Marriage & Divorce

Read Chapter 17 and answer the following questions thoroughly.  Due Thursday, 12/13/12.

1. Your opinion: Should couples stay together in a troubled marriage rather than divorce?  Why or why not?

2. Look up and read about no-fault divorce.  What is it?  Do you think government should allow couples to divorce for any reason, or only for certain reasons?  Explain.

3. What impact does divorce have on society?  How does divorce impact children?  Research and discuss any relevant statistics or studies.

4. What are the current marriage and divorce trends (e.g., average age at marriage, number of marriages, divorce rate, etc.)?  How do these numbers compare to 10 years ago?  …50 years ago?  List any relevant statistics that you find.

5.  Read Matthew 19:3-12.  Do you think that those people who have been divorced should be able to remarry in church?  Explain.

War & Peace

Due Thursday, December 6.

Read Chapter 25 of Love Your Neighbor.

1. Which approach to war from this chapter do you think is the most biblical?  List reasons from the reading.  Feel free to add other reasons from the Bible or other sources.

2. Read Did Jesus teach pacifism? by Dr. John Piper.  How should believers reconcile the words of Jesus to love enemies and turn the other cheek with the commands of God in the Old Testament for Israel to go to war against Canaan?

3. Use the principles of “Just War Theory” (summarized on pp. 152-53, or look up online) to evaluate a recent or historical war of your choice.  Discuss the legitimacy of that conflict in light of these principles.  In what ways were Just War Theory principles kept or violated?  (200-300 words)

Bioethics

Pick one of the six Pro/Con Issues listed below and prepare a presentation (using Prezi, PowerPoint, or other).  You should clearly summarize the issue and explain your position, presenting relevant facts and expert opinions.  After selecting one of the links below, click “At Issue” on the left and read the overview.  The “Critical Thinking & Analysis” questions at the bottom will give you a great starting point for your research.  You may want to focus your presentation on one or more of these questions.  Due Monday (12/3).

Click and Clone
http://bit.ly/14GDzU

Ecological Issues – Chapter 18

Due Tuesday, November 20.

Read chapter 18, then answer the questions below.

1. “Not all Christians have accepted the responsibility which Scripture lays upon us; some have even used the Genesis story to excuse their irresponsibility.  Gavin Maxwell…once wrote how he lost two lovely otter cubs he had brought back from Nigeria: ‘A minister of the Church of Scotland, walking along the foreshore with a shotgun, found them at play by the tide’s edge and shot them.  One was killed outright, the other died of her wounds in the water.  The minister expressed regret, but reminded a journalist that “the Lord gave man control over the beasts of the field”‘” (John Stott, “Issues Facing Christians Today,” p. 151).

Using the seven principles Geisler outlines in chapter 18, write a response (200 words) to Christians like this minister, who believe Genesis 1 & 2 give man the right to do whatever he pleases.

Answer Discussion Questions 2 & 3.

4. What are three practical ways you can live out this call to care for God’s creation right now?

Euthanasia Scenarios

Instructions:

Read the following scenarios and post your answers to the bold questions.  (You may discuss the cases with a partner before posting if you would like.)  Explain the reasoning behind your answers in 100-200 words (Due Tuesday, 11/13).  As you analyze the case, consider how a biblical, pro-life ethic would view the various factors involved.  Also, discuss these questions:

  • Why did this person want to die?
  • What alternatives may have been available?

The following content is taken from RE:Quest (http://www.request.org.uk/issues/topics/euthanasia/euthanasia01.htm) and was written by Dr. Paul Lambert, MA, BM, BCh, MRCP, Specialist Registrar in Diabetes and Endocrinology, and his wife, Mrs. Rebecca Lambert, RGN, DipN, Practice Development Nurse.

Case 1
The case of Diane Pretty illustrates a problem of euthanasia in its truest sense. She was a 42 year old woman in the final stages of motor neurone disease (MND), a severely disabling, incurable and fatal condition. She wished to commit suicide, but was too disabled to do so. She wanted her husband to assist her in committing suicide, but the courts were unable to assure her that he would not be prosecuted for this. She took this decision to the Court of Appeal who upheld the original decision. She based her case principally on two types of assertion. The first was that if she continued in the course of her MND she would suffer from severe pain and disability and distressing symptoms, would undergo inhuman and degrading treatment, and would be compelled to endure her condition unrelieved. The second was that the blanket prohibition in English law on assisting someone to commit suicide was against the European Convention on Human Rights. She has subsequently died from her illness.

Do you think that Diane’s husband (or her doctor) should have been allowed to assist her to commit suicide?

