Matters of Life & Death

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.

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

15 May 2024

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...

‘Playing God’: Science and religion in the 21st century

8 May 2024

What would contact with intelligent aliens mean for humanity? Will doctors ever be able to cure depression with a drug? Can we bestow personhood on animals? Nick Spencer, senior fellow at the religion and society think tank Theos, is the author of t...

Assisted dying in Scotland: A bad law but also an inevitable one?

1 May 2024

A new law has been proposed in the Scottish Parliament which would allow terminally ill people to request doctors assist them in committing suicide. This is the latest push in a growing campaign across the UK and more widely in the Western world to l...

Abusive relationships and coercive control in church

24 Apr 2024

Society has been on a long and slow journey in recent decades into a richer and more sympathetic understanding of how abuse and coercion work within relationships. We are much better at both identifying and prosecuting this kind of abuse, and at bein...

Q&A: Did ending Roe v Wade actually save unborn children’s lives, and have we got food culture wrong in church?

17 Apr 2024

Our first topic in this Q&A episode is a recent study which found that in 2023, the first full calendar year after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade and the constitutional right to an abortion, total abortions actually increased. Despite 21...

ADHD, over-diagnosis and should Christians try to enhance our brains with stimulants?

10 Apr 2024

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the faster growing mental health diagnoses of our age. More and more people, including those well into adulthood, are seeking out and being diagnosed with ADHD. And the typical treatment plan...

Tim Farron, toxic social media, and how to navigate the ‘mucky business’ of politics

3 Apr 2024

We’re both away for our Easter breaks, so this week we’re bringing you a classic episode from the MOLAD archive, when we were joined by the former leader of the Liberal Democrats Tim Farron to discuss social media and politics. Research suggests UK m...

New obesity drugs, the morality of food, and has neuroscience killed off free will?

27 Mar 2024

A new wave of anti-obesity drugs led by Wegovy (also known as Ozempic) are causing huge ripples in the medical world and popular culture. Astonishingly successful at helping people lose weight, these drugs both offer a tantalising solution to the obe...

Tech hype: Should Christians resist or lean into AI?

20 Mar 2024

As is probably obvious from previous episodes, John is extremely interested in generative AI and thinks it will be the next transformative technology to entirely up-end how society works. Tim, however, is much more sceptical and thinks a lot of the r...

Q&A: Why have anti-abortion activists accidentally banned fertility treatment in Alabama?

13 Mar 2024

Alabama’s Supreme Court has ruled that embryos in deep freeze, stored as part of IVF treatment, can be considered as legally children. This unexpected judgement has prompted many clinics to shut their doors, fearing lawsuits, as the storage and event...

Medical Assistance in Dying: Judicial activism, suicidal ideation, reasons to stay alive, and Hippocrates’ successful medical practice

6 Mar 2024

This week we’re bringing you a classic episode from the MOLAD vault. Medical Assistance in Dying is Canada’s euthanasia programme. It started in 2016 with a Supreme Court decision but has since rapidly expanded and liberalised. The latest battlegroun...

Psychedelics: Shamans and spirits, the philosophy of Harry Potter, delusions of hearing from God, and the neuroscientific turn

28 Feb 2024

Culture is increasingly interested in psychedelic drugs. Whether it’s Silicon Valley execs micro-dosing LSD to turbocharge their meetings, Americans doing ayahuasca weekends in Mexico, or rafts of studies suggesting ketamine can really help in treati...

Q&A: Should single Christians use dating apps if they strike out at church?

21 Feb 2024

A listener has emailed in his dilemma off the back of our recent series of episodes: His small evangelical church teaches a traditional Christian message on relationships and marriage, yet offers single members like him no opportunities to meet like-...

New Creation: Reading the Bible backwards, the ‘opiate of the masses’, Physics 2.0, and the resurrected yet scarred body

14 Feb 2024

Our four-part series on the deeper narrative of the Bible comes to an end with New Creation. Just as with the beginning of the story, this final chapter is often overlooked in many churches and the Christian narrative is compressed simply to fall and...

Egg freezing revisited: What about the ‘surplus’ eggs, and is better contraception part of the solution?

7 Feb 2024

A listener has emailed in two excellent questions in response to our recent episode looking at egg freezing. What happens to the leftover eggs which are frozen but never reimplanted, and can Christians be relaxed about this intrinsic wastefulness of...