Survey Of Bioethical Issues

Issues of Life and Death, by Norman Anderson (InterVarsity, 1977, 130 pp., $2.95 pb), is reviewed by Robert A. Case, II, Yakima, Washington.

In 1969 Spitzer and Saylor published a collection of articles entitled Birth Control and the Christian (Tyndale) in an attempt to focus evangelical attention on that particular area of ethics. Although that collection served as an instigator of evangelical opinion in bioethics, it has several current weaknesses for today’s reader. Most importantly, it was pre-Roe v. Wade (U.S. Supreme Court abortion decision in 1973), a fact that now makes some of the contributions less than relevant. Also, since it was evangelicalism’s first broad attempt to cover an area in bioethics, several of the articles were not up to high standards of scholarship.

All this is simply to say that there is no one book that evangelicals can use to help guide their thinking in the area of bioethics. Norman Anderson has attempted to fill that void with his latest, Issues of Life and Death. This outstanding British legal scholar has given us such fine works as Morality, Law and Grace; Christianity and Comparative Religion; and Christianity: The Witness of History. His little booklet, “The Evidence for the Resurrection.” is one of the prime tools used in college evangelism in Britain.

Anderson has now turned his weighty capabilities to bioethics in a one-volume survey covering the full gamut of human life—inception of life to prolongation of life to termination of life. As he moves along these stages (in a series of lectures) he touches upon such diverse subjects as artificial insemination, genetic engineering, birth control, sterilization, abortion, when and under what circumstances is a human ...

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