In my blog post Personhood-What Is It, I said that to have personhood, is to have the intrinsic value of a human being with all the rights and responsibilities that go along with being human.
The Christian worldview, the worldview of the Bible, holds that God, with the creation of mankind, gives mankind special intrinsic value. A name for this intrinsic value, in modern language, is personhood. Mankind is created in a special way that is different from animals. Genesis 1:26-27 says,
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (NKJV)
In the blog entry titled, Vital Organ Donation – The Most Important Question, I proposed the following “most important question.”
The question: Is it possible for a person to be dead while their body is still alive?
The answer one gives to this question depends on what one believes is the make-up of a living person. The true answer to this question comes only from a true understanding of what it is to be a living person. From a biblical perspective, with death of a person, the body goes to the dust and the soul goes to wait to be reunited with the body to face judgment at the last day. Most would agree that a person whose body is given up to the dust is dead, but what about a person whose body remains alive? (There is further discussion on personhood, what it means to be a person, in my blog posts titled, Personhood-What Is It? and Personhood-Image of God.
Why would I write on In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and the image of God. The bible teaches that mankind are made in the image of God. In Genesis 1:27 it says, “God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” God created them, both male and female in His Image. In Genesis 1:26 God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.” The bible teaches that there is only one true God. Here the one true God describes Himself with plural pronouns. This is an early reference to the truth that is contained in the Bible, that in the One true God are three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. In Genesis 3:28 it says, after God created them, male and female in His Image, that “God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply.” Genesis chapter 2 gives further description of God’s creation of mankind saying,
With issues like In Vitro Fertilization, vital organ transplantation, and genetic manipulation, it is tempting to focus on the outcome, of a beautiful healthy baby, of a child revived to life or of avoiding having a child with life long illness. In spite of questions about the technology, the Lord has certainly answered much prayer. The Lord, the author of life, is one who gives life to a beautiful baby. The Lord, in whom we live and have our being, certainly, is the one who sustains the life of our child. The Lord can overcome trials such as the struggle with genetic illness. These things are true, but does this mean that we can ignore the potentially difficult questions that arise in connection with the technological paths that resulted in these great outcomes the Lord has allowed?
Worldview and Ethical Issues from a Biblical Perspective