Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I Am Pro-Choice ... But Please Keep Reading

My friend Scott Klusendorf is among the best pro-life apologists on the planet. I say 'among the best' only because I haven't heard them all -- but he's the best I've ever heard speak. His new book, The Case For Life, will be out in just a few weeks and, after getting a sneak preview of it, all I can say is that anyone who wants to promote and advance the pro-life cause to save the unborn has got to read it. Scott makes the complex simple, and the pro-life case clear.

What may be surprising to many is that Scott is unabashedly pro-choice. I share that view with him and you can see him defend it here: (Scott at Gordon College)

I believe that women should be free to choose their doctor, their profession, their husband, their recreational activities, where they live ... They should be free to choose everything about their lives. Everything, that is, except choices that are morally wrong ... choices that deny others the same kinds of liberty women enjoy for themselves ... choices like having an abortion. So, to those who attempt to label the pro-life movement as being "anti-choice," your objection rings hollow. Abortion is not a question of freedom of choice. It is a question of moral right and wrong.

Because there aren't enough Scott Klusendorfs in this world, I have taken it upon myself to try to articulate the pro-life position through my own little sphere of influence. This month I am teaching a 4-week course at my church about "Defending Life" and I am using a lot of Scott's material. In that class we started out discussing the fact that the Bible doesn't seem to help us out much on the issues of life. For instance, the Bible never specifically mentions: when life begins, abortion, stem cell research, or euthanasia. The question is: Does that mean that the Bible is silent on these issues?

I think not.

There is no doubt that the Bible unequivocally promotes the value of human life from beginning to end. We Christians believe that value to have its source in our being made in God's image. Through the words of David in the Psalms, the prophets in the Old Testament, and Jesus himself, there is no doubt about this fact. Being made in God's image is what sets us apart from the rest of the creation. It is what allows us to contemplate the divine and have a relationship of any kind with our Creator. It is what makes us unique -- and valuable. So, if you are a Christian, the Imago Dei is enough. But it is not enough for everyone.

Those who rely on the Bible alone to make the case for life will be in deep trouble when they try to take that case outside the church. But take the case outside the church we must. To do so requires that we not rely so much on the Bible. Some folks cringe when I (or others) say that but I don't see any way of getting around it. Those who promote abortion on demand don't care what the Bible says. So our work is cut out for us.

But that's OK -- we have science, philosophy and politics on our side too.

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