Book Evaluation of Christian Bioethics by C. Ben Mitchell and Dr. D. Joy Riley

The Main Thesis of the Book

Starting with the introduction, in the first few sentences of the book it says that “the greatest challenge to the life and witness of the church in our age is widespread moral confusion and denial of moral authority” (Mitchell, location 51) And also, “that’s the burden of this book: to help readers discover how biblical theology, Christian ethics, and contemporary science and medicine intersect in the real world where people are making life-changing decisions” (Mitchell, location 107). As well as, “the issues in bioethics [are categorized] under the rubric of ‘taking life,’ ‘making life,’ and ‘remaking life.’ The order of these categories represents the order in which the ethical issues have arisen historically” (Mitchell, location 125).

Looking at these passages and also a little bit of the history of hospitals, the Red Cross and medical care explained in Chapter 1, the authors seem to be telling us that, while hospitals, the Red Cross and medical care, especially in America, were once deeply rooted in and had their origins to Judeo-Christian compassion, that today, this is no longer the case (Mitchell, location 286). In fact, that medical care, especially in America, has so much distanced itself from its original intent, that it’s even difficult for believing physicians today to make ethical and moral decisions, rooted in the Word of God.

Style of the book

“Using a dialogue format, Mitchell, an ordained minister and university professor, and Riley, an experienced physician, talk openly and thoughtfully about how they as Christians think about a range of thorny ethical issues arising in their field of bioethics. Combining their backgrounds in theology, ethics, and medicine, Mitchell and Riley engage real-life moral questions in a manner easily understood by laypersons and yet useful to clinicians, pastors, and students (Mitchell, location 70).”

The style of the dialogue here gives the book almost an interview/discussion panel feel and I’ve often found myself imagining C. Ben Mitchell (CBM) and D. Joy Riley (DJR) sitting across from each other at an angle at an informal setting or similar to a TED talk, going over the different points and giving the reader a way to learn from their dialogue. I like this style very much because it doesn’t feel like a dry textbook with lots of facts to memorize, but rather a fluid flow of information that engages and makes me think about what was said.

American Problems

One of the things I found quite interesting in this book was how the authors constantly bring up “problems” with medical care in reference to “American culture.” An example of what I mean by that can be found in regards to aging/anti-aging, discussed in Chapter 8: Aging and Life-Extension Technologies.

“Increasingly, Western culture – especially American culture – has come to loathe every facet of aging. Mushrooming interest in cosmetic surgery, obsessive consumption of antioxidants, and the technological quest for immortality are a phenomena of a relatively affluent and increasingly ageist society. We must resist both ageism and fatalism. Aging itself is not a disease to be conquered. Likewise, we do not have to accept stoically every limitation associated with aging (Mitchell, location 3503).”

While I do agree with this idea that Western culture has come to loathe every facet of aging, I don’t necessarily agree with the “especially American culture” portion. Having lived in Europe for over 20 years, I’ve found this statement to be true and just as bad (or worse!) in other Western cultures. What’s different about American culture is that it’s just more promoted by celebrities, Hollywood and the media. But even with the entertainment industry, the kind of person that is generally depicted in movies that is getting some kind of anti-aging treatment is some rich person from France or somewhere in Europe, not America.

Ironically, a lot of the technological advances in medicine also come from outside the US because the restrictions on what’s allowed and what’s not are different. There have also been many breakthroughs, especially in cancer research, that are banned in the US.

In terms of aging, as believers, we need to remember that this body is only temporary. Every single person that once lived, is alive now and will live one day in a body, already existed with God as a spirit and will continue to live as a spirit when their body passes away. Thinking of passages like Genesis 6, God limits our time here on the earth to 120 years. I heard a preacher once ask, what’s the drawback of human life? It has a 100% mortality rate. Instead of worrying so much about our bodies getting old and eventually dying, we should be concerned about what God put us on this earth to do and to do it. While maintaining good health is important, worrying about wrinkles and sagging body parts is just a distraction from what’s really important. As eternal beings, we need to be concerned about where and how we and the people we care about will be spending eternity when our bodies are gone. The book does a great job at pointing to this as well, which I was happy to see.

Ironically, it also mentions the “Russian 2045 Movement” at the beginning of Chapter 8:

“What do you get when you cross James Cameron’s idea, Robert White’s work with chimps, and the deep pockets of Russian Dmitry Itskov? Something called the Russian 2045 Movement, which is a robot that closely resembles a human from far away and close-up and contains a human brain and personality. This is not a joke. According to the company’s website, the project consists of four stages: Stage 1—called Avatar—is aimed at creating a robotic copy of the human body, controlled through a brain-computer interface. This stage is to be completed by 2020. Stage 2—Body B—to create an Avatar in which a human brain is transplanted at the end of one’s life. This stage is to be completed by 2025. Stage 3—Re-brain—to create an Avatar with an artificial brain, in which a human personality or consciousness is transferred at the end of one’s life. This stage is to start in 2030 and to be completed by 2035. Stage 4—Hologram-like body—A hologram-like avatar. To be started in 2040 and completed by 2045 (Mitchell, location 3282).”

