Jump to content

The Protestant Community

Christian and Theologically Protestant? Or, sincerely inquiring about the Protestant faith? Welcome to Christforums the Christian Protestant community. You'll first need to register in order to join our community. Create or respond to threads on your favorite topics and subjects. Registration takes less than a minute, it's simple, fast, and free! Enjoy the fellowship! God bless, Christforums' Staff
Register now

Fenced Community

Christforums is a Protestant Christian forum, open to Bible-believing Christians such as Presbyterians, Lutherans, Reformed, Baptists, Church of Christ members, Pentecostals, Anglicans. Methodists, Charismatics, or any other conservative, Nicene- derived Christian Church. We do not solicit cultists of any kind, including Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Eastern Lightning, Falun Gong, Unification Church, Aum Shinrikyo, Christian Scientists or any other non-Nicene, non-Biblical heresy.
Register now

Christian Fellowship

John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
Sign in to follow this  
William

How Can Modern Medicine Relate to the Old Testament?

Recommended Posts

Staff

by John A. Bloom

 

Many laws in the Pentateuch (Genesis-- Deuteronomy) relate to diet and hygiene for the Hebrew people. Theologians for centuries thought that these merely served as ceremonial function or formed a cultural barrier to separate Israel from the surrounding pagan cultures. However, with the rise of modern medicine and the germ theory of disease in the nineteenth century, it was recognized that obeying these laws also confers important health benefits. These commands are unique compared with the health practices of neighboring cultures in Old Testament times, suggesting that God inspired Moses in giving these laws. Moreover, they show that God’s rules are not arbitrary and that He has our best interest at heart.

 

Laws instructing people to wash after touching the dead or sick (Lv 13-15; Nm 19), to properly dispose of excrement and blood (Lv 17:13; Dt 23:12-13), and to isolate (quarantine) diseased individuals and anything that they touch (Lv 13) are extremely effective at limiting the spread of disease. Modern medicine has also shown that circumcision brings a health benefit-- the wives of circumcised men have a much lower risk of contracting cervical cancer because the lack of a foreskin reduces the male’s ability to harbor and transmit the human papillomavirus. Interestingly, the study of blood clotting factor levels in newborns has also shown that circumcision on the eighth day-- the age prescribed to Abraham (Gn 17:12)-- is the safest time in a male’s life to have this surgery.

 

As our understanding of germs and parasites improves, the Old Testament prohibitions against eating unclean animals, or even associating with them, receive increasing medical verification. For example, people commonly argue that we no longer need to treat pigs as unclean because we now know how to cook pork well. However, modern research on the flu virus shows that most new deadly strains of influenza arise under conditions where people are in close contact with pigs and birds. Pigs function as a bridge between the bird and human forms of influenza; thus new deadly flu outbreaks usually originate in China, Hong Kong, and other areas where people live in close proximity to pigs.

 

The medical benefits of many other commandments are well known, even if modern culture is not inclined to obey them. For example, avoiding adultery and fornication is the best way to protect oneself against sexually transmitted diseases (Ex 20;14; Pr 5); avoiding addictions will spare one from alcohol, drug, and tobacco related diseases (Pr 20:1; 23:19-21, 29-35); and prayer, meditation, and treating others fairly minimize the damaging effects of stress (Lv 19:13-18; Ps 23; 27:1-3; 91:3-7). Modern medicine shows that “living by the Book” brings many practical blessings, just as God promised (Ex 15:26), which makes it all the more reasonable to trust God regarding promised spiritual blessings.

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Topics

    • Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro Calls Brazil’s President A Modern Version Of Hitler

      By Chris White - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said Monday that Brazil’s president is a modern-day equivalent of Adolf Hitler after Brasilia called into question the results of Venezuela’s recent election. Brazil said in a statement Saturday that it is recognizing Juan Guaido, head of Venezuela’s opposition-run Congress, as the legitimate president after Maduro was sworn in to a second term. Many countries from around the world have described Venezuela’s election a farce. “Over there we’ve got Brazil in the hands of a fascist — Bolsonaro is a Hitler of the modern era!” Maduro said of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro during a state of the nation speech. The conservative Bolsonaro, who was elected in November, was given the nickname “Trump of the Tropics.” Maduro added: “Let’s leave the task of Bolsonaro to the wonderful people of Brazil, who will fight and take care of him.” Guaido, who was briefly detained by intelligence agents on his way to a political rally on Sunday, has not declared himself victorious after the May 2018 election. Reports have highlighted Maduro’s reliance on intimidation of the opposition party. Human Rights Watch, for instance, documented hundreds of cases of mistreatment of government opponents, including at least 31 cases of torture, since 2014. More than 10,000 people have been arrested because of links to anti-government protests, according to the Venezuelan human rights organization Foro Penal. Maduro is becoming more isolated by the day. U.S. President Donald Trump exerts more pressure on the socialist country – he slapped more sanctions on Venezuela in November. The U.S. will block the movement of all property related to the gold sector of the Venezuelan economy, any goods “directly or indirectly engaged” with the Venezuelan government, according to the text of the executive order. Trump ordered a round of sanctions in May, shortly after Maduro’s election, to prevent Venezuela from quickly selling key assets to fill the void left from a loss of oil assets. Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected] Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro Calls Brazil’s President A Modern Version Of Hitler is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more. View the original full article

      in Political Conservative News

    • Turkey to Build First-Ever Church in Its Modern Republic

      Work on the first-ever church to be built in the modern Republic of Turkey will start next month. View the full article

      in Christian Current Events

    • How Does Christianity Relate to Hinduism?

