Science and Technology

Limits to Medicine: Medical Nemesis, The Expropriation of Health

“The medical establishment has become a major threat to health.” This is the opening statement and basic contention of Ivan Illich’s searing social critique. In Limits to Medicine Ivan Illich has enlarged on this theme of disabling social services, schools, and transport, which have become, through over-industrialization, harmful to man. In this radical contribution to […]

Bioethics: A Primer for Christians

Gilbert Meilaender Now in its third edition, Meilaender’s Bioethics covers abortion, assisted reproduction, genetic research, suicide and euthanasia, human experimentation and much more in language that is theologically informed, straightforward, and clear. A perfect resource for those investigating these issues. From the Publisher. Get this book.

Prophets of the Posthuman: American Fiction, Biotechnology, and the Ethics of Personhood

Christina Bieber Lake Prophets of the Posthuman provides a fresh and original reading of fictional narratives that raise the question of what it means to be human in the face of rapidly developing bioenhancement technologies. Christina Bieber Lake argues that works by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Walker Percy, Flannery O’Connor, Toni Morrison, George Saunders, Marilynne Robinson, Raymond […]

Proper Confidence: Faith, Doubt, and Certainty in Christian Discipleship

Leslie Newbigin A longtime missionary to India returns to the UK to realize that a bigger missionary challenge lies in the modern West. Newbigin gives a historical account of the roots of the conflict between Christian “liberals” and “fundamentalists,” paving the way for confident affirmation of the gospel as public truth in a pluralistic world. […]

The Top 5 Lists in Primary Care

The Good Stewardship Working Group In pursuit of better stewardship of scarce medical resources, this piece review recommendations by expert panels and research base for changing prevailing practice patterns in five specific areas of primary care, like imaging for low back pain and using antibiotics for sinusitis. A big part of the learning curve in […]

Principles of Conservative Prescribing

Gordon D. Schiff et al. This short piece highlights common-sense, evidence-supported principles that go against the grain of a medicalized, over-technical approach to healing. Useful for all patient populations, but especially among the poor. From Ed. Read on the JAMA website.

Powers, Weakness, and the Tabernacling of God

Marva J. Dawn Dawn summarizes the church’s teaching about principalities and powers, expanding our understanding of their modern structural equivalents and exhorting us to tame them by embracing our weakness and trusting in the Spirit’s greater power. From Ed. Get this book.


Mary Shelly Shelly’s classic novel brings up several important questions: Is ability the only thing that should limit human exploration and creation? What happens when we cease to control our creations and they begin to control us? What are the costs of human hubris? From Ed. Get this book on Amazon or for free on Project […]

John Rock’s Error

Malcolm Gladwell This article in The New Yorker explores the history of the Pill, while delving into John Rock – its inventor’s – deeply held religious beliefs. It leads us to ask questions about what “normal” is and the muddled world of science. From Ed. John Rock was christened in 1890 at the Church of the […]

The Birth-Mark

Nathaniel Hawthorne “The Birth-Mark” is a story of a great scientist who applies his vast knowledge to removing a birthmark from the face of his otherwise perfect wife. The scientist succeeds, but leaves his wife dead. The tale of this disastrous assault on “the visible mark of earthly imperfection” explores the troubled relationship between the […]

The Biology of Healing: Neuroscience and the Education of Healers

Eve Henry In this fascinating book chapter Henry summarizes for lay people the complex neurobiology of the placebo response, suggesting that we rename it instead as “the healing response.” This is not reductionism, however, because the “healing response” is only a subcategory of the larger category of “healing,” which is still largely mysterious. A helpful […]

The Veldt

Ray Bradbury This short story explores what might happen in an environment where parents give up the education of their children to technology (which is what’s increasingly happening today). But Bradbury’s points about technology are much broader than just within the context of parent-child relationships, and can certainly apply to the field of medicine. From Ed. […]

Health is Membership

Wendell Berry Berry is a poet, essayist, novelist, and farmer from Kentucky. After reading work like this, you will realize that he is also something of a prophet. Wonderfully helpful for thinking about the meaning of health. From Ed. Delivered as a speech at a conference, “Spirituality and Healing”, at Louisville, Kentucky, on October 17, 1994 […]

The Mystery of the Child (Religion, Marriage, and Family)

Martin E. Marty Drawing on literature as new as contemporary poetry and as old as the Bible, The Mystery of the Child encourages the thoughtful enjoyment of children instead of the imposition of adult will and control. Indeed, Marty treats the impulse to control as a problem and highlights qualities associated with children — responsiveness, […]

Brave New World

Aldous Huxley Huxley’s renowned novel examines what happens to a society of endless plenty where human desires are endlessly indulged. The thoughtful picture that he paints is far more disturbing than one might think at first glance. From Ed. Get this book.

The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief (Book)

Francis S. Collins The personal testimony of the physician-director of the NIH and former leader of the Human Genome Project, detailing his own understanding of the harmony between science and Christian belief. From Ed. Does science necessarily undermine faith in God? Or could it actually support faith? Beyond the flashpoint debates over the teaching of […]

Life is a Miracle: An Essay Against Modern Superstition

[A] scathing assessment…Berry shows that Wilson’s much-celebrated, controversial pleas in Consilience to unify all branches of knowledge is nothing more than a fatuous subordination of religion, art, and everything else that is good to science…Berry is one of the most perceptive critics of American society writing today.-Lauren F. Winner, Washington Post Book World. I am […]