Clearly, the Russian 2045 Movement is neither American nor purely Western. And this total obsession with youth and staying young, I would venture to say that this is a human “thing,” not a cultural one. I think this statement from CBM supports my venture: “Aging is not a disease to be cured but a reality of the human condition to be celebrated (Mitchell, location 3444).”

All in All

As the authors claimed at the beginning of the book, I do think that they “help readers discover how biblical theology, Christian ethics, and contemporary science and medicine intersect in the real world where people are making life-changing decisions (Mitchell, location 107).” Their playful discussion style explanations help a lot in absorbing the material and offer guidance and references to real-life situations that a reader can always go back to and lean on.  

Works cited

Mitchell, C. Ben and Riley, D. Joy (2014). Christian Bioethics: A Guide for Pastors, Health Care Professionals, and Families (B&H Studies in Christian Ethics). B&H Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

 

Batman Voice Changing Helmet

Last week, a coworker told me about a prank for another coworker and the idea came up to somewhat make it Batman themed. I found this Batman Voice Changing Helmet that might just do the trick.

DC Justice League Batman Voice Changing Tactical Helmet by Mattel

Ironically, we looked for and tried out several apps on our phones first, each of them promised that they had a Batman Voice Changing feature – BUT THEY DIDN’T!

We figured that as a last resort, we’ll just have to order the helmet. Maybe we can gift it to the coworker as a prize at the end 🙂

Need more RAM for an old MacPro?

I do. For 2009 MacPro that I got in 2009 lol!

This one was recommended to me and I’m planning to add this to my Mac sometime in the next month. I’ll probably write another update about how it worked out 🙂 For now, I can neither update to the newest versions of OSX, nor install certain Adobe products that require more RAM.

Apple 4GB Module PC3-8500 Mac Pro MacPro5,1 MacPro4,1 Mid 2012 Mid 2010 Early 2009 Mac Pro MB871LL/A A1289 MC250LL/A MC915LL/A MD770LL/A MD772LL/A MB535LL/A A1289 MC561LL/A Memory RAM

Sold by “by A-Tech Components.”

==> 4GB Module (1 x 4GB) DIMM DDR3 ECC Registered PC3-8500 1066MHz RAM Memory

  • Genuine A-Tech Memory
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Toll Free Technical Support 1-866-557-4527
  • Designed For Mac Pro Models: Early 2009 Mid-2010 Mid-2012 MB535LL/A MB871LL/A MC250LL/A MC561LL/A MC915LL/A MD770LL/A MD772LL/A A1289 MacPro4,1 MacPro5,1

While the 2009 MacPro that I have says it can have up to 32GB of RAM (I have had 6GB for the past decade!), I’ve been told that people have already successfully used 64GB as well. That might be a little overkill for now, but it might make sense in another decade or so lol!

==> Check it out – There are various different models to choose from

Kingdom Conspiracy: Returning to the Radical Mission of the Local Church by Scot McKnight

A friend from Church asked what book that I was going to read in the new year. Well, this is tricky for me because I have books that I read on my own and then there’s book I read for my classes.

One of the books I’m reading for class early on is Kingdom Conspiracy: Returning to the Radical Mission of the Local Church by Scot McKnight.

Kingdom Conspiracy

I’m not going to say much about the book yet, but I’ll probably post a book review later on this year after I’ve read it. You can read the description HERE if you like to (it makes no sense to copy and paste it into this post).

There’s also a Kindle version.

Good Deal on Protein Powder

By now, you’ve probably seen various posts on our Facebook and Instagram where we talk about the 6-week challenge at Pro-TF. One of the things that we keep getting asked about is protein powder.

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One of the trainers at Pro-TF actually recommended this San Diego company to us and we’ve been very happy with them so far. While placing our first order, we found out that we can go pick it up in person at the warehouse within a day. The shipping is not very expensive but the day we ordered it we had also run out of protein powder so picking it up in Vista, CA the next day was perfect!

bulk-powders

We also found out that when ordering more than 7 pounds of one blend we get 5% off the total automatically. Then we also got promo code JOHN316 from a friend, which gave us an additional 5% off. Combined with free shipping, not bad for our first time ordering!

