|Free Book ⚆ The Case for Life: Equipping Christians to Engage the Culture ♖ eBooks or Kindle ePUB free
Scott Klusendorf has produced a marvelous resource that will equip pro lifers to communicate creatively and effectively as they engage our culture The Case for Life is well researched, well written, logical, and clear, containing many pithy and memorable statements Those already prolife will be equipped, those on the fence will likely be persuaded Readers looking to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves will find much here to say I highly recommend this book. I enjoyed reading Klusendorf s book which encourages Christians to really take a stand for life and for truth The book is clearly laid out into four parts The first part helps Christians to simplify debates over abortion and embryonic stem cell research The second section shows how moral neutrality is really impossible The third section helps Christians to answer common objections This section was so good as it really tackled some hard cases The final section addresses questions related to pastors including whether or not it is okay to join hands with other religions to protect life I wholeheartedly agree that yes it is okay to join hands with others for the sake of saving lives The book also talks about how to give hope to post abortive men and women I love the author s grace filled approach Overall this book was clearly laid out and really helped me to think about hard issues that I honestly don t think about enough I highly recommend this book Please note that I did receive a review copy of this book from Crossway Publishing All opinions are my own. Most people who say they oppose abortion do just enough to salve the conscience but not enough to stop the killing This is an excellent summary of the pro life position, written in a firm yet winsome style While I don t expect it to change the mind of pro choice advocates, it will remind and encourage pro lifers like myself that our position Is backed by the scientific evidence Is logical, intuitive and self consistent Is just, merciful and reflective of basic human rights and dignity Introduction There are two foundational points to make in any discussion of abortion First, we re arguing about moral truth, and whether it is real an knowable or simply a preference Second, we re arguing over human value, and whether we are valuable for what we are intrinsically or only valuable for what we can do functionally.Pro life Christians answer that truth is real, knowable and nonnegotiable Although humans differ in their respective degrees of development, they are nonetheless equal because they share a common human nature that bears the image of their Creator Humans have value simply because they are human.We need to simplify the debate by focusing on the one question that truly matters What is the unborn These issues are not morally complex, though they are often presented that way Can we kill the unborn Yes, but only if the unborn are not human beings The issue is not really one of choice, as some choices are wrong, like killing innocent human beings simply because they are in the way and cannot defend themselves We thus make our case in two steps Step one is to simplify the issue as above step two is to make a case for life.Pro life advocates contend that elective abortion unjustly takes the life of a defenceless human being This simplifies the abortion controversy by focusing public attention on just one question Is the unborn a member of the human family If so, killing him or her to benefit others is a serious moral wrong It treats the distinct human being, with his or her own inherent moral worth, as nothing than a disposable instrument Conversely, if the unborn are not human, elective abortion requires no justification than having a tooth pulled Pro life advocates defend their case using science and philosophy Scientifically, they argue that from the earliest stages of development, the unborn are distinct, living, and whole human beings True, they have yet to grow and mature, but they are whole human beings nonetheless Philosophically, there is no morally significant difference between the embryo we once were and the adults we are today As has been pointed out using the acronym SLED, differences of size, level of development, environment, and degree of dependency are not relevant in the way that abortion advocates need them to be.In short, pro life advocates contend that although humans differ immensely with respect to talents, accomplishments, and degrees of development, they are nonetheless equal because they share a common human nature The pro life view is that it s always wrong to take human life without proper justification This means that we define elective abortion as those abortions not medically necessary to save the mother s physical life e.g in the case of ectopic pregnancy.A useful heuristic is, whenever we hear an argument for elective abortion to stop and ask this question Would this justification for killing the unborn work for killing a toddler If not, your critic is assuming that the unborn aren t human, a point for which he needs to argue The science of embryology is clear From the earliest stages of development, the unborn are distinct, living, and whole human beings Embryology and the Pro Life Position In summary, the evidence