Case 2
A second case is of a woman who had suffered severe spinal injuries in a fall and was paralysed from the neck down. The paralysis had also affected the muscles that allow her to breathe, and she required a ventilator to stay alive. This is very similar to the problem that affected Christopher Reeve, who played Superman in the Superman movies. The woman argued that her quality of life was so poor that she wished the ventilator to be turned off. The inevitable consequence of this would be her death. She took the case to Court and the judge remarked how clearly she had thought the issues through. The Court decided that it was within her rights to refuse medical treatment and her ventilator was indeed turned off.

Did the court make the correct decision in your opinion?

Case 3
A patient has cancer which has spread to a number of places in their body, and has failed to respond to treatment. The disease is now terminal and the patient has deteriorated and probably only has a matter of weeks to live. The cancer is causing a lot of pain and requires large doses of strong pain killing drugs to relieve the pain. The patient’s doctor is aware that the drugs may affect the patient’s breathing and using such large doses may hasten the patient’s death, but there is no other way of relieving the patients pain. This is the principle of ‘double effect’ – when an action has two effects – one good and one bad.

Is the doctor justified in giving the drugs?

Case 4
An 86 year old woman is admitted to hospital by her [physician]. She has had two strokes in the past and is very disabled. The strokes have also affected her memory and she has dementia. She lives in a nursing home where she is well cared for and appears reasonably happy. In the last few days she has become more unwell, and she is very breathless. Investigations show she has severe pneumonia and in addition her kidneys are failing. The doctor knows that he could send her to intensive care and use a ventilator to keep her alive, whilst hoping that the antibiotics may treat her pneumonia. He is also aware that the chances of her surviving this illness are very poor (probably less than 1 in 10). He also has to decide, if she should die, whether she should receive cardiac resuscitation. He is aware that this would be very undignified and would have virtually no chance of success. He decides to give her antibiotics, though he is unsure whether this is the right decision, as he feels perhaps he should “let nature take it’s course”, but he decides she should not go to intensive care or receive cardiac resuscitation.

Improved medical knowledge have improved doctor’s ability to keep people alive in the face of severe medical problems. Some treatments are medically useless in that their benefits are outweighed by the suffering that they cause the patient. But there is a world of difference between saying that a treatment is useless (and therefore not worth giving) and that a patient is useless (and therefore not worth treating).

Did the doctor make the right decision?

Euthanasia – Chapter 21

Due Thursday, 11/8/12.

After reading Chapter 21 of Love Your Neighbor, answer questions 1 and 2 (in the book) and 3 (below).  Number your answers.  Each answer should be 75-150 words.

3. Do you think a person has the moral right to end his own life on his own terms (suicide)?  Explain.

4. Should laws allow physicians to assist in the suicide of terminally ill people (those who have an incurable disease or are suffering great pain with no hope of improvement)?

Abortion & Personhood

You and two partners will create a Prezi on the topic of personhood.  You should research and address the following issues:

  • When does human life begin?  When does a human being become a human person?
  • What is personhood? What criteria are used to determine personhood?  What issues do the suggested answers raise?  (E.g., does the definition of personhood affect humans other than the  unborn?)
  • Answers to these questions depend on a person’s worldview.  Research various philosophical, “scientific”, and Biblical answers and present your findings in a Prezi. 
  • Compare and contrast the definitions you find with with what the Bible teaches.

Begin by researching this issue and recording your findings.  (Abort73.com may be a great resource.)  Then, as a group, compile your information in a prezi.  When you finish the prezi, email me a link to view it: [email protected]

Campus Blitz
Look over this website and brainstorm ways we could adapt this for SFC.

http://www.abort73.com/the_abort73_campus_blitz/

Civil Disobedience

Due Friday, October 12.

Read Chapter 12 of Love Your Neighbor, then post your thoughts in response to these questions. 

  1. Read Romans 13:1-7.  This passage clearly commands obedience to governing authorities, but does it limit or clarify the extent of government’s authority?  If so, how?
  2. What is civil disobedience?  Is it any different than anarchy?  How?
  3. Can you think of any examples of civil disobedience in Scripture?
  4. Give examples of circumstances that would make civil disobedience morally mandatory for Christians.
  5. Under what circumstances might civil disobedience be permissible but not mandatory for Christians?
  6. What precautions do you recommend Christians take when contemplating civil disobedience?

File-Sharing

As you begin, discuss this question with a partner:
  1. How does file-sharing affect the music, film, and software industries?

Debate Question: Should file-sharing be legal, or is it theft?

Use the SIRS Issues Researcher to find relevant articles, facts, and perspectives to support your position.

  • Work with a partner
  • Each of you should find at least 2 different articles
  • Each should select 3 facts and 3 expert opinions.  (Can you find 3 musicians who support your side of the file-sharing issue?)
  • You should have enough material for a 2-3 minute presentation
  • Organize your points in a Word document, save it, and upload via dropitto.me/rchase (pw: sfcbible)