==> Try it out for yourself at TrueNutrition.com

custom-blend

One of the cool features of the True Nutrition website is that you can build your own custom blends. For us, we generally use the pea protein isolate so that part is easy for us. The part that’s harder is choosing just one flavor! There are around 20 different flavors to choose from. The Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup is our favorite so far!

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One piece of advice: if you add “boosts,” like we did, changing the “flavor intensity to “heavy” is well worth it because it masks the flavors that are added from the boosts. So far, we’ve only added the “Multi-Vitamin & Mineral” boost as well as the “Electrolytes” boost. This is because they have so many things in them that we like and need, especially Magnesium and Potassium. What’s really cool too about the custom blend builder is that it gives you the Nutrition Facts as you build. And then it also gets printed on the label of the container.

make-it-yours

Last but not least, you can also give your special blend a name. So the next time you order, you can just choose the blend you already know and love. On the other hand, maybe you still want to experiment before you name your perfected creation… don’t worry: your custom blend will be named “My Custom Blend #XXXXXXXX” and assigned a unique number (in place of the Xs) by default.

==> Create your own special blend at TrueNutrition.com

If you have any ideas, tricks, tips etc. that we haven’t mentioned here, let us know. And send us photos and descriptions of your creations using the comment form below or using the contact form.

What to do with 1/4 cup of “any nut” on the 6-week Pro-TF Fitness challenge

This first week on the Pro-TF Fitness 6-week challenge, we’ve been working out 3 mornings and sticking to a specific eating plan.

One of the things that are on that nutrition plan every day is a portion of something from the “fat” list. And one of the items in the list is 1/4 cup of “any nut.”

For this item, we’ve come up with a recipe we would like to share:

In a sandwich size ziplock bag mix:

  • 1/4 “any” nut -> we used peanuts
  • 1 tsp pico de gallo powder
  • 1 tsp lime or lemon juice
  • optional: cayenne pepper, to taste, if you want to add some heat

Make sure it’s all mixed well inside the bag. For best results, let it “marinate” for 1-3 hours.

Pro-TF Fitness 6-Week Challenge

So, on Saturday, we started on the Pro-TF Fitness 6-Week Challenge. It’s basically a boot camp to help us plan out our meals and eat a specific diet for our weight loss goals, and of course, lose some weight and volume. Did I mention there’s exercise involved?

On Saturday, we had our orientation, took our “before” photos, and got out weight, height and BMI measured. This is to have a starting point so we can measure progress. The main advantage of going through this challenge with Pro-TF Fitness is that we were also assigned an accountability coach. Accountability seems to be what Pro-TF Fitness is best at, apart from employing very knowledgeable and fun coaches, and the lack thereof appears to be why so many other programs have failed for us in the past.

As I am writing this post, I am having trouble standing up… So, there are daily workout programs that are taught by several different coaches throughout the day and week. We have so far completed two. Here’s the workout plan for the week:

  • Monday: “No Mercy Monday”
  • Tuesday: “TNTuesday”
  • Wednesday: “Legendary Legs Day”
  • Thursday: “Butts and Guts”
  • Friday: “Furious Friday”
  • Saturday: “Sexy Saturday”

Also, as I am writing this, my stomach muscles are still sore from No Mercy Monday – I’m told that it’s the “upper body” day.

Feeling the soreness is not great but it’s good to know and to show me how much I really needed this. I hope that after 6 weeks (better less), I’ll be feeling much better and less sore.

Pro-TF Fitness is also a community where everyone is there to help everyone else succeed, which is really cool, and also acts a lot like a family. We love giving each other high fives!

If this sounds like something you would be interested in too, let us know, using the comment section below or the contact form, or whichever way you generally get in touch with us. You can also reach out to Pro-TF Fitness directly through their Facebook page and learn more about the 6-week challenge. Make sure you tell them you heard about it from us so we can score some extra brownie points 🙂

Glutamine and BCAAs

Trying out some new supplements for our 6-week nutrition & exercise challenge…

Our Glutamine choices seem pretty straightforward and these here don’t have any fillers or unnecessary coloring etc.


Body Fortress 100% Pure Glutamine Powder, 300g Jar (1ct), Nutrient Replenishment Powder for Post-Workout Recovery Glutamine Supplement


Evlution Nutrition Glutamine 5000 5 Grams of Pure Glutamine in Each Serving Unflavored Powder (60 Servings)

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For the BCAAs, it’s a little trickier. The one that comes highly recommended to us is the following one. Apparently, it’s mint flavor and goes well with the chocolate flavor protein powder 🙂


BPI Sports Best BCAA Powder, Branched Chain Amino Acids, Arctic Ice – Build Muscle, Improve Recovery and Enhanced Energy Levels 30 Servings, 10.58 Ounce