      by Ravi Zacharias   I often think back with nostalgia to growing up in India and the late-night conversations we would have about a Hindu play or some event that featured Hindu thought. Now, through the lens of Jesus Christ, I have learned to see how deep seated culture and religion can be and how only the power of the Holy Spirit can reveal the error of an ingrained way of thinking. Consequently, whenever we speak with someone from another faith, it is essential to remember that we must not attempt to tear down another's belief system but rather to reveal the hungers of the human heart and the unique way in which Christ addresses them.   For the Hindu, karma--the moral law of cause-and-effect--is a life-defining concept. Life carries its moral bills, and they are paid in the cyclical pattern of rebirth until all dues are paid in full. Hinduism here conveys an inherited sense of wrong, which is lived out in the next life, in vegetable, animal, or human form. This doctrine is nonnegotiable in Hindu philosophy. Repercussions of fatalism (that is, whatever happens will happen) and the indifference to the plight of others are inescapable but are dismissed by philosophical platitudes that do not weigh out the consequences of such reasoning. Thus it is key to bear in mind that although karma is seen as a way of paying back, this payback is never complete; hence life is lived out paying back a debt that one cannot know in total but that must be paid in total. That is why the cross of Christ is so definitive and so complete. It offers forgiveness without minimizing the debt. When we truly understand that forgiveness, we develop a loving heart or gratitude. There is a full restoration--in this life and for eternity.   The Christian should also understand the attraction of pantheism, the Hindu view of seeing the divine in everything. It superficially appears more compatible with scientific theorizing because it presents no definitive theory of origins. Life is cyclical, without a first cause. Pantheism also gives one a moral reasoning, through karmic fatalism, that one is trapped in the cycle until one escapes, without the need to invoke God. But in the final analysis, it is without answers when one needs to talk about the deepest struggles of the soul. Hindu scholars even admit this in their creation of a path of bhakti (love, devotion) to satisfy the inescapable human hunger for worship.   It is here that a keen understanding is needed. Krishna's coming to earth as an avatar--that is, one of the incarnations of the Hindu god Vishnu--in a way brings "God to man." But a huge chasm still remains. How does one bring man to God? For this, there is only one way-- the way of the cross. A profound and studied presentation of the cross, and what it means, is still the most distinctive aspect of the Christian faith. Even Gandhi said it was the most unexplainable thing to him and was unparalleled. For the Christian, the cross of Jesus Christ is the message "first to the Jew, and also to the Greek" (Rm2:9)--to the moralist and the pantheist, to the religious and the irreligious. We can communicate this message with a Hindu acquaintance or friend only through a loving relationship. The love of Christ, a patient listening and friendship, and the message of forgiveness provide the path to evangelism.

      in Apologetics and Theology

    • Carson: We Need Jesus, So We Need the Old Testament

      If there’s a linchpin connecting the old and new covenant stories, it’s Christmas. Gospel writer Luke begins his birth narrative in the temple with the priest Zechariah, a descendant of Aaron, brother of Moses. At the time of Jesus’s birth, the Jews are living under the old covenant. And then, a baby. The Messiah’s birth fulfills the prophecies of the Old Testament. Jesus’s life fulfills the law. And his death and resurrection save believers from God’s wrath. So what happens to Christmas if we unhitch Christianity from the Old Testament? And what happens to the gospel? TGC president and New Testament scholar Don Carson joins me on this episode of The Gospel Coalition Podcast to answer a few questions about law and gospel, and about the relationship between the Old and New Testaments, particularly in the person and work of Jesus Christ. You can listen to our conversation here. Related: Why We Can’t Unhitch the Old Testament (Michael Kruger) 10 Reasons the Old Testament Is Important for Christians (Jason DeRouchie) 3 Books for Staying ‘Hitched’ to the Old Testament (Jason DeRouchie) View the full article

