CBeebies, the children’s TV channel, recently announced a new host, George Webster. George is a confident, lively and capable individual who has Down’s syndrome. His inclusion is a wonderful expression of the value of all people and the capability of those who have disabilities. Only two days later, one woman with Down’s syndrome lost her court case. Heidi Crowter was trying to end the disparity in abortion law which allows for the termination of babies with Down’s syndrome up until birth rather than 24 weeks.
The juxtaposition is remarkable. On the one hand we celebrate inclusive diversity and recognise ability. On the other we allow for babies with disabilities to be killed in the womb at a later stage than others. Inconsistencies like these highlight how much we, as a society, don’t fully understand what it means to be human. We pool our collective ignorance and come up with conflicting conclusions. If only there were some higher being to tell us who we are!
In God’s Word, a right understanding of being human is necessary for loving God with the whole of our being and loving our fellow human beings (Luke 10:27). It begins with the truth that we’re made in his image. This isn’t lost to our broken sinful condition (Gen. 9:6). If an image of a god is supposed to be an honoured object, then how much more so humans who are made in the image of the only true God.
In this edition, we explore what it means to be human; Philip Eveson writes about God’s image in humanity and Stephen Clark explains how Christ, as God’s image, took on humanity. Emyr Macdonald uncovers the value of humanity and Sam Liu helps us think through the implications for racism. Caroline Taylor shines a spotlight on a Reformer whose gender meant she was excluded from the conversation and Maureen Wise shares her experience in caring for people with disabilities in Moldova. Finally, don’t forget to look at the back page!
In addition, we have some Christmas themed articles, a wonderful testimony and two family accounts of coping with the lockdowns. Finishing up his year of great answers to tough questions, Michael Ots explores the theme of identity and our persecuted church series takes us to Myanmar. We also have plenty of updates to share and a handful of book reviews for you to enjoy.