146 episodes

In each episode of Matters of Life and Death, brought to you by Premier Unbelievable, John Wyatt and his son Tim discuss issues in healthcare, ethics, technology, science, faith and more. John is a doctor, professor of ethics, and writer and speaker on these topics, while Tim is a religion and social affairs journalist. We talk about how Christians can better engage with a particular question of life, death or something else in between.
For more resources to help you explore faith and the big questions, visit: http://www.premierunbelievable.com
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: http://www.johnwyatt.com

Matters of Life and Death Premier Unbelievable?

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 4.9 • 19 Ratings

In each episode of Matters of Life and Death, brought to you by Premier Unbelievable, John Wyatt and his son Tim discuss issues in healthcare, ethics, technology, science, faith and more. John is a doctor, professor of ethics, and writer and speaker on these topics, while Tim is a religion and social affairs journalist. We talk about how Christians can better engage with a particular question of life, death or something else in between.
For more resources to help you explore faith and the big questions, visit: http://www.premierunbelievable.com
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: http://www.johnwyatt.com

    Dependence: Should Christians embrace ‘being a burden’ on others as we get old?

    Dependence: Should Christians embrace ‘being a burden’ on others as we get old?

    Tim’s been away this last week on holiday so we’re bringing you an episode from the Matters of Life and Death vault today. There is a looming ‘demographic timebomb’ – a growing mass of elderly and increasingly chronically ill people in many developed nations, expected to place huge strain on public resources. The policy debates around this issue often emphasise the importance of not ‘being a burden’ on others, with some even suggesting there could be a ‘duty to die’ by assisted suicide for those who become old and infirm. Why does our contemporary culture have such a horror of the idea of becoming dependent on our families or the state? And what does the Christian story have to say about the value of dependence versus autonomy, especially as we near the final seasons of our lives? Secular society is leaning towards technology to solve this problem. But can the smart home or robotics really save us from having to care for our elders ourselves? And if this isn’t the whole answer, what does the church have to bring to the table?
    • Subscribe to the Matters of Life and Death podcast: https://pod.link/1509923173
    • If you want to go deeper into some of the topics we discuss, visit John's website: http://www.johnwyatt.com
    • For more resources to help you explore faith and the big questions, visit: http://www.premierunbelievable.com

    • 59 min
    Are smartphones damaging our children? with Andy Crouch

    Are smartphones damaging our children? with Andy Crouch

    This week we interview the writer Andy Crouch on a question which has been everywhere in recent months: are smartphones damaging our children? A growing number of writers and thinkers are arguing that our digital technology, most notably social media and smartphones, are responsible for rocketing rates of mental illness and epidemics of bullying among young people. Andy has written three recent books exploring how Christian families can put in place good habits around tech and screens, and explains his convictions around how to keep tech in its proper place. How can we ensure the key formational environments of home, school and church are centred around spiritually healthy interpersonal relationships and not lost to endless scrolling? Or is a radical neo-Luddism both unattainable and needlessly ostracising for our children?
    • Find out more about Andy and how to get hold of his books here https://andy-crouch.com/
    • Subscribe to the Matters of Life and Death podcast: https://pod.link/1509923173
    • If you want to go deeper into some of the topics we discuss, visit John's website: http://www.johnwyatt.com
    • For more resources to help you explore faith and the big questions, visit: http://www.premierunbelievable.com

    • 56 min
    How much is too much to genetically screen your children?

    How much is too much to genetically screen your children?

    In the first half of this episode we explore new research into public opinion around polygenic embryo screening. This technology allows people undergoing IVF to see what genes each potential embryo has and then choose to reimplant the one with the ‘best’ genetic make-up. But is it wise or healthy for parents to be able to effectively choose their child’s hair colour, height, psychological attributes or propensity for certain diseases? What do ordinary Americans in a survey think of this possibility, and how much would they pay to be able to exercise this kind of power of their own children?
    Then we look at a news story in Britain, about the multi-billion pound bill the National Health Service now pays in compensation to parents whose children were brain damaged during birth. Is this a worrying sign of how poor NHS maternity care can be, or simply a sad reminder that pregnancy and labour remain complex and risky medical procedures? And are the law courts the best avenue for parents of disabled children to pursue both justice and the money necessary to provide lifelong care?
    • Public Attitudes, Interests, and Concerns Regarding Polygenic Embryo Screening https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2818674
    • The Guardian’s story about the NHS’s bill for baby brain injury payouts https://www.theguardian.com/society/article/2024/may/26/nhs-england-spent-41bn-over-11-years-settling-lawsuits-over-brain-damaged-babies
    • Subscribe to the Matters of Life and Death podcast: https://pod.link/1509923173
    • If you want to go deeper into some of the topics we discuss, visit John's website: http://www.johnwyatt.com
    • For more resources to help you explore faith and the big questions, visit: http://www.premierunbelievable.com