clearly indicates that the human embryo, from the zygote stage forward, is a distinct, unitary human organism a human being The key point is that even though the cells in the early embryo are totipotent that is, able to develop into any kind of bodily cell , they function in a coordinated manner as parts of a unified organism, the embryo.Again, humans have value simply because they are human, not because of some acquired property that they may gain or lose during their lifetime If you deny this, it s difficult to account for fundamental human equality for anyone Pro Life advocates contend that from the earliest stages of development, the unborn are distinct, living, and whole human organisms They are not parts of larger human beings like skin cells are but are whole human entities capable of directing their own internal growth and development Pro lifers don t look to theology to tell them these things but to the science of embryology.Science alone cannot justify the pro life position, though it can give us the facts we need to draw moral conclusions on a host of controversial issues, including abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and cloning Thus, the first step in resolving these issues is to state the proper scientific facts about the biological nature of the unborn entity As we have seen, those facts are not in dispute A Philosophical Question Human Non Persons We are left with an important philosophical question Do all human beings regardless of size, level of development, environment, or degree of dependency have an equal right to life Pro life Christians contend that human beings are valuable in virtue of the kind of thing they are, creatures endowed by their Creator with an unalienable right to life That right to life comes to be when they come to be.The pro life case for human equality is grounded in the substance view of human persons Substances are living organisms that maintain their identities through time, while property things, such as cars and machinery, do not What moves a puppy to maturity or a fetus to an adult is not an external collection of parts but an internal, defining nature or essence As a substance develops, it does not become of its kind but matures according to its kind It remains what it is from the moment it begins to exist Consequently, a substance functions in light of what it is and maintains its identity even if its ultimate capacities are never realized due to disability or injury Most critics of the pro life position reject the substance view of human persons outlined above Instead, they ground human rights and human equality in one s ability to immediately exercise certain capacities that embryos and fetuses, in virtue of their immature stage of development, cannot yet immediately exercise In other words, they merely assert that certain traits are necessary for personhood but never say or prove why these supposedly value giving properties are value giving in the first place In the end, the property view of human value is ad hoc and arbitrary Why is some development needed And why is this particular degree of development, self awareness, the morally relevant factor rather than another These questions are left unanswered Religion and the Pro Life Position Although the pro life view is implicitly religious, it is no religious than alternative explanations about human value and human rights Most people claim to believe that all humans are equal If they truly believe that, we need only use science to show the unborn is a human being and their belief about equality should compel them to accept the pro life view.Opponents of the pro life view believe that human beings who are in a different location or have a different level of development do not deserve the protection of law They assert, without justification , the belief that strong and independent humans have basic human rights while small and dependent ones do not This view is elitist It violates the principle that once made political liberalism great, a commitment to protect the most vulnerable members of the human community.In sharp contrast, pro life advocates contend that no human being, regardless of size, level of development, environment, degree of dependency, race, gender, or place of residence, should be excluded from the human family In other words, our view of humanity is inclusive, indeed wide open to all, especially those who are small, vulnerable, and defenceless Ground Rules for the Debate Objective Moral Truth When pro life advocates claim that elective abortion unjustly takes the life of a defenceless human being, they are not saying they dislike abortion They are saying it s objectively wrong, regardless of how one feels about it.Moral Neutrality Moral neutrality is impossible Both sides of the abortion controversy bring prior metaphysical commitments to the debate Why, then, is it okay for liberals to legislate their metaphysical views on the status of the unborn but not okay for pro lifers to legislate theirs Does God Matter, Or Are We Just Matter Even if the pro life view cannot be fully explained without explicit reference to Christian faith, it does not follow that the pro life view is inherently irrational Christian theists make rational arguments for their position, and it s wrong for materialists to simply presume the truth of their position.Does