Life Unworthy of Life: On the Relationship Between Eugenics and Down Syndrom Abortion

This was a rough draft of a final project due for my sociology class. In it I try to demonstrate the relationship between eugenics and Down syndrome abortion, the moral problem that it presents, and a Christian response.

What if human life could be genetically improved? Imagine a world that is free of disease, disability, poverty, prostitution, and crime. Would not such a world be a utopia? It even sounds a lot like what Christians describe as heaven. How could science help? What would it look like? These are the questions that eugenicists were asking at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries and are still pertinent to us today. In this paper we will look at the history of the eugenics movement and its unfortunate consequences in support of the thesis that the purposes and outcomes of current-day prenatal screening for Down syndrome parallel important facets of eugenic thinking, and that the issue of abortion is central to the debate as it is being used as a eugenic tool. At the end I will attempt to give a Christian response.

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IVP Dictionary on the Trinity

From The New Dictionary of Theology edited by David F. Wright, Sinclair B. Ferguson and J.I. Packer (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000, c1988.), 693. The article is by Gerald L. Bray.

Western Trinitarianism was matched by its Eastern rival, which is associated with the name of Origen. Working quite independently of Tertullian, Origen developed a doctrine of the three hypostaseis of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, which were revealed to share the same divine ousia (essence). Origen arranged these in hierarchical order, with the Father as God-in-himself (autotheos), the Son as his exact image, and the Holy Spirit as the image of the Son. He insisted that this order existed in eternity, so that there could be no question of saying that there had been a time when the Son had not existed. But he also maintained that the Son had always been subordinated to the Father in the celestial hierarchy.

This view was later questioned by Arius, who argued that a subordinate being could not be co-eternal with the Father, since coeternity would imply equality. He was countered by Athanasius and others who replied that the Son was indeed co-eternal with the Father, but not subordinate to him, except in the context of the incarnation. Classical Trinitarianism developed in earnest after the Council of Nicaea (325). There it had been stated that the Son was consubstantial (homoousios) with the Father, but soon afterwards this key term and the doctrine it embodied were widely rejected in favour of compromise formulae, such as homoiousios, ‘of a similar substance’. Athanasius, almost alone in the East, but after 339 with the support of the West, battled for an understanding (reflected in homoousios as he read it) which would make the Son numerically identical with the Father. The Son was not to be regarded as a part of God, nor was he a second deity; he was simply God himself, in whom the fullness of divinity dwelt (Col. 2:8) and in whom the Father himself was to be seen (Jn. 14:9). Eventually his viewpoint was secured, but not before controversy had broken out over the Holy Spirit.

(bold is mine)

Looks like Athanasius is to egalitarians as Origen is to complementarians in their understandings of the Trinity. Thank God for the work of Athanasius and the establishment of his creed.

And in this Trinity none is afore or after Other, None is greater or less than Another, but the whole Three Persons are Co-eternal together

Equality within the Trinity is hardly a feminist idea. It is pure orthodoxy.