Terminating violent euphemisms


I was driving to the dentist enjoying a fun discussion on the radio about “squirmy words” when the awful subject of abortion came up.

Squirmy words are the words that make us squirm, and listeners were invited to contribute their favourite, or in this case least favourite, squirmy words. The list was quite fun to consider. Some words like ‘moist’ were apparently on everybody’s list; others like ‘snack’ were harder to relate to. It was a matter of intuition and feeling; of the emotive effects of words, and of their connotations and even their sounds. Most people couldn’t explain why they squirmed when they heard a particular word like ‘mummy’ or ‘yummy’. Some could be analyzed, such as those that related to different parts of human anatomy, or had particular historical associations for the individual, or were adult words applied to children or children’s words applied to adults. There was much hilarity in the discussion; the presenter laughing, even giggling, at the human foibles that words can elicit. Then somebody rang in to suggest ‘abortion’ as their squirmy word. (more…)

Child-bearing for the uninitiated

Resource Talk

Last time I wrote something for this column, I wrote about a book that deals with problems and questions I face in my own life (God’s Good Design). This time I’m writing about a book that’s not really for me. In Fearfully and Wonderfully Made: Ethics and the beginning of human life, Dr Megan Best writes about the stuff that married (or about-to-get married) people need to know—things like contraception, pregnancy, infertility and IVF. She wrote the book “in response to many requests from Christians who are struggling to find the information they need to think clearly about the morality of reproductive technology” (p. 9). I’m not married and I have no children. I’m hardly the target audience for this book, yet it fascinated me. (more…)

Suffer the little children

Life, Sola Panel

The political pressure to redefine the meaning of marriage has recently become more intense and obvious in certain English-speaking countries. But you might have noticed that the vast majority of people in our society aren’t particularly concerned by these developments. Why is that? Here’s one possible reason: in the hearts and minds of the vast majority of modern Westerners, marriage has already been redefined. We just didn’t notice. (more…)

Speaking out against abortion

Everyday Ministry

It was a glorious Sydney autumn afternoon: brilliant blue skies, gentle breeze with the sounds of children laughing and playing in the background. I was at a party, and I had just met a radiographer. Apparently they do things with X-rays, not radios! As we got talking, she told me about her work doing ultrasounds for preg­nant women. Then all of a sudden, without even realizing it, she led us into some very deep water—although, strangely, I was the only one who was drowning; she floated along quite happily. (more…)

Making babies when sex just isn’t enough


Three things are never satisfied;
four never say, “Enough”:
Sheol, the barren womb,
the land never satisfied with water,
and the fire that never says, “Enough.” (Prov 30:15b-16)

Infertility is on the rise: current statistics say it now affects one in six couples.1 If you are not personally affected, you may know someone who is, and certainly there will be couples within our churches who are struggling with infertility. With the rise of infertility and medical advances has come in-vitro fertilization (IVF). Ethics for Christians can be highly contentious, and the process and implications of IVF are no exception. We write this article to share with you our story, our struggles, our theological conclusions, our sadness and our joy. We hope that this article assists your walk through the minefield of ethical issues IVF raises for Christians.

A baby in a bottle

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the great abortion battle that ended in the great pro-life defeat in Western Australia in May 1998. Do you know how it all began? (more…)

It gradually gets worse

Couldn't Help Noticing

In August 2007, Victorian Premier John Brumby initiated a legislative process which will almost certainly result in the decriminalization of abortion in Victoria, Australia.1 This process allowed community groups and churches to write to the state’s Law Reform Commission, expressing their views and wishes concerning the issue. (more…)