Today at the apologetics conference at Pantego Christian Academy (where we had J. Warner Wallace, Justin Bass, Kevin Harris, Bruno Molina, Steve Lee, Sam Dallas, Noah Mitchell, and then my wife Hillary and I; the conference went well. Thank you to everyone who came). . . I spoke on Medical Ethics and wanted to share with you a few ideas that came up:
1) Modern Medicine is fundamentally incomplete
Medicine is “the science and art dealing with the maintenance of health and the prevention, alleviation, or cure of disease.” (Merriam-Webster, “Medical Definition,” 2015 ed.). But the modern form of medicine is fundamentally incomplete because the deepest most foundational disease that man faces is not physical. It’s not a bacteria, or virus, or any sort of germ. It’s not cancer or heart disease, or cancer. The core of man’s problem is sin. We are sinners and we stand condemned, wrong with God our loving father and righteous judge. A great deal of our health problems flow out of that core problem.
2) Christians can complete medicine taking the art and science of healing to the root problem.
Christians have all the more reason to enter the medical field as a result of #1. Christians can go back to the root of man’s problems, to our sin sickness, and address man as a human being instead of a mere machine or mere animal. We are born in sin, sin throughout our lives, and apart from Christ we will die in our sins. And that means our ideal health is never reached since we are perpetually skewed from the kind of healthy (i.e., holiness) God has for us. Remember health refers to the well-being of people in terms of whatever it is people are supposed to be/do/feel/think. If we don’t know what we are supposed to be, why we are put on this earth, what we’re supposed to do, we are only more likely to miss that mark. We may have physical health maybe–and modern medicine can address that. But to address our spiritual, emotional, psychological, and otherwise wholistic sicknesses we need to be able to address the foundational sin-problem that haunts us all.
3) Christians have great reason to do great medicine anyway.
Christians can offer principled, grounded justifications for their ethical principles–i.e., God and His laws give an unwaving and personal truth-maker for all our moral facts. But with atheistic naturalism, for example, any would-be ethics are overruled by arbitary evolutionary outcomes; but evolution could have made it so that rape or cannibalism are “good.” Evolution has no “goals” and has no preference for “valuable” things. Evolution is value-neutral, and goal-less, mindless, and altogether amoral. Christians however have positive motivation to do good medicine–“love your neighbor as yourself.” We have negative motivation to do good medicine–“what you did not do unto the least of these you did not do unto Me [Jesus].” We have a meaningful context lending depth of significance to medicine–we emulate Christ, the healer, participating in his broadly redemptive ministry among men. And we have a stewardship context, where we wield technology, skill, compassion, and care because we answer to God for how we used our resources, and we are to cultivate and grow what God has entrusted to us.