I attended my first full meeting of the Dorset Research Ethics Committee today. Every NHS trust has a REC, which is responsible for scrutinizing all medical research for its ethical implications. Before moving to Poole I was briefly a member of the Greenwich & Bexley REC, and feel it is a good thing to do. It stretches my brain, and gives me a connection to the world of science which I thought I had left far behind when I dropped out of my zoology PhD and took up church work back in 1994. It is also good to be involved in something that is primarily concerned with the welfare of the patient – in that sense it is pastoral work under a different guise.
I am profoundly grateful to science. Or rather, I am profoundly grateful to God for gracing humans with the ability to do science. And I am grateful to live in a country where medical research is subjected to ethical scrutiny. It is a wonderful grace that we live in a society with such regard for the individual.
Science is amazing. This week I was back in the dentists chair, and it is especially at moments like that that I am most grateful for science.
Take the hypodermic needle. So ubiquitous. Feared by many. A shorthand sign for drug abuse. But actually a miracle of science. I am very glad to live in an age when a needle so sharp it can’t be felt delivers a shot of anaesthetic just where it is needed so that I can’t feel the dentist slicing a tooth away.
I think hypodermic needles are brilliant! I thank Jesus for hypodermic needles!
And without science there wouldn’t be any blogging – which may or may not be something to thank Jesus for…
The blogs I read have been busy.
I was amused to see that Mark Driscoll used the same heading on his blog recently that I had previously used on mine. I also enjoyed this tribute to John Piper. I had the privilege of interviewing Piper a few years back, and was struck by him in a similar way to Driscoll.
The trans-Atlantic theme continues on Terry Virgo’s blog with the news that Tim Keller will be over in the new year. Keller, Piper and Driscoll have become something of an American trinity for many of us over the past few years. It has been like progressive revelation: First Piper helped us to understand Christian hedonism, that the deeper our awe at the supremacy of God the greater our joy becomes. Then Keller taught us to understand the different leadership skills needed in different sized churches and how to speak to the ‘defeater beliefs’ of our culture. And then Driscoll burst on the scene, yelling at us to shift our butts, plant churches and build cities within the city.
In a sense there is nothing new about this trans-Atlantic stimulus. My greatest all time Christian hero, George Whitefield, spent his ministry on creaking boats criss-crossing the ocean from Britain to America. I’m sure Lex will get on to Whitefield at some point soon on his new blog (which I recommend even though it is outrageous that he should be awarded a Warnie even before starting!).
One other post that caught my eye – a good example of religious publishing at its nutty edge. Be careful what you read, and how you read it...
Best of the Rest w/e 17 May 2013 - [image: Best of the Rest w/e 17 May 2013 primary image] What has caught our eye around the web this week? Steve Holmes gets it right: why, despite reports...
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