Bonhoeffer uses a similar phrase 'worldly Christianity'. It's J Gresham Machen that I want to line up most closely with. See his Christianity and culture here. Having done commentaries on Proverbs (Heavenly Wisdom) and Song of Songs (Heavenly Love), a matching title for Ecclesiastes would be Heavenly Worldliness. For my stance on worldliness, see 3 posts here.

Affinity 2013 Paper 6

The snow has begun to fall and so we are going to finish our conference here in High Leigh slightly early by dropping the final plenary session and ending with the presentation of the last paper. Once again the written paper was summarised and we then went to our groups to discuss before coming together again for a plenary session.
This was the most controversial of the papers, pleading as it did for a new approach to the subject of abortion.

The New Bioethical Wine in the Old Moral Wineskins?

Exploring the Issues When Human Life Begins:

Dr Leonardo De Chirico, Istituto di Formazione Evangelica e Documentazione


1. A polarized field
2. The Dead-Ends of Biolatry and Egolatry
ie the pro-life absolutising of the sacredness of an aspect of life life and the pro-choice absolutising of the individual and his or her choice
3. The shortcomings of evangelical bioethics
4. The anthropology of the womb
Arguing that the beginnings of life are always linked with the womb in Scripture
5. The beginning of life of the first and last Adam
6. The bioethical implications of being created in the image of God
7. A relational bioethics of the beginning of life


1) What are the strengths and weaknesses of the pro-life position?
2) What are the strengths and weaknesses of the pro-choice position?
3) How can life become an idol in the biblical sense? Find examples.
4) How can individual choice can become an idol in the biblical sense? Find examples.
5) What does Psalm 139 say about the beginning of life? What does it not say?
6) What does the typology of the first and last Adam say about the beginning of life?
7) In what sense the ‘relational’ aspect of the Trinity has a bearing on the bioethics of the beginning of life?
8) What can be done in society in order to overcome the polarized debate between pro-life and pro-choice?


Martin Biddiscombe said...

Actually, I don't think it was pleading for a new approach to the subject of abortion, but rather how we address the question of when life begins, and, in particular does "biological life" of an embryo imply that it is necessarily yet "human life". Then, what are the implications of that are for issues such as IVF & research using embryos.

The reference to abortion in the paper highlighted the way that the abortion debate has polarised opinion: pro-life & pro-choice. The pro-life position tends either to elevate the importance of "biological life", even if it isn't yet "human life", or to assume that biological life always is human life. On the other hand, the pro-choice position elevates the mother's "right to choose" above all else.

As Evangelicals, we readily see the error of the pro-choice position. But in his paper, De Chirico challenges us to look again at whether the Bible teaches that human, as opposed to simply biological, life begins at the moment of fertilisation.

Anonymous said...

When did tge Son of God become the Christ? His humility began at conception. Doesn't Luke chapter 1 teach this? It seems from the tenses and reactions even of John in the womb that this is the case.