The Bible Justify Abortion We don t need Scripture to expressly say that elective abortion is wrong before we can know that it s wrong The Bible affirms that all humans have value because they bear God s image The facts of science make clear that from the earliest stages of development, the unborn are unquestionably human Hence, biblical commands against the unjust taking of human life apply to the unborn just as they do to other human beings Objections to the Pro Life View Asking the Right Questions When we hit a blocker in a conversation, we should ask a good question The results can transform the discussion and put us back in the driver s seat, where we belong These include What do you mean by that How did you come to that conclusion Why do you believe that How do you know that What are your reasons for thinking you re right Have you considered Then finish the sentence in a way relevant to the issue at hand Here we are offering an alternative view that gently dismantles your opponent s case or, at the very least, exposes a serious flaw in his reasoning.Objection 1 The Coat Hanger Women will die from illegal abortions Every death from abortion is a tragedy we mourn But why should the law be faulted for making it risky for one human to take the life of another completely innocent one Objection 2 Tolerance It s intolerant to impose your view on others Next time somebody says you shouldn t impose your beliefs on others, ask, Why not Any answer he gives will be an example of his imposing his beliefs on you Objection 3 Single Issue Pro Lifers should broaden their focus How does it follow that because pro life advocates oppose the unjust killing of innocent human beings, they must therefore take personal responsibility for solving all of life s ills If pro life advocates want to win debates over abortion, we must stay focused like a lazer beam on the central question What is the unborn The people calling for pro lifers to broaden their efforts are not our friends They are a distraction from the real issue Objection 4 Hard Cases What about rape and incest How should we treat innocent human beings who remind us of a painful event That single question clarifies everything.Objection 5 I Don t Like You You can t get pregnant, and other personal attacks Even if pro lifers are the worst people in the world, others must still refute their arguments Anything less is intellectually dishonest.Objection 6 Bodily Autonomy It s my body, I ll decide Does a mother have no duty to her own child than she does to a total stranger who is unnaturally hooked up to her The central claim in this objection is that pregnant mothers have an absolute right to do whatever they want with their bodies regardless of what it does to the children they carry This argument is particularly popular among pro choice advocates in Ireland today There are a number of issues with this argument and the related analogies such as the life support patient analogy First, we may not have the obligation to sustain strangers who are unnaturally plugged into us, but we do have a duty to sustain our own offspring Second, the child is not an intruder He is precisely where he naturally belongs at that point in his development If the child doesn t belong in the mother s womb, where does he belong Third, abortion is not merely the withholding of support It is also the deliberate killing of a child through dismemberment, poison, or crushing Fourth, barring cases of rape, a woman cannot claim that she bears no responsibility for the pregnancy in the same way she bears no responsibility for patient in the life support analogy Fifth, pregnancy, unlike the life support analogy, is not a prison bed Sixth, unlike the life support analogy, the mother child relationship is not parasitical A parasite is an alien being who should not be present The unborn child is the mother s own flesh and blood and is where he naturally belongs at that stage in his development True, a child who is breast feeding draws nourishment from another person, but this relationship can hardly be called parasitical This is because the child s relation to the mother is indeed a proper one.The bodily rights argument is compelling if and only if a pregnant woman s right to control her own body is absolute, meaning she can do whatever she wants with her body regardless of the impact on her unborn offspring In fact, while the mother s claim to bodily autonomy is important, it is not absolute and does not supersede her obligation to the child.According to these arguments and analogies, moral obligations to one s own offspring are consensual or voluntary This is a strange response Moral obligations, by their very nature, are non consensual That s precisely what makes them moral obligations So the question becomes, what moral obligation does a mother have to her own child Put another way, is there a proper moral expectation that a mother provide life sustaining care for her offspring The assumption of bodily autonomy proponent, that parental responsibilities toward one s offspring are voluntary, is at best odd and at worst monstrous Equipping God s People to Engage the Culture Pro life Christians contend that although humans differ in their respective degrees of development, they are nonetheless equal because they share a common human nature that bears the image of their