April 1996
volume 8 (1)

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Editorial: The Problem of Theological Illiteracy

Denis Alexander
Pages: 2-2


Ethical Issues in the Application of Medical Technology to Paediatric Intensive Care: Two Views of the Newborn

John S. Wyatt
Pages: 3-20


Recent advances in medical technology have led to a marked improvement in the chances of survival of sick or preterm infants, thereby stimulating renewed ethical debate on the status of the newborn. Two contradictory attitudes to the medical care of preterm or congenitally malformed newborn infants can be discerned in our pluralistic society. The two attitudes have their historical roots in the classical Graeco-Roman and Judaeo-Christian ethical traditions respectively. The former views newborn infants as of potential value only whereas the latter emphasises the intrinsic worth and dignity of the individual made in God’s image. Recent secular philosophical reflection has provided a rationale for infanticide of the sick or abnormal newborn. A Christian approach to the care of the newborn prohibits intentional killing yet may encompass the withdrawal of treatment that is inappropriate or unduly burdensome. Medical care should be based upon respect for the value of the individual, protection of the defenceless from abuse or exploitation, and wise stewardship of limited health-care resources.


Basil, Augustine, and the Doctrine of Creation’s Functional Integrity

Howard J. Van Till
Pages: 21-38


Contemporary scientific theorising regarding the formative history of the universe (including its multifarious forms of life) presumes that the developmental economy of the physical world is gapless—that is, that material systems lack none of the form-producing capacities needed to actualize, in the course of time, all of the physical structures and biotic forms that have ever appeared. Hence, divine acts of special creation in time, although not proscribed, are not incorporated into scientific theories regarding the world’s formative history. Some Christian critics of modern science have argued that this approach, by its appearing to transfer the agency of creative action from God to matter itself, constitutes an abandonment of the historic Christian doctrine of creation and an apologetic capitulation to philosophical Naturalism. In this paper we will examine this verdict in the light of works by St. Basil and St. Augustine and find it to be contrary to early Christian thought regarding the character of the created world. These patristic writers re-focus our attention on what may be called ‘the doctrine of Creation’s functional integrity’.


Transgenesis in Animal Systems: A View from Within

David I. de Pomerai
Pages: 39-60


The introduction of ‘foreign’ or altered genes into animals arouses both scientific and public concern. So too does any extension of this practice to human beings at the somatic (tissue) level, let alone interference in the human germ-line (genetic material passed on to future generations). The range of possible genetic modifications, both those in progress and those likely in the near future, is so vast as to make a uniform Christian response untenable. As with other technologies, there are both laudable and dubious uses for genetic engineering in animal systems; it is neither an unmixed blessing nor an unmitigated curse. It is argued that Christians should engage with these issues on a case-by-case basis, giving due weight to the possible risks and concomitant suffering for the animals used, but basing our ultimate approval or disapproval on the congruence of means and aims with those evinced by Jesus in his ministry of healing, teaching and reconciliation.




Dr Stephen Lloyd
Pages: 61-62


Michael Poole replies

Michael Poole
Pages: 62-63



Dr T. J. Reddish
Pages: 63-64


Book reviews

View book reviews

Doing away with God? Creation and the Big Bang

Russell Stannard (Lawrence Osborn)
Pages: 65-66

David Bohm’s World–New Physics and New Religion

Kevin J. Sharpe (Euan Squires)
Pages: 66-67

Technology at the Crossroads: The Story of the Society, Religion and Technology Project

Ronald Ferguson (Steve Bishop)
Pages: 67-67

The Human Genome Project: Deciphering the Blueprint of Heredity

Necia Grant Cooper (Ed) (J. A. Bryant)
Pages: 68-69

The Life and Death of Charles Darwin

L. R. Croft (V. Paul Marston)
Pages: 69-71

Bright Air, Brilliant Fire: On the Matter of the Mind

Gerald M. Edelman (D. A. Booth)
Pages: 71-72

The Biblical Flood

Davis A. Young (Stephen Walley)
Pages: 72-74

Is God a Virus? Genes, Culture and Religion (The Gresham Lectures, 1992-3)

John Bowker (D. R. Alexander)
Pages: 74-78

The Collapse of Chaos

Jack Cohen and Ian Stewart (G. A. D. Briggs)
Pages: 78-79

How Things Are–A Science Tool-kit for the Mind

John Brockman & Katinka Matson (Eds) (K. Freeman)
Pages: 79-80

The Search for God–Can Science Help?

John Houghton (Brian Ford)
Pages: 80-81

The Left Hand of Creation: The Origin and Evolution of the Expanding Universe

John D. Barrow and Joseph Silk (Robert Boyd)
Pages: 81-81

About Time: Einstein’s Unfinished Revolution

Paul Davies (John Polkinghorne)
Pages: 82-82

The Question Is . . . ?

Russell Stannard (John Bausor)
Pages: 82-84

Heisenberg’s War: The Secret History of the German Bomb

Thomas Powers (John Polkinghorne)
Pages: 84-84

The Quark and the Jaguar

Murray Gell-Mann (E. J. Squires)
Pages: 84-86

Seven Experiments That Could Change the World: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Revolutionary Science

Rupert Sheldrake (Lawrence Osborn)
Pages: 86-87

The Runaway Brain

C. Wills (Alun Morinan)
Pages: 87-89

Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation and other Evolutionary Writings

Robert Chambers (Ed J. Secord) (M. B. Roberts)
Pages: 89-89

The Impact of Evolutionary Theory; A Christian View

Russell Maatman (M. B. Roberts)
Pages: 90-91

Ever Since Darwin

Stephen Jay Gould (William K. Kay)
Pages: 91-92

A Passion for Plants: from the rainforests of Brazil to Kew Gardens

Clive Langmead (F. Nigel Hepper)
Pages: 92-93

Ethics, Religion and Biodiversity

L. S. Hamilton (ed.) (Peter D. Moore)
Pages: 93-95

Evolution Extended: Biological Debates on the Meaning of Life

Connie Barlow (ed.) (Oliver Barclay)
Pages: 96-96

The Periodic Kingdom

Peter Atkins (A.B. Robins)
Pages: 96-96

Nature’s Numbers

Ian Stewart (A.B. Robins)
Pages: 96-96