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triple helix: spring 2016

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Serving in Babylon

Being engaged but morally distinctive We are now living in a post- Christian society and working in a post-Christian health service. But how are we to live in such a context? It's precisely for this kind of situation that the story of the prophet Daniel is so instructive. When Jerusalem fell...

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Days of our lives

When celebrity culture imparts wisdom Soap operas can be an obsession. But alongside celebrity gossip they serve a function that morality plays occupied in earlier times. In morality plays characters wrestled with complex choices: between good and evil, right and wrong, the ways of life versus those of death. In popular...

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Northern Ireland votes on abortion

Recognising that hard cases make bad law In February, Northern Ireland Assembly Members debated some highly controversial and emotive amendments to a Justice Bill: amendments to allow for abortion for fatal fetal abnormality, rape and incest. Unlike the rest of the UK, the Abortion Act 1967 does not extend to Northern Ireland....

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Ebola: The epidemic that won't go away

New cases and stigmatised survivors Regular reports in the autumn and early New Year claimed that West Africa was finally Ebola free after nearly three years, only for another case to crop up within days. (1) Now it seems that earlier fears that survivors may be prone to relapsing illness turn out to be well founded. Research presented at...

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Zika and pro-abortion activism

The rush to promote abortion as a response to Zika invites serious questions The post-Christian West is fond of believing itself to be a harbinger of moral progress and human betterment. But does this stand the reality test? We have recently seen a plethora of media reports reflecting the eye-watering opportunism...

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Doing a spiritual appraisal

Paul Johnson explains the process and the benefits of spiritual appraisal. key points We are used to appraisals in the workplace. So why not consider building in a pattern of spiritual appraisal? It helps to set a regular date, like a birthday, anniversary or start of the year and to clear...

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DNA editing in embryos

Peter Saunders analyses another case of smoke and mirrors. key points The UK wants to go it alone with DNA editing in embryos (germline gene editing). The process has come in for huge criticism internationally. Genetic abnormalities which result in implantation failure (either in IVF or naturally) or miscarriage...

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Ultrasound in crisis pregnancy

Chris Richards reflects on how scans point to the reality of life in the womb key points Women in early pregnancy often have little understanding of the life they are carrying in the womb. Often relatives and health professionals re-inforce the idea that this is not a 'real'...

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Christian medics in a digital world

Adrian Warnock assesses the opportunities for using social media. key points This is an age of unprecedented technological and social change. It presents Christians with enormous opportunities to share the gospel, but there are traps for the unwary. The Bible has an abundance of wisdom on how to approach the...

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Medicines and prayer

David Curnock shares spiritual lessons learned at home and abroad. key points Gospel stories of Jesus the healer contain important lessons for us. Prayer was a prerequisite for Jesus in his healing ministry. International links can open up satisfying opportunities for teaching and learning. As a medical student I went on...

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Serving and flourishing in church life

Alice Gerth reflects on opportunities church life offers junior doctors. key points Starting as a Junior Doctor presents unique challenges. An F1 can offer a lot to church life, but of necessity it will be different from what ‘regulars’ do. There are great opportunities for ministry among students....

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Leprosy revisited

Ruth Butlin reviews the challenges involved in fighting leprosy today. key points Because leprosy progresses very slowly there is a paucity of data. Individuals often prematurely give up treatment and health professionals are often tempted to move on to seemingly more pressing issues. Although leprosy may be an 'idle' disease...

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The plausibility problem

The church and same-sex attraction Ed Shaw IVP, 2015, £8.99 Pb 160, ISBN 9781783592067 Reviewed by Andrew Sims, emeritus professor of psychiatry, University of Leeds A biblically-based, and very personal, account of how a celibate same-sex attracted Christian works out how to lead his life, accepting that God has his...

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Do no harm

Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery Henry Thomas Marsh Orion Books, 2014, £8.99 Pb 278pp, ISBN 9781780225920 Reviewed by B Anthony Bell, emeritus professor of neurosurgery Most of the 25 chapters are dramatised case reports of patients treated in a south...

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Rich in years

Finding peace and purpose in a long life Johann Christoph Arnold Plough Publishing, 2013 £8.00 Pb 161pp, ISBN 9780874868982 Reviewed by Mark Cheesman, retired consultant geriatrician This is a good book. It's written from both heart and head, and pastorally explores growing older and dying. It's far from...

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Care for the dying

A practical & pastoral guide Sioned Evans & Andrew Davison Westcott Foundation/Canterbury Press, 2014. £16.99, Pb 166pp, ISBN 9781848254701 Reviewed by Andrew Fergusson, retired GP & Patron of hospice 23 Palliative care is now arguably a victim of its own success: over-medicalised and in danger of losing its commitment...

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The healing tradition of the New Testament

Douglas Ellory Pett Lutterworth Press, 2015, £19.00 Pb 194pp, ISBN 9780718893873 Reviewed by Russ Parker, Acorn Healing Trust This is essentially a work of scholarship focusing on a Form Critical approach to the New Testament. At its heart lies the conviction that the original and authentic Gospel message is...

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What makes us human?

And other questions about God, Jesus and human identity Mark Meynell The Good Book Company, 2015, £3.99 Pb 96pp, ISBN 9781909919051 Reviewed by Julian Churcher, CMF London Staffworker The writer describes humanity in various roles such as thinker, worker, and animal, then demonstrates how inadequate is any self-referential approach, before...

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Growing up God's way (for boys)

Chris Richards and Liz Jones Evangelical Press, 2014, £7.99 Pb 76pp, ISBN 9780852349991 Reviewed by Pippa Peppiatt, CMF Nurses' Student Staffworker This is a short book, very accessible and well illustrated. It explains puberty, marriage and sex all from the perspective of being wonderfully created by God. I read...

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Finishing line

John Wyatt Care and Keswick Resources, 2015, Leader's pack & DVD £22.02, Study booklets 10 for £16.65, Pb 54pp, ISBN 9780905195209 Reviewed by Kathy Myers, emeritus consultant in palliative medicine Talking about death and dying remains a hard thing for many people, including Christians, to do. Finishing Line comprises...

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Eutychus

A better story Abortion on grounds of disability? Praise for one TV personality who having lived through the real-life anguish of having a disabled child, has publicly rejected abortion as an option in that situation. Katie Price became a mum at 23. She revealed on the ITV 'Loose Women' programme...

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Final thought

Radical heart surgery 'And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.' (1) It was an unusual clinic letter from the prosthetics...

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