"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." Jeremiah 1:5
“It’s just a random clump of cells.” When people say such a thing, they are exposing a foolish lack of scientific knowledge about human reproduction. Even in the earliest stages of cell division, every single cell contains a complete set of the unique combination of DNA features inherited from each parent. Each cell contains the chemically encoded information that will determine physical traits, like: one-of-a-kind fingerprints; height and bone structure; eye color and predisposition to near- or far-sightedness; hair color along with the tendency to curly, straight, thick or fine hair; skin pigmetation in a rainbow of possibilities, freckles and birthmarks; intellectual ability; musical and artistic talent; predisposition to different diseases and physical weaknesses and strengths and a myriad of other unique characteristics particular to each individual.
One theologian has posited that the moment of fertilization is as close to the Trinity – One God in God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit - as we are able to see in this life – in the picture of the presence of the unique human DNA of the mother, joined with the unique human DNA of the father, and the unique human DNA of the child, all present, separately and together, at the instant of fertilization.
And all that before a woman even knows she’s pregnant.
The Bible has many examples that point to God’s careful handiwork – from before birth: His consideration of each person’s future, and even the time, place and circumstances of birth. Over and over Scripture describes the way prophets, priests, kings and apostles are called in the womb; their mothers and fathers are carefully selected as the “right” ones for God’s purposes; the children are born on particular dates, and in particular places. Each human bears the image of God, though that image marred in each child. And each child is promised that in Christ there is hope of redemption, restoration, transformation, sanctification and resurrection.
Both science and Scripture point clearly and without contradiction to the distinct personhood of the embryo from the moment of fertilization: a personhood that is gifted, not chosen. A personhood that relies fully on the will of God and not at all on human choice or chance.