation: a Christmas Meditation

Mary and child JesusAnd the Word became an embryo…

 
Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, what is theologically called the Incarnation. God the Son, the Word, took on flesh and dwelt among humanity, being both fully God and fully Man (John 1:1-14). He did this to deal with our sin. The sole purpose of his birth was to grow up and die, thereby dealing with the darkness of sin us that separates us from the Light of Life (Matt. 1:21; Luke 2:11; 24:45-47; Isa. 9:2-6; 53:4-12; Jn. 1:9-13). Yet rarely have I stopped to consider the magnitude of the fact that Jesus did not appear on the scene as an adult or fully developed. Continue reading

Almost Human (?)

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Photo courtesy of the Almost Human Facebook Page

Next week Fox will première its latest series Almost Human. Set in the not-so-distant future of 2048, the story will follow Detective John Kennex – a cop who lost a partner, leg, and stability in life; and Dorian – the ‘synthetic’ (i.e. android) who’s assigned as John’s new partner, possessing the unfortunate flaw of emotions. Full of special effects, cool gadgets, legitimate actors, and a promising plot, Almost Human has the potential to be truly entertaining and worth watching. But how should we watch this new show?

If the trailer and extended scenes are any indication, Almost Human will dive into serious ethical and existential questions, offering up answers in the process. Therefore, we need to practice wisdom and alertness in how we watch and interact with what the show communicates (this applies to all TV shows, by the way). Three questions immediately stand out that deserve our awareness.   Continue reading

Why does bioethics matter? Starting the conversation

Having recently begun pursuing a master’s degree in bioethics it has come as no surprise to me that I now see bioethical issues and topics wherever I go. Whether it’s the rise of sex-selection abortions in India and China, Syria’s use of chemical weapons, the continued controversy of Obama Care here in the US, the pros and cons of embryonic stem cell research, or my use of caffeine as a stimulant, I’m confronted with the reality that we live in a world that must daily deal with the ethical implications surrounding life’s beginning, end, and desire to flourish.

DNA medicine bottlesYet this bioethical reality is predominantly ignored by most of us. This is partly understandable in our day and age when we’re bombarded by more issues we can legitimately process on a personal, local, and global scale. We have enough to worry about. Why concern ourselves about bioethical issues on top of everything else? We can leave those topics to the few scientists, ethicists, and theologians it impacts.

Unfortunately, ignoring today’s bioethical challenges is not a viable option. While we may not have the ability or time to fully understand all the issues at hand or delve into their details, we all need to be aware of them and why they matter. Specifically, there are three broad reasons why bioethics matters. These reasons are deeply interrelated, yet also stand alone. Continue reading