Creator Humans have value simply because they are human This biblically informed pro life view explains human equality, human rights, and moral obligations better than its secular rivals.When human nature is up for grabs, pastors committed to biblical truth must commit themselves to four vitally important tasks First, he preaches a biblical view of human value and applies that view to abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and cloning Second, he equips his people to engage the culture with a persuasive defence of the pro life view Third, he restores lost passion for ministry with cross centred preaching Fourth, he confronts his own fears about preaching inconvenient truth.My detailed summary of the book is available here I meant to write a review of this book earlier, with better memory of the reading rather than two years after finishing the book In light of the importance of the abortion issue even being so with the election season and Planned Parenthood being on the news, it s important that I review this work as a Christian resource to equip the believers with the issue The author is a Christian bio ethicist who writes this work for Evangelicals as his primary audience, though of course those who are not Christians will benefit from his content as well in making a case for the unborn as a human person He even have a chapter presenting the case for Christianity summarized This book is excellent for contemporary discussion about abortion, with the author devoting a chapter chapter four discussing the issue of Embryonic Stem Cell Research ESCR as well The first part of the book presents the prolife argument very well, beginning with the need of clarifying the debate by focusing on what the issue really is about, and then asking what is the unborn, whether human beings are valuable, etc For those who have been involved in the abortion debate, one realizes that all kinds of objections are thrown against the prolife position and this book is helpful addressing some of these objections and popular side topics In fact, this section of the book is the biggest portion of the book Klusendorf ends the book with a section of how to act for the cause of the unborn, such as what pastors can do and how Christians can be involved with prolife with others without compromising their faith Worth the read and perhaps for me, a second read of this book again to refresh the memory and the arguments. Practical equipping to defend for LifeThis book provides the most comprehensive information to prepare and equip the reader to defend Life and counter the abortion arguments The author addresses all of the main stream arguments that abortion choice minded people present and provides the best avenues of defense He also shares the only means of healing for abortion embracing Jesus Christ through the Gospel. This book was considerably better than expected While I am strongly pro life, I greatly dislike the lack of any civilised discussion and debate that occurs on this topic And, the typical emotive arguments on both sides are frustrating The beginning of the book was excellent In this section, the author outlines the objective arguments for the pro life position Ultimately, it is centred around if the child is human in which case abortion must wrong The book then went on to discuss how to answer challenges to the position This section was good, but became highly repetitive And from there the book went into the politics, where I found myself disagreeing to aspects of what was written Thus, I like the book but cannot bring myself to endorse it fully although the first few chapters are the best I have ever read on this topic. |Free Book ⚖ The Case for Life: Equipping Christians to Engage the Culture ♽ Pro Life Christians, Take Heart The Pro Life Message Can Compete In The Marketplace Of Ideas Provided Christians Properly Understand And Articulate That Message Too Many Christians Do Not Understand The Essential Truths Of The Pro Life Position, Making It Difficult For Them To Articulate A Biblical Worldview On Issues Like Abortion, Cloning, And Embryo ResearchThe Case For Life Provides Intellectual Grounding For The Pro Life Convictions That Most Evangelicals Hold Author Scott Klusendorf First Simplifies The Debate The Sanctity Of Life Is Not A Morally Complex Issue It S Not About Choice, Privacy, Or Scientific Progress To The Contrary, The Debate Turns On One Key Question What Is The Unborn From There Readers Learn How To Engage The Great Bio Tech Debate Of The Twenty First Century, How To Answer Objections Persuasively, And What The Role Of The Pro Life Pastor Should Be This book is a must read for all who consider themselves pro life The author s case for life provides moral and scientific logic that any intellectually honest person will find compelling It is a tool that can equip defenders of the unborn to engage with society in an effective and compassionate manner. This book clearly lays out the rational case for the pro life side of the abortion argument A must read for anyone interested in the topic. Highly recommend When I taught GED High school diploma in a max 5 prison the guys were required to write a research paper to graduate One of my guys chose abortion and after reading this book he completely changed his mind on the subject and rewrote his paper to argue for prolife.