Subscribe now

A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Understanding Suicide and Euthaniasia – A Contemporary and Biblical Perspective

By Eryl Davies
September 2020 | Review by John Mollitt
  • Publisher: Christian Focus Publication
  • ISBN: 978-1-52710-420-4
  • Pages: 128
  • Price: £4.99
Buy this book »

Book Review

It is with sensitivity and a pastoral heart that Eryl Davies addresses these complex and controversial issues.

Statistics alone demand that a biblical perspective is given to these topics. In 1969, an estimated 51% of the UK population was in support of voluntary euthanasia for those suffering unbearable pain and discomfort in terminal illness, but by 2006 that figure had risen to 82%. The figures for suicide are also alarming, with 6,188 such deaths recorded in 2015. It is the leading cause of death among young people in the 20-34 age bracket.

The author views ‘assisted dying’ and ‘voluntary euthanasia’ as constituting suicide; ‘the only difference is the means by which it is achieved’ (p.75).

Its advocates argue it is an act of compassion, dealing sympathetically with the pain, the indignity, and the dependency which a terminal illness can bring. For the Christian, with the biblical emphases on the sanctity of life, human beings made in the image of God, and our lives being guided and controlled by a personal God, this is an untenable position.

Dr Davies helpfully comments, ‘the differences in approach between these two positions are considerable, nevertheless we need to debate the issue sensitively, showing respect for one another and the concerns undergirding our positions. And no side has a monopoly of compassion towards those suffering great discomfort and pain’ (p.21).

Most Bible-believing Christians will be convinced by the gracious scriptural arguments used by Dr Davies, but sadly it may be more difficult, even impossible, to convince an increasingly secular society. For this reason, it is good that the book concludes with an evangelistic thrust, and the gospel is faithfully presented to the unbeliever.

The book is short and therefore there are areas that are not addressed. Nevertheless it is an excellent resource as we seek to support those who are wrestling with these issues. It is suitable for believers and non-believers, and Dr Davies is to be commended for the considerate and responsible way in which he has handled a difficult and divisive subject.

John Mollitt

Burley in Wharfedale

Book Reviews

Read our latest book reviews

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Who Am I? Human Identity and the Gospel in a Confusing World
Thomas Fretwell

In today’s secular society, religion is often regarded as without rational or scientific basis, and therefore irrelevant to life in the modern world and all areas of public engagement. If that is our social context, then it is no wonder…

See all book reviews
Sexuality and Identity (trilogy)
Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Sexuality and Identity (trilogy)
Owen Strachan and Gavin Peacock

These three punchy books address pressing issues: what the Bible teaches about lust (on desire), about homosexuality (on Biblical sexuality) and about transgenderism (on identity). The trilogy approach keeps each book short and focused while dovetailing effectively. Each book has…

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
A Beginner’s Guide To Church History
Philip Parsons

This book is a must-read for every Christian, which covers a wide period from the apostolic age to the church under Communism. There are numerous excellent works on church history, like Philip Schaff’s eight volumes, or Andrew Miller’s three volumes,…

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Who Am I? Human Identity and the Gospel in a Confusing World
Thomas Fretwell

In today’s secular society, religion is often regarded as without rational or scientific basis, and therefore irrelevant to life in the modern world and all areas of public engagement. If that is our social context, then it is no wonder…