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Elections, the church and threats to democracy

    Elections, the church and threats to democracy

    We in the UK have been startled by the sudden announcement from the prime minister that our general election, due at the end of the year, would actually be held in six weeks’ time in early July. In this episode we reflect on why Christians are so politically engaged in Britain, with research suggesting they are much more likely to vote, join a party, and campaign than the general public. Why has modern Christianity become so thoroughly pro-democracy, even as our secular states veer further and further from Christian values? Do we need a more robust theology of politics and government in response to the many 21st century countries challenging its supremacy? And is modern technology, in particular AI, threatening the foundations we need to make democracy work?
    • Tim has written more about research into how British Christians vote and why in his Substack newsletter here: https://tswyatt.substack.com/p/the-bible-and-the-ballot-box
    • AI and epistemic risk paper: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=4805026
    • The Evangelical Alliance survey of Christians and politics https://www.eauk.org/general-election/thinking-faithfully-about-politics
    • Research by the Theos thinktank on a similar topic https://www.theosthinktank.co.uk/research/2024/05/15/religion-counts-do-the-religious-vote
    • Subscribe to the Matters of Life and Death podcast: https://pod.link/1509923173
    • If you want to go deeper into some of the topics we discuss, visit John's website: http://www.johnwyatt.com
    • For more resources to help you explore faith and the big questions, visit: http://www.premierunbelievable.com

    • 54 min
    Autism: Disability or superpower?

    Autism: Disability or superpower?

    Diagnosis rates for autism have been steadily rising for decades now, and as the condition has become more prevalent there has been a growing debate within the community and wider society about what autism is. Some prefer to talk about neurodiversity rather than think of it as a developmental condition, and others go as far as calling it a superpower. How should we as Christians engage in this important conversation? And should we be concerned by research efforts underway to identify an ‘autistic gene’ or pre-natal test for autism, which could be used to try and select or abort the condition away? This week we discuss these questions and more with Erin Burnett, a theologian and author who was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder as an adult and has researched and written on the intersection between autism and the church.
    • Subscribe to the Matters of Life and Death podcast: https://pod.link/1509923173
    • If you want to go deeper into some of the topics we discuss, visit John's website: http://www.johnwyatt.com
    • For more resources to help you explore faith and the big questions, visit: http://www.premierunbelievable.com

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Two is the loneliest number: Can AI friends stop us feeling alone?

    Two is the loneliest number: Can AI friends stop us feeling alone?

    Science fiction has long been fascinated by the idea of humans becoming friends with computers. And the dream of an always-on digital companion you can talk to day or night is closer than ever before, thanks to advances in AI software in recent years. But research into one of the leading AI companion companies and its users has flagged concerns among those who are spending hours a day chatting to their personal AI friends. Is developing this kind of pseudo-intimate relationship with a computer helpful or harmful?
    We also discuss the latest developments in the Mike Pilavachi/Soul Survivor abuse scandal, now that high profile Christian worship leaders and pastors such as Matt Redman and Tim Hughes have revealed they are among Pilavachi’s victims. How should we think about their revelations, and could they have done more to blow the whistle on their mentor much earlier?
    If you need help or to talk to someone about your own experiences, you can contact Safe Spaces if you live in England or Wales: https://safespacesenglandandwales.org.uk/
    • Subscribe to the Matters of Life and Death podcast: https://pod.link/1509923173
    • If you want to go deeper into some of the topics we discuss, visit John's website: http://www.johnwyatt.com
    • For more resources to help you explore faith and the big questions, visit: http://www.premierunbelievable.com

    • 42 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
19 Ratings

19 Ratings

64SquishyOranges ,

Thoughtful Christian perspectives on difficult medical and ethical topics

While I don’t always agree with the hosts’ representations of certain ideas or groups of people (eg creationists or people who were resistant to the Covid vaccine/shutdowns), I think they generally do a good job of thinking methodically through difficult medical topics through a Christian lens

Deetyxzs657 ,

LISTEN YOU WONT REGRET IT!

I was recommended this show by listening to “Unbelievable” which I also highly recommend. This show is smart, thoughtful, and entertaining all in one go. So blessed to be a believer living in this age, which allows all of us to receive intellectual wisdom in the comfort of our own cars. God is moving and let’s show up where we are to continue to share the story of Jesus - He alone can save. May God bless all who read this and a high five to the podcasters and all behind the scenes making this show happen 👏🏾👏🏾

TheleonenConnoisseur ,

Amazing podcast

This is such a blessing. Stumbled across this podcast and I certainly will be listening and tuning in often. Thank you for all you do💛✝️🕊

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