Thursday, May 20, 2010

Gleanings from the Pastor's Perspective: A Human Clone in the next 12 Months?

The Pastor’s Perspective
“A Human Clone in the next 12 Months?”
First Published: March 22, 2001

As Derek Thomas and I were recently meeting to plan out our sermon series for the next several years, it struck me how much ground we have covered over the last five years during our Sunday services and Wednesday Bible studies. It may seem to you as if we crawl through some of these book studies, but upon reflection we have made way at a fairly good clip.

Now, for something completely different. Recently our friend Al Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary wrote the following reflections in his column “Thoughts and Adventures” on the subject of cloning. They are worth pondering and perhaps will motivate some to write their congressmen and senators to express their concerns. “Will We Clone Humans?” is the title of Al’s musings and it goes like this: “We can’t say we weren’t warned. Proponents of human cloning have for some time claimed to be on the threshold of breaking the technological barrier that has thus far prevented the birth of a cloned human being. Now, it looks as if they might be right.

“Wired magazine predicts that a successful human clone will emerge in the next twelve months. The New York Times Magazine has identified a group with the funds, the expertise, and the determination to produce a human clone. An American scientist and his Italian colleague have announced plans to produce the world’s first cloned infant in just one or two years. In reality, this may already have happened, unknown as yet to the larger world.

“Clearly, the ethical and moral barriers are falling—at least as far as many advocates of cloning are concerned. The legal barriers are falling as well. The British House of Lords has approved the cloning of human embryos. American scientists may already be doing the same.

“Cloning crosses a line we dare not cross. Once this technology is out of the box, we face nothing less than a “brave new world” that could bring unspeakable horror. Cloning technologies will bring a nightmare scenario of ethical quandaries, and may effectively redefine what it means to be human. We have no right to take this power into our own hands, and a quick review of the last century’s ethical horrors should be sufficient evidence. We cannot say we were not warned.”

This, along with a whole range of technologically induced ethical questions, calls for a rigorous, thoughtful, gracious but resolute response from the Christian community. And, of course, it ought to drive us to our knees in prayer.

Your friend,

Ligon Duncan

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