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Reading the Bible in the Strange World of Medicine
POD; Published: 12/11/2003
ISBN: 978-0-8028-2263-5
Price: $ 39.50
421 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6.14 x 9.21
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Author of such major books as Remembering Jesus: Christian Community, Scripture, and the Moral Life, Allen Verhey has become one of today's most trusted Christian voices in contemporary ethics, including the moral challenges that new medical technologies pose to Christian faith and decision-making.

With this new book Verhey brings the biblical tradition to bear on contemporary bioethical concerns. Drawing on an unmatched depth of insight in these two realms, Verhey explores how the Bible can illuminate and guide medical ethics. He argues that churches are called to think and speak clearly about bioethical concerns, and he lays out here the scriptural tools for them to do so. After firmly grounding Christian ethical discourse in Scripture, Verhey shows how the Bible can be applied to such pressing questions as suffering, genetic intervention, abortion, reproductive technologies, end-of-life care, physician-assisted suicide, and more.

Filled with faith-based wisdom and apt illustrations of the moral dilemmas discussed, this book is a must-read for Christians grappling with the ethical dimensions of medicine today.

Gerald McKenny
"These finely crafted, richly insightful essays may be the strongest sign yet that robust theological thinking is once again alive in biomedical ethics. Allen Verhey's deep engagement with biblical scholarship, clinical medicine, health policy, literature, and theology makes this book as delightful to read as it is illuminating. Aimed equally at scholars, students, and practitioners, Reading the Bible in the Strange World of Medicine should be read by everyone, lay and professional, who cares about the significance of Christian theology for health care."
Ron Hamel
"With his usual clarity, precision, superb scholarship, keen wisdom, and eloquence, Allen Verhey carefully demonstrates in this volume how Scripture can form and inform a Christian bioethics. Not only do his essays convincingly bridge the gap between Scripture and the 'strange world of medicine,' but they do so in a manner that is truly inspiring because they are born out of a love and a passion for 'the story Christians love to tell and long to live.' Anyone interested in the relevance of Scripture to a wide range of bioethical issues confronting medicine and society would do well to read this volume meditatively. "
Andrew Lustig
"In this book Allen Verhey reconfirms his standing as today's foremost expositor of the ways that a nuanced reading of Scripture can both inform and reform the moral minimalism of recent secular bioethics. Verhey analyzes a wide range of topics, including genetic interventions, abortion, assisted reproductive technologies, end-of-life decisions, assisted suicide, and health-care allocation in an era of fiscal scarcity. He rejects simplistic readings of either Scripture or these difficult issues and instead explores, with a rich blend of insight, analysis, and exhortation, how attending to Scripture can challenge the 'strange' ethos of modern medicine — a medicine that focuses on procedures for informed consent rather than the substance of what is chosen, that reinforces an unbiblical dualism between our power to choose and the conditions of our embodiment, and that distorts the virtue of compassion by reducing patients to their pathologies. Throughout his discussion Verhey emphasizes the need for the church to be a community of memory, deliberation, and moral discernment. The excellence of this book prompts my deep sense of gratitude to its author for his faithfulness to Christian scholarship as a vocation."
L. Gregory Jones
"Allen Verhey is one of our most trusted guides for following the Great Physician in the midst of contemporary medicine. In this wonderful, insightful book he draws on a lifetime of wise and faithful reflection on Scripture and medical ethics. Verhey doesn't settle for cheap victories or polarizing positions; he invites us to think more deeply, with him and with Scripture, about profoundly difficult issues. The result is a significant affirmation of the redemptive, healing, life-giving power of the gospel. "
"Verhey's scholarship is impeccable, and his voice is eloquent. . . This book is worthy of close attention."
The Christian Century
"A careful and gifted reader of the Bible, Verhey offers his own wrestling with contested moral questions in medicine as a contribution to the community practice of discernment. . . Scholars . . . will be amply rewarded by his insights. Nonspecialists will find it an accessible and engaging introduction to Christian medical ethics."