This special edition of Triple Helix comes to you as part of CMF's contribution to the British Medical Association's Millennium Festival of Medicine; under the twin theme 'Celebrating the Past - Shaping the Future'.
There would, of course, be no millennium festival without Jesus Christ. Christian doctors motivated by his teaching and example have been profoundly influential in shaping healthcare's history. You may be surprised, as I was, to learn just how many of medicine's pioneers were men and women of faith: Pare, Pasteur, Lister, Paget, Barnado, Jenner, Simpson, Sydenham, Osler, Skudder, Livingstone and many more. In the pages that follow we celebrate their unique contributions in a fast-moving historical survey and in personal cameos.
Christians remain active in all fields of medicine today but particularly in AIDS care and education, drug rehabilitation, child health, palliative care, relief of poverty and in service to the developing world. In four articles by Christian specialists at the cutting edge we focus on ophthalmology, the world's children, global priorities and the genetic and information technology revolutions.
Jesus Christ's dynamic entry into first century Palestine was marked by miraculous healing of many illnesses for which even today there are no known treatments. But along with his compassion to restore health he brought a message of healing of broken relationships - between human beings, between human beings and the planet and most crucially between human beings and God.
In his historical account of those events, Luke, probably the first ever Christian physician, tells us that Jesus sent his followers out 'to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick'(Luke 9:2). He is still sending them out today - to attend to the spiritual and physical needs of a suffering world.