The Sunday Refill – 7 Links for Your Weekend (29/4/18)
1) Free ebook: Gospel Wakefulness by Jared Wilson – Fill in a quick survey and download this eBook for free. “If you’ve ever wondered how the gospel quite literally and radically changes everything, both now and tomorrow, Gospel Wakefulness is must reading…” But as the author has said, “read it remembering that salvation is not about our experiences or feelings or sense of “wakefulness” but about Christ’s finished work.”
2) The FAQs: What You Should Know About the Alfie Evans Controversy – After the sad news of Alfie’s death yesterday, it’s important that there’s space for his parents’ grief. There’s no getting around the gut-wrenching nature of the events. I found this FAQ a helpful starter piece. Peter Ould is always worth reading too – even in tweet-thread form.
3) Oak Hill’s School of Theology – I’m excited about the return of Oak Hill’s one-day School of Theology this July, which this year will be focused on the Image of God. Take a look at the programme and consider putting a trip to N14 in your diary.
4) Sharing your story engagingly – Some helpful thoughts for sharing your own Christian story from Peter Dray.
5) Heavenly citizenship and earthly justice – Helpful piece reflecting after the Windrush documentation scandal this past fortnight.
6) Exactly How To Spend The Last Hour Of Your Workday – You know that final slot of the day when you never seem to make any progress with anything and can’t help watching the clock. Well, why not try this.
7) The Man Behind the President’s Tweets – For something a bit different, this is self-explanatory really – but if you’re more into paper than screens, then let me squeeze this one in too: What of the lowly page number.
On the Blog this Week:
From the Archives:
Responding with Compassion & Conviction in the midst of Gender Dysphoria – An Interview with Vaughan Roberts
Re the TGC article re Alfie Evans there are a few points. Firstly at a number of points the author contrasts the ‘treatment’ planned in Italy/Germany with the ‘palliative end of life care’ Alder Hey wanted to give. This suggests that the care in Rome would be active treatment and not palliation. This was not the case. The doctors in Rome and Munich were agreed with Alder Hey that Alfie’s brain was catastrophically and irreversibly damaged and they weren’t offering anything new. The disagreement was over whether it was appropriate to continue ventilation as part of palliative care. A tracheostomy simply means ventilation would be deliverd via a tube in his neck rather than up his nose. Secondly, although the author does explain that the court was asked to decide between the medical team and the parents when they were unable to agree on the best medical managemenlt for Alfie he does then go on to talk about “the government’s decision to deny additional treatment”. The UK has an independent judiciary and the government has no direct authority over the decision making process. The court only gets involved when parents and medical professionals are unable to agree on the best way forward. The court is bounded by the law of the land but it is not the state and it is not the government of the day. The piece the author quotes which includes “When the state crosses that boundary and assumes the role of parent, we can only expect that the natural role of families, churches, and communities will be eclipsed, and this will erode our natural rights and dignity. Parents must be the ones to make the choices about the care of their children. This is why Charlie’s legal battle matters so much.” strikes me as somewhat scaremongery and perhaps owing more to an American Big Stae Small State culture war than anything else. (Yes there are worrying issues in education etc and debates to be had in balancing individual rights and responsibilites against the powers and respnsibilities invested in the state but I don’t think these individual difficult medical cases are our greatest worry in that regard)
My heart really goes out to Alfie’s Mum and Dad and I do pray that God will comfort them and be their light in a dark place.