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Life and death in Pauline perspective with application to abortion

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dc.contributor.advisor Prof. A. du Rand en_US
dc.contributor.author Christofides, Peter
dc.date.accessioned 2012-09-05T08:49:33Z
dc.date.available 2012-09-05T08:49:33Z
dc.date.issued 2012-09-05
dc.date.submitted 1996
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/6958
dc.description M.A. en_US
dc.description.abstract The focus of this dissertation is based on the Biblical and Pauline perspectives of life and death. If the Christian is to believe abortion is wrong, he should do so for sound Biblical reasons. Scripture places a deep personal concern toward human beings. The Judeo-Christian tradition has always held that all men and women are created in God's image and that every life is to be considered of value. The Bible does not place less value on people who are of a lower standard or age because it does not question their right to live and this is the main reason the church can never become anything else but pro-life. Of importance is also the fact that the innocent human life needs to be protected and if it is not, this would be inviting God's judgement. Man has no right to take another person's life because this would be failing to acknowledge God as Creator of life. Death is seen in Scripture as an enemy and the Bible says there is hope for deliverance in the face of death. With the coming of Christ, the power of God's reign on earth can be experienced in "new life" as described by Paul. Looking at what Scripture had to say about when does human life begin, it was discovered that Scripture places a high value on conception. It was also evidenced that conception is a gift from God and a fulfilment of His promises found in Scripture. A fundamental unity exists between body and soul and death is not an alternative even in the face of suffering. No Scripture supports abortion; on the contrary, God is viewed as overseeing all of life from the moment of conception. By examining the five major faiths in South Africa, namely Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, and Christianity, it was realised that all five of these faiths take the unborn child into consideration. Only in extreme circumstances do some of these faiths allow abortion, e.g. rape, incest. It must also be said that these circumstances are in an abnormal situation and are not regarded as regular practices. It was necessary to discuss the application and effects of abortion in the final chapter in order to determine what happens in an abortion. Medical facts were presented about abortion and this was helpful in order to deal with the moral questions more intelligently. A description was given of the more common procedures used in performing abortions. It was evidenced that the medical staff participating in the performance of abortions are affected psychologically and recognise that abortions are destructive and violent. From all the specialised medical equipment available and all the modern medical advances being made daily, abortion is seen as unnecessary. Even the "hard cases" such as rape, incest and genetic defects did not permit support for abortion. Ethical considerations were also taken into account with more value being placed on innocent human lives. A number of questions were then addressed concerning the role of the law and abortion. The South African Abortion and Sterilisation Act of 1975 was discussed and it was necessary to look at two other countries with similar constitutions, namely Ireland and the United States of America, in order to see how they have ruled on abortion. Ireland has interpreted its constitution to favour the right to life of the unborn child while the Untied State of America preferred the right to privacy of the mother. A brief summary was given of the legal changes recommended by the Ad Hoc Select Committee on Abortion and Sterilisation with a number of figures being given on abortion in South Africa. A number of both surprising, and shocking facts were discovered about the New Constitution and its responses to the public. It was also necessary to refute a number of "pro-choice" arguments submitted to the Ad Hoc Select Committee on Abortion and Sterilisation as it seems the "pro-life" arguments were not even considered. A lengthy discussion was then given about the Post-Abortion Syndrome (PAS). It is evident that South Africa is not yet familiar with this term although many suffer from it already. The defence mechanisms were listed as well as the symptoms of this syndrome. The final chapter ended with a number of tasks of healing of the Post- Abortion Syndrome. It was concluded that the Bible is pro-life and that it does not seem that the New Constitution, which seems to be pro-choice, did not even consider Biblical morals in its deliberations. It is acknowledged that it is the task of the church , and even the other faiths in South Africa, that will need to continue in this battle to protect the life of the unborn and the mother. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Bible. N.T. Epistles of Paul - Theology en_US
dc.subject Life - Biblical teaching en_US
dc.subject Death - Biblical teaching en_US
dc.subject Abortion - Moral and ethical aspects en_US
dc.title Life and death in Pauline perspective with application to abortion en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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