Magazine article The Human Life Review

Deliver Us from Abortion/answering the Call: Saving Innocent Lives One Woman at a Time/why Pro-Life? Caring for the Unborn and Their Mothers

Magazine article The Human Life Review

Deliver Us from Abortion/answering the Call: Saving Innocent Lives One Woman at a Time/why Pro-Life? Caring for the Unborn and Their Mothers

Article excerpt

DELIVER US FROM ABORTION Brian Fisher (Brown Books, 240 pp., 2015, $18.95)

ANSWERING THE CALL: SAVING INNOCENT LIVES ONE WOMAN AT A TIME John Ensor (Hendrickson Publishers, 128 pp., 2012, $6.95)

WHY PRO-LIFE? CARING FOR THE UNBORN AND THEIR MOTHERS Randy Alcorn (Hendrickson Publishers, 172 pp., 2012, $6.95)

Reviewed by John Grondelski

These three books provide Protestant prolifers with useful resources, both for their own background knowledge as well as to make the case to their churches and the larger public. Brian Fisher, who cofounded Online for Life (onlineforlife.org), is frustrated that "... abortion is rarely discussed or taught by church leaders. People are not informed about the scriptural, moral, ethical, and social ramifications of abortion. We receive very little factual information from the media. If our churches ignore it as well, where are we to get truthful, relevant teaching?" Randy Alcorn and John Ensor want to reach out to "undecideds" whom, as Ensor notes, include not just those who feign opposition on abortion but also those content to limit their opposition to abortion to just a personal attitude: "[Ajbortion advocates are quite happy that so many Christians today identify themselves as pro-life-just as long as they continue to act pro-choice. Passive acceptance of legal abortion, not agreement with legal abortion, is all they need to win."

Alcorn's Why Pro-Life? has some potential to follow in the footsteps of John Willke's now 40-plus-year-old classic, Handbook on Abortion, as a handy, punchy, and well-written paperback making the basic case for the pro-life cause. In 21 chapters, most of which are about five pages long, Alcorn tackles all the fundamental questions connected with abortion: "Are the Unborn Really Human?" "Is the Unborn Child Part of the Mother's Body?" "Does Our 'Right to Privacy' include Abortion?" "What Do the Pictures Tell Us?" "Can You Be Personally Opposed to Abortion and Be Pro-Choice?" Although he does not deny the theological dimension of abortion, Alcorn puts the pro-life religious perspective in three appendices: "Abortion in the Bible and Church History," "Biblical Passages Relevant to Life Issues," and 'Talking Points for Communicating the Pro-Life Message."

While Alcorn treats the theological and Church history aspects of abortion separately, he certainly does not pretend that abortion poses no serious spiritual and religious issues, because he addresses two major questions: "Will God Forgive Abortions?" (yes, if we repent) and "Pro-Life Issues: Distraction from the Great Commission or Part of It?" (part of it, because we are called to witness to Christ amidst the concrete moral decisions of our times). Nor does Alcorn leave things on a purely theoretical basis. He addresses the questions, "How Can I Help Unborn Babies and Their Mothers?" and "What about Adoption?" Fisher, in my view, is on the mark when he writes: "Abortion is primarily a spiritual battle, a clash of worldviews that stems from our beliefs about God, mankind, our purpose, and eternity. The reason 'prochoicers oppose even modest limits [on abortion procedures],' write Charles Colson and Nancy Pearcey, is 'because they understand that abortion represents a worldview conflict: God and the sanctity of life versus the individual's moral autonomy. They can give no quarter.'"

While Alcorn is writing for everybody (but with a special aside to believing Protestants), Evangelical pastor John Ensor's Answering the Call wants to engage fellow believers-especially the young-in active pro-life work as an aspect of their religious commitment. That perspective is especially valuable, because there is a whole line of distinguished Protestant theologians and pastors-Paul Ramsey and Harold O.J. Brown (both of whom regularly contributed to the Human Life Review) coming immediately to mind-who early on gave the lie to the pro-abortion contention that pro-life was just a "Catholic thing. …

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