      in Christian Current Events

    • Why Modern Christians Need an Ancient Creed

      Chances are you’ve seen an unboxing video. People unbox everything from tech to toys, food to fashion. There’s something addictive about watching someone open a new product on camera and experience it for the first time. New is tantalizing. It feels so much better, stronger, prettier, cooler. And my generation can’t get enough. My friends and I have grown up in the Culture of New. We’re wired for perpetual newness—new iPhones, new social media platforms, new entertainment, new styles, new profile pics. Through relentless marketing and subtle societal shifts, we’ve been led to believe that new is always flashier and more fun, and old necessarily implies unreliable and out of touch. No one’s making a video unboxing something they found in Grandma’s attic. We love the thrill of newness. We Need Old Truth In this mad obsession with new, we’ve grown skeptical of anything old. But we miss a great treasure—in fact, all treasure—when we reject what’s old. Because truth is old. And every human needs a faith rooted in ancient truth. We need regular reminders of how old, unchangeable truth influences our real lives. That’s why Ben Myers’s new book, The Apostles’ Creed: A Guide to the Ancient Catechism, is a timely (yet timeless) resource for the modern church, especially its young members. This small book contains 22 devotional reflections on each line of the Apostles’ Creed, starting with “I” and ending with “Amen.” Myers—director of the Millis Institute in Brisbane and a research fellow of the Centre for Public and Contextual Theology at Charles Sturt University in Canberra, Australia—firmly believes that this creed applies “equally to old and young, men and women, pastors and church members” (x). He says, “Even today, the creed provides a framework—strong yet surprisingly flexible—for Christian thinking and Christian commitment” (5). The book is beautifully written, with the kind of vivid and stirring language that leads you to deeper reflection and worship. It’s historically rigorous, drawing heavily from church fathers like Gregory of Nyssa, Athanasius, Irenaeus, Augustine, and Tertullian. But it’s eminently readable, making it a compelling resource for all Christians. And it’s simply a joy to read. My two favorite chapters were “Born of the Virgin Mary” and “The Communion of Saints.” Both connected the contemporary church to the bigger vision of God’s story that can’t help but fill you with wonder and excitement. Myers’s love for the universal church is contagious. Not a Complete Theology This book isn’t an exposition of the Apostles’ Creed. Nor is it a complete theology or apologetic of Christianity, packaged to give to an unbeliever or skeptic. These are meditations for Christians who want to think deeper on their faith. One example is Myers’s chapter on the crucifixion. Instead of focusing on (or even mentioning) sin, his emphasis is on the shame of the cross in an honor-bound culture. For the believer who has a firm grasp on human depravity and the necessity of atonement, this chapter provides thought-provoking insight into another dimension of Jesus’s crucifixion. If taken as an exposition on crucifixion, however, it would be incomplete. Further, some of Myers’s reflections on judgment and the afterlife are fuzzy, and occasionally his lack of fuller expositions results in confusion. For example, when explaining the line “and he will come to judge the living and the dead,” Myers explains that some early Christians believed that heaven and hell are the same place. He quotes from seventh-century monk Isaac the Syrian, who argued that “all people are ultimately brought into the presence of divine love” (92). This sounds uncomfortably universalist, but Myers doesn’t contradict Isaac or identify his error. He simply explains Isaac’s beliefs and then moves on with a “moreover,” leaving the reader puzzled as to what Myers is actually communicating. Despite this regrettable lack of clarity, The Apostles’ Creed is a powerful book for the believer. 3 Reasons Young Christians Need Ancient Creeds Many in my generation would look at Myers’s book and still be skeptical of creeds (or books about creeds). “Isn’t Jesus enough?” they might say. Myers knows these objections and provides a series of compelling reasons why every Christian needs ancient creeds. 1. Creeds are countercultural. Young Christians feel pressure to conform to the pattern of the world. Our culture is alluring. It’s cool. It tells us to follow our hearts, create our own destiny, and embrace individualism. But the creed points us to the message of the cross—a reality that has always been countercultural. Confessing a creed means we’ll stand out among our generation, but we’ll unite with a multigenerational community across the ages. Myers writes: “To confess the creed is to take up a countercultural stance. . . . We are joining our voices to a great communal voice that calls out across the centuries from every tribe and tongue. We locate ourselves as part of that community that transcends time and place” (10). 2. Creeds protect us from false teaching. The Apostles’ Creed developed partially as a stance against Gnosticism—the belief that physical matter is evil. The creed outlines the basics of the gospel and defends against false gospels. Young Christians still need protection from false teaching, especially since there is really no new false teaching, only ancient heresies repackaged. One heresy that young people often latch on to is universalism. Many young Christians are terribly uncomfortable with hell and prefer an indulgent, tolerant view of God—all mercy, no judgment. But creeds draw us back to ancient truth. They keep us established in orthodoxy and vigilant in discernment. Every generation needs them to guard against their day’s versions of heresy. 3. Creeds point us to Jesus. This is Myers’s most passionate point. “We tend to think of creeds as cold didactic summaries of doctrine,” he writes. “But the real centerpiece of the Apostles’ Creed is not a doctrine but a name. . . . Everything else in the creed radiates like the spokes of a wheel from that hub: personal attachment to Jesus; total allegiance to him” (37). Creeds aren’t colorless facts we’re meant to recite and then ignore. They’re life-altering revelations of the God-man, Jesus Christ. They’re truth drawn from his Word, summarized for his people to learn and love. They remove us from a narrow, individualistic mindset and root us in the ancient community of Christians. Ultimately, this is why Myers loves the Apostles’ Creed and could write such a profound book on it: because it points us to Jesus, driving us to worship and delight as we know him more. And to that, the church can say, “Amen.” View the full article

      in Christian Current Events

×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.