16 episodes

In each episode of Matters of Life and Death, Tim Wyatt calls up his dad John Wyatt to discuss issues in healthcare, ethics, technology, science, faith and more. Tim is a religion and social affairs journalist, while John is a doctor, professor of ethics, and writer and speaker on these topics. We talk about how Christians can better engage with a particular question of life, death or something else in between. If you want to go deeper into some of the topics we discuss, find more resources to read, listen to and watch at John's website: www.johnwyatt.com
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Matters of Life and Deat‪h‬ Tim Wyatt & John Wyatt

    • Christianity

In each episode of Matters of Life and Death, Tim Wyatt calls up his dad John Wyatt to discuss issues in healthcare, ethics, technology, science, faith and more. Tim is a religion and social affairs journalist, while John is a doctor, professor of ethics, and writer and speaker on these topics. We talk about how Christians can better engage with a particular question of life, death or something else in between. If you want to go deeper into some of the topics we discuss, find more resources to read, listen to and watch at John's website: www.johnwyatt.com
See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    Digital church

    Digital church

    This episode explores one of the most significant and potentially long-lasting ways the covid pandemic has affected church life – the shift to digital. Ever since the first lockdown began almost a year ago, churches of every shape and size and from every denomination have been forced to offer worship online. And even though it has been legal to re-open buildings since last summer, most have continued to livestream, pre-record or video conference their way through the pandemic alongside some physical gathering. Will this continue indefinitely even when covid is long gone? Are we really seeing digital church spark a revival among non-churchgoers? And what implications for our worship and our theology does this brave new online world pose? 
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    • 35 min
    Social media and free speech

    Social media and free speech

    In today’s episode we’re taking a sideways step from the covid pandemic and instead are discussing social media and free speech.
    The banning of Donald Trump from every social media platform following the deadly riot earlier this month at the US Capitol building has prompted fierce debates, not only about free speech and censorship online, but also the role of social media in fostering hate and lies. Why is it that so much horrendous stuff accumulates and spills out of social media, from deranged conspiracy theories about coronavirus all the way up to the violent and often racist political rhetoric which inspired the Capitol insurrection? Do we need more regulation and moderation of what people are saying online, or less? What are the implications of unaccountable tech CEOs barring anyone they choose from the world’s dominant communications networks? And how should we, as Christians, think about the ethics of free speech and censorship in our always online 21st century world? 
    Our previous episode on conspiracy theories and misinformation online about coronavirus - https://shows.acast.com/matters-of-life-and-death/episodes/coronavirus-misinformation
    Research on the spread of false and true news online, published in Science - https://science.sciencemag.org/content/359/6380/1146
    'Information Overload Helps Fake News Spread, and Social Media Knows It', published in Scientific American - https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/information-overload-helps-fake-news-spread-and-social-media-knows-it/


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    • 36 min
    Coronavirus: Misinformation

    Coronavirus: Misinformation

    Microchips. Bill Gates. The mark of the beast. 5G cell towers. False positive rates. Big pharma. DNA alteration. It’s been hard to avoid the swirling morass of misinformation and conspiracy theories around the pandemic. And this confusion and fear have surged in recent weeks as the first covid vaccines have begun to be rolled out. But why have so many people, including many in the church, fallen for untruths about coronavirus? Where has all our trust – in government, in science, even in doctors – gone? How can we steer a clear path through the toxic brew of lies and misinformation swamping the internet and social media? 
    Read the World Health Organisation's guide to navigating the 'infodemic' and verifying online information here: who.int/news-room/spotlight/let-s-flatten-the-infodemic-curve


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    • 37 min
    Coronavirus: Vaccines - part 3

    Coronavirus: Vaccines - part 3

    The first coronavirus vaccine jabs have already gone into the arms of people here in the UK, as Britain this week became the first country in the world to actually deploy a vaccine which had completed all its clinical trials and been signed off by the regulator. But there remain lots of questions about the vaccine – how has it been made so fast, can we be sure it is safe, who should get it first, and can Christians be given it without compromising on their religious convictions? 
    Listen to previous episodes on covid vaccines here:
    Part 1 - https://shows.acast.com/matters-of-life-and-death/episodes/coronavirus-vaccines
    Part 2 - https://shows.acast.com/matters-of-life-and-death/episodes/coronavirus-vaccines-part-2
    Read John's article on vaccines and Christian ethics here - https://johnwyatt.com/2020/10/08/article-coronavirus-vaccines-and-christian-ethics/ At the bottom is a document which has more detailed information on which particular vaccines have used which particular cell lines which may have ethical concerns, produced by the pro-life research centre the Charlotte Lozier Institute.
    John has also put together a document on his website tackling some of the frequently asked questions about the vaccine - https://johnwyatt.com/2020/12/21/faq-coronavirus-vaccines-frequently-asked-questions/


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    • 36 min
    Coronavirus: The second lockdown

    Coronavirus: The second lockdown

    The second coronavirus lockdown started here in the UK on 5 November and is due to last the rest of the month. Unlike the first time round in the spring, we aren’t going into this with our eyes closed – we know the lockdown will cause immense economic damage, as well as impacting mental and even physical health. Is this crude, blunt instrument really the best way to tackle the second wave of the covid pandemic? What does the Christian ethic have to say about how to balance the goods of saving lives versus protecting livelihoods? Is there actually any alternative?
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    • 44 min
    Coronavirus: Vaccines - part 2

    Coronavirus: Vaccines - part 2

    We received a fascinating question from a listener after our last episode on vaccines, picking up on the competing and perhaps contradictory philosophies behind the anti-vax movement. So we decided to respond to their question and thoughts with a special bonus episode looking over this issue and other developments in coronavirus vaccines since.
    You will probably want to listen to the main episode on vaccines first here: https://shows.acast.com/matters-of-life-and-death/episodes/coronavirus-vaccines
    And we subsequently made a third vaccines episode - https://shows.acast.com/matters-of-life-and-death/episodes/coronavirus-vaccines-part-3
    John has also put together a document on his website tackling some of the frequently asked questions about the vaccine - https://johnwyatt.com/2020/12/21/faq-coronavirus-vaccines-frequently-asked-questions/
    We're really interested in hearing more questions and comments from you - if you have something you would like us to discuss or respond to, please email mattersoflifeanddeathpodcast@gmail.com.

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    • 19 min

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