Oxford Professor of Clinical Oncology, Tim Maughan, Speaks about Euthanasia and the Credible Christian Voice

October 15, 2012

On Thursday, September 13th, we had the privilege of having clinical oncologist Tim Maughan join us for a forum addressing the question of how Christians can engage publicly on issues of great importance, specifically in the area of euthanasia and assisted dying. With euthanasia rapidly rising as the next major moral policy battle—following in the footsteps of the ever-heated issues of abortion and homosexuality—Christians must adopt a new way of exercising our voice and engaging public discourse. We must care both about proclaiming and being heard.

To hone in on just one major point Tim so convincingly expressed, one of the most powerful ways of gaining not simply a descriptively "Christian" voice, but a voice of Truth, is to speak from a place of credibility. Tim has spent two decades working in the medical field as an oncologist as well as spearheading research out of the field of clinical oncology. He emphasized that it has been the reputation of credibility he acquired in his field of expertise—one very much influenced by his Christian faith—rather than a posture of Christian dogmatism or moralism that has earned him a voice in the public sphere and at the policy level.

In order for us to engage public discourse, we cannot simply offer the external voice of critique. Our challenge is to actually be involved in meaningful and reliable ways that afford us the privilege of creatively infusing the various public sectors in which we find ourselves with Kingdom vision and Gospel hope. This both enlivens our vocation with fresh purpose as well as speaks against the impulse to toss our Christian-tagged moral grenades into public discourse from afar.

Let us, then, consider a number of questions. What areas is God preparing me or has he prepared me to speak into through professional and/or personal experience? And more broadly speaking, Does the Gospel make a difference between the way I serve in my vocation and the way a credible philanthropic agnostic in the same field serves? Or alternatively, Can you engage the marketplace of ideas with Kingdom purpose without explicitly talking about Jesus and the Christian Gospel? Dr. Maughan not only believes you can, but has shown that he has. And this has given him a voice as a recognized Christian making a difference in the public sphere.

We are so encouraged and inspired by individuals like Tim who live into a Kingdom cast vision in the daily places of influence he finds himself, and hope you feel encouraged to do the same.