Friday, June 19, 2009

Ed Knudson on Why a Christian Can Perform or Receive an Abortion

"Both Luther and Calvin maintained a strong sense of the holiness and otherness of God beyond human rational comprehension. This is one reason Lutherans are hesitant to make large claims about knowing the will of God in specific instances. God is God.

"Humans are fallible creatures who are constantly disobeying the first commandment not to worship other gods. The way people like Robert George talk about the biological process makes it seem as if the biology itself is a sort of divine power. They worship the biology rather than the source of life itself.

"But one of the most important traditions of all Christian faith is that the world, including the biology, is broken. Indeed, for that reason the historic church has supported the use of medical arts for healing.

"Women coming to Dr. Tiller did so as a last resort when the biological process was somehow broken. Medical technology now makes it possible for women to know the status of the fetus before birth; to learn, for example, that a fetus will be born without a brain with no chance of viability. Dr. Tiller would perform an abortion for such a woman out of compassion and care. He wanted to use his medical knowledge for the benefit of women so that they could see new possibilities for their lives in the future."


Ted Michael Morgan said...

In a reply to comments, Rev. Kunderson writes, " have tried to write about two reasons, a wrong type of natural law theory and a politics rooted in racism. A third factor is a romanticized view of nature. A "romantic" view is one which creates an image of perfection and then evaluates reality against that idealized image. Nature is so romanticized by anti-abortion advocates, and so is history. Before 1973 there were many abortions. If abortion were outlawed there would still be many abortions, and women dying in back alleys. Nature and people are not perfect. It is the religious right that especially lifts up the idea of perfect nature which is not a Christian, but a liberal idea. That's one reason I say the religious right does not represent historic Protestant faith. It is, actually, hyper-liberal. It was Thomas Jefferson who wrote of "nature and nature's God" in the Declaration of Independence. To worship perfect nature is not Christianity which acknowledges that the world is fundamentally broken. In such a world Christians should bring a word of hope and possibility, not hate and hostility."

Ted Michael Morgan said...

Correction: Knudson


In this my personal Christian blog, I hope to be discursive and now and then critical. What I write here is tentative and tensive. I post thoughts, feelings, and observations somewhat randomly and often in immediate response to current events and posts on other blogs.

"Serendipitous Creativity" from Gordon Kaufman

"I suggested that what we today should regard as God is the ongoing creativity in the universe - the bringing (or coming) into being of what is genuinely new, something transformative; …

"In some respects and some degrees this creativity is apparently happening continuously, in and through the processes or activities or events around us and within us(…) is a profound mystery to us humans(…) But on the whole, as we look back on the long and often painful developments that slowly brought human life and our complex human worlds into being, we cannot but regard this creativity as serendipitous …

"I want to stress that this serendipitous creativity - God! - to which we should be responsive is not the private possession of any of the many particular religious faiths or systems …

"This profound mystery of creativity is manifest in and through the overall human bio-historical evolution and development everywhere on the planet; and it continues to show itself throughout the entire human project, no matter what may be the particular religious and or cultural beliefs."

Gordon Kaufman, Mennonite Life, December 2005 vol. 60 no. 4

Melville is a rational man who

"Melville is a rational man who wants God to exist. He wants Him to exist for the same reasons we all do: to be our rescuer and appreciator, to act as a confidant in our moments of crisis and to give us reassurance that, over the horizon of our deaths, we will survive." (John Updike)

And that is a problem for me.

Fragmented Notions

Fragmented Notions
Copyright © 2007 Jean and Alexander Heard Library, Vanderbilt University

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