Saturday, August 17, 2013

Compassionate Jesus

I recently read a book called "Compassionate Jesus" by Christopher W. Bogosh. The subtitle on the cover says, "Rethinking the Christian's Approach to Modern Medicine". I'll admit, I kind of wiggled my eyebrows at that. I don't really have an approach to modern medicine. I'm not a huge fan of medicine, I don't give it really freely, but I'm going to do everything in my power to keep my kids from hurting or feeling bad. I wondered what kind of path this book was going to take me on.

The first chapter is regarding the act of prolonging life. The author makes a great point in this chapter, which is the fact that our society today is obsessed with prolonging life. Bogosh discusses decisions such as Do Not Resuscitate orders and exhausting every medical treatment available, and what he says is that it all comes down to - what is God's will? Is it God's will that I seek every medical treatment for my condition, no matter what? Or is it God's will that I spend the rest of my days serving Him and loving on my family? The answer is different for everyone. As Bogosh says, "God's glory takes precedence over physical healing" (p. 20). It's just hard to see that when you're in the situation. He also does a great summary of Biblical compassion as found in scripture.

He discusses the advancements that are constantly coming through medical facilities. Obviously these are great advancements - vaccinations, MRIs, insulin, etc. He takes us on a history of the medical profession which is pretty interesting. He also provides financial reports and statistics on the health care system - some of which made a physician state that "as a culture, we really have to acknowledge that we're mortal" (p. 58).

The book is written by a man in the medical profession (hospice care, specifically) so it is extremely interesting for him to break down everything from life support to vegetative states to emergency room visits. You can tell that he wants all people to be aware of these situations (and be prepared) and wants Christians to be able to parallel these situations with scripture when making decisions.

The book is very detailed and I learned a lot. Bogosh uses a lot of examples with different responses to different situations, which I found interesting and made a lot of sense to me.

If you or a loved one is struggling with medical decisions, I would recommend you read this book. It may help you line your beliefs up with scripture. If nothing else I believe it will help you lean more on God than medical technology, and I think that is exactly what the author is looking for.

Thank you to Cross Focused Reviews and Reformation Heritage Books for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

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