Christian Bioethics | CMDA Product Resource

Ethics | Bioethics | IVF | Reproductive | Embryonic Stem Cell Research | Cloning | C. Ben Mitchell | D. Joy Riley
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Christian Bioethics


A Guide for Pastors, Healthcare Professionals, and Families


Living in an era of highly technical medicine is comforting and sometimes confusing. How should Christians make life and death decisions? How do we move from an ancient text like the Bible to twenty-first-century questions about organ transplantation, stem-cell research, and human cloning?  What kind of care do we owe one another at the end of life?  Is euthanasia a Christian option?

Using a dialogue format, an ethicist and physician talk about how to think about thorny ethical issues. Combining their backgrounds in medicine and theology, they deal with real-life moral questions in an accessible way. C. Ben Mitchell and D. Joy Riley let readers eavesdrop on their conversation about the training of doctors, the interpretation of the Bible, and controversial issues like abortion, assisted-suicide, genetic engineering, and in vitro fertilization.

The book examines these topics under three general headings: the taking of life, the making of life, and the faking of life. Christian Bioethics is a guidebook for pastors, health care professionals and families―anyone facing difficult decisions about health care.

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C. Ben Mitchell, PhD, & D. Joy Riley, MD

Ben Mitchell is the Graves Chair of moral philosophy at Union University. He is also editor of Ethics & Medicine: An International Journal of Bioethics and serves as a Research Fellow with the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the SBC. Prior to joining the Union faculty, he taught ethics, including bioethics and contemporary culture for a decade at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, where he was also director of the Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity from 2006-2008. He taught at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary from 1997-1999.

He received his doctorate in philosophy with a concentration in medical ethics (with honors) from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. His program included a year-long clinical residency at the University of Tennessee Medical Center at Knoxville, Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville, and a summer-long residency at the East Tennessee Mental Health Institute. He also received a Master of Divinity Degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas and a Bachelor of Science degree from Mississippi State University.

In addition to his academic work, Mitchell also consults on matters of public policy and has given testimonies before policymaking groups including the U. S. House of Representatives, the Institutes of Medicine, and the Illinois Senate. He has published in major news media, including the Washington Post and is interviewed regularly on radio and television, having appeared on National Public Radio, Fox News, MSNBC, and others.

Among other works, he is the author of Ethics and Moral Reasoning (Crossway, 2013) and a co-authored volume, with D. Joy Riley, MD, Christian Bioethics: A Guide for Pastors, Health Care Professionals, and Families (B&H, 2014).

D. Joy Riley, M.D., is Executive Director of the Tennessee Center for Bioethics & Culture and has published multiple works on bioethical topics.

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What Others are Saying About | Christian Bioethics

Five Stars

5 5 1
Awesome book, useful to those who are concerned about Christian bioethics. Highly recommend.

Helpful Overview of Bioethic Issues

4 5 1
It seems that there is a never-ending barrage of ethical questions coming at pastors, health care workers, and families. Some may wonder where to turn for answers for some of the most difficult ethical issues. C. Ben Mitchell and D. Joy Riley, an ethicist/professor and an ethicist/doctor help Christians to understand how to make life and death decisions in an effective way in Christian Bioethics (B&H). The questions that surrounded us even 50 years ago, are different and more complicated than those we face today. Having an up-to-date help in addressing these issues, in what looks like an excellent series (B&H Studies in Christian Ethics), these two authors serve as able guides. The authors begin by addressing issues of Christian bioethics in a general way. Particularly helpful is their second chapter where they show the necessity of understanding the Bible as our foundational guide for ethical decisions and show how it speaks to issues of today. Part 2, looks at issues of death, particularly abortion and human dignity and dying. Both are hot-button topics in our 24 hour news cycle and important for Christians to have solid answers on. Part 3 looks at issues of life, with regards to infertility and reproductive technology, organ donation and transplantation, and cloning and human-animal hybrids. Some of the issues hit close to home for many people, including Christians, and it is important for us to understand these issues. Part 4 considers issues of remaking life, including issues of aging and life-extension and how to preserve our humanity in the midst of our ever-growing biotech world. How we should treat our elderly, and what fundamentally it means to be human are important questions for all of us. The book is not completely comprehensive, and there are areas of discussion that could be explored further. There are broader topic books on Christian ethics (not just bioethics) that would be helpful supplements on this volume. Mitchell and Riley helpfully offer resources on all of these issues for further reading. The style (where each author is represented in each chapter) could come off a little disjointed to developing a coherent whole thought on each issue, but it is helpful to see both author’s perspectives. Yet, when it comes to some of these profound issues facing both Christians and non-Christians alike, Mitchell and Riley helpfully address them from a biblical standpoint. Not every reader will agree with everything here, but they will have to work through Mitchell and Riley’s understanding of both Scripture and the times we live in. When it comes to anyone dealing with these bioethic issues today (which frankly is most likely all of us), I would consider Mitchell and Riley’s Christian Bioethics to be a helpful guide in the great morass of issues facing us. They provide a compassionate and caring understanding that issues we are going through, or people we know are going through.

A Must Read

5 5 1
I was so impressed with this book. It is one I highly recommend to all to read.Living in an era of highly technical medicine is comforting and sometimes confusing. How should Christians make life and death decisions? This is an adult book well worth the read. In our day and age of cloning we really need to focus on the Bible and what is says about it. First it the author tells us the history of his new approach and then he quickly and clearly points us to the Bible for truths if we should do this. She shows us that we should never just trust science and medical resources with out the Bible. I was truly blessed by this book and will definitely recommend it to others.Overall, this is a clear concisely packaged exposition of what Bioethics is. Those interested in fighting against abortion will really be blessed by the chapter in this volume. I was deeply touched by one mothers sacrifice for her unborn baby,. she refused cancer treatment to her little one could live! This book is a refreshing and encouraging read This is a great book to read and understand, and small enough to finish in one or two days but very deep with a lot to ponder.This is an excellent and very helpful book.