Scott Klusendorf: The Case for Life Euipping Christians to Engage the Culture



Practical euipping to defend for LifeThis book provides the most comprehensive information to prepare and euip 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 Klusendorf provides a clear and robust defense of the pro life position from a Christian perspective I appreciated the care he approached the subject especially towards those who may have been involved in a decision to have an abortion My favorite line from this book If ou ve had an abortion If an Elephant Went to School you don t need an excuse You need an exchange His righteousness forour sinfulness Read this book to understand what Christians believe about the sanctify of human lifeRead this book to better articulate the pro life positionRead this book to learn how to better euip Christians to defend the unbornRead this book to find the grace that can only come through Jesus Christ I need to make an appreciation post about this book I ve been reading articles and watching videos of Scott Klusendorf for a long time now So I know very well that he always always presents a rational case for the pro life position I didn t expect this book to say than what I had already heard Scott say before But it does and I m glad to have bought this book Most pro aborts and most people in general are unbelievably ignorant when it comes to the abortion debate That s the only reason why it s even legal anywhere Because they thi 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 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 uestions related to pastors including whether or not it is okay to join hands with other religions to protect life I wholeheartedly agree that Morse Code for Radio Amateurs 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 I meant to write a review of this book earlier with better memory of the reading rather than twoears 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 euip 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 Most people who say they oppose abortion do just enough to salve the conscience but not enough to stop the killingThis is an excellent summary of the pro life position written in a firm et 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 functionallyPro life Christians answer that truth is real knowable and nonnegotiable Although humans differ in their respective degrees of development they are nonetheless eual because they share a common human nature that bears the image of their Creator Humans have value simply because they are humanWe need to simplify the debate by focusing on the one uestion 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 lifePro 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 uestion 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 reuires 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 et to grow and mature but they are. 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 bi.

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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 beIn short pro life advocates contend that although humans differ immensely with respect to talents accomplishments and degrees of development they are nonetheless eual 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 eg in the case of ectopic pregnancyA useful heuristic is whenever we hear an argument for elective abortion to stop and ask this uestion Would this justification for killing the unborn work for killing a toddler If not Linux Networking Cookbook 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 embryoAgain humans have value simply because they are human not because of some acuired property that they may gain or lose during their lifetime Ifou deny this it s difficult to account for fundamental human euality 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 embryologyScience 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 uestion Human Non Persons We are left with an important philosophical uestion Do all human beings regardless of size level of development environment or degree of dependency have an eual 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 beThe pro life case for human euality 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 Conseuently 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 euality in one s ability to immediately exercise certain capacities that embryos and fetuses in virtue of their immature stage of development cannot et 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 uestions 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 eual If they truly believe that we need only use science to show the unborn is a human being and their belief about euality should compel them to accept the pro life viewOpponents 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 communityIn 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 itMoral 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 theirsDoes 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 positionDoes 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 unuestionably 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 uestions When we hit a blocker in a conversation we should ask a good uestion The results can transform the discussion and put us back in the driver s seat where we belong These includeWhat do ou mean by thatHow did FRIENDLY ENEMIES you come to that conclusion Why doou believe that How do Amok you know that What areour reasons for thinking And a Bottle of Rum you re rightHaveou considered Then finish the sentence in a way relevant to the issue at hand Here we are offering an alternative view that gently dismantles our opponent s case or at the very least exposes a serious flaw Blical 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 abo.

N his reasoningObjection 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 oneObjection 2 Tolerance It s intolerant to impose our view on others Next time somebody says Playhouse you shouldn t imposeour beliefs on others ask Why not Any answer he gives will be an example of his imposing his beliefs on ouObjection 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 uestion 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 uestion clarifies everythingObjection 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 dishonestObjection 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 oneThe 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 childAccording 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 uestion 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 Euipping God s People to Engage the Culture Pro life Christians contend that although humans differ in their respective degrees of development they are nonetheless eual 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 euality human rights and moral obligations better than its secular rivalsWhen 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 euips 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 truthMy detailed summary of the book is available here Scott Klusendorf has produced a marvelous resource that will euip 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 euipped 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 A very useful book for euipping Christians to defend their pro life views Very handy though I wasn t always thrilled with his mock conversations At times they came across as a little naive but I realize he has experience in those conversations than I do Scott Klusendorf is a terrific speaker a great writer and I thoroughly as a pro life atheist I m not really the target audience for this book Nevertheless I found the part that deals with pro life arguments to be well written and helpful and even the part that dealt solely with Christian apologetics to be interesting I disagree with many of the religious arguments the author makes including his claims of the reliability of the Bible that s been well debunked in other places and his belief that only people with a Christian worldview can have a basis for morality He seems to feel that morality exists only because of God s laws and only those with knowledge of God s laws truly have a framework for their moral beliefs basically he acknowledges that ou can be good without God which I m grateful forbut he maintains that only Christians have a valid basis for their morality in other words moral relativism is indefensible except from a Christian perspective I would disagree with that He doesn t consider morals as a social construct that is passed down from one generation to another that is a possibility he never addressesnor does he consider that perhaps the conscience evolved alongside with sentience as a part of the human psyche in order to make it easier for humans to live in peace he also attempts to justify the belief in God and intelligent design by maintaining that since moral values exist independently of biology then God must exist a line of argument I think is speciousI could go on discussing the theological arguments that the author makes but I ll close by saying that I think Christians will only be even convinced that they are right by reading this book While half the book was irrelevant to the abortion debate it was still interesting to read and it did give me some insights into how to debate the abortion issue with pro choice opponent. Ut choice privacy or scientific progress To the contrary the debate turns on one key uestion 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.