Becoming Rooted and Established in Your Faith
“Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered”—C.S. Lewis
"Helping the Next Generation Think Christianly About All of life"
A colleague of mine asked what adjustments pro-life advocates should make to better position themselves for 2011 and beyond.
That's a loaded question that's best left to brighter minds, but my general reply was as follows: Pro-life Christians should bring God glory. At the practical level, that means they must not only state their case persuasively, but transform themselves into winsome statesmen without sacrificing the intellectual content of their ideas.
I then sketched out a rough (and very incomplete) outline of what that transformation might look like, including those principles that I strive to live by as a pro-life apologist.
Thesis: The pro-life statesman completes five key tasks:
I) The pro-life statesman presents a persuasive case for life in forums where our message most needs a hearing:A. in Catholic and Protestant high schools
B. in presentations to clergy
C. in debates at high schools and universities
D. in training seminars for lay people
E. in talks to elementary age children
F. in worldview courses for high school students
II) The pro-life statesman engages the debate in the academy:A. in philosophy:1. He defends the substance view of human personsB. in Law: refutation of moral and legal neutrality
2. He challenges naturalism as a foundation for human rights and ethics
C. in Ethics: He helps Christians think biblically about medical technology related to the edges of life (beginning and end of life)
III) The pro-life statesman clarifies theological misconceptionsA. in Evangelical theology: He challenges the mistaken belief that we should only preach the gospel and never do politics--but he does so without sacrificing fidelity to the gospel or Scripture
B. in Catholic theology: He confronts the mistaken belief that social justice requires that all moral issues carry equal moral weight
C. in Pastoral theology: He engages clergy who mistakenly think the gospel of grace means ignoring sin
D. in personal theology: He challenges the mistaken view that individuals must get a personal assignment from God to do pro-life work
E. in youth ministry theology: He challenges the claim that today's twitter generation can't handle serious pro-life content
IV) The pro-life statesman connects the dotsA. in churches: He helps pastors win connecting biblical truth to abortion
B. in politics: He graciously explains why all political parties are not equal in their defense of human life
C. in pregnancy center ministry: He inspires staff and volunteers to minister to women AND impact culture
"A 69-year-old Philadelphia doctor who performed abortions was charged by prosecutors on Wednesday with the murder of seven newborns who were killed with scissors and of a female patient who died of an overdose of anesthetics.
The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office said Dr. Kermit Gosnell, a family practitioner who had not been certified in obstetrics or gynecology, oversaw a medical practice that regularly performed late-term abortions.
On at least seven occasions, babies born alive during the sixth, seventh and eighth month of pregnancies were killed by having their spinal cords severed with a pair of scissors, District Attorney Seth Williams said in a statement.
A grand jury investigation found that although complaints about Dr. Gosnell and his Women Medical Society clinic in west Philadelphia had been made to a variety of government health and medical licensing officials for more than 20 years — including about the deaths of women during routine abortions — the doctor was never officially sanctioned.
Most of Dr. Gosnell’s patients were low-income immigrant and minority women" (more)
Mark Twain once quipped, “faith is believing what you know ain’t so.” That isn’t Christianity. The fact that some Christians may have blind faith is not the same as Christianity itself championing blind faith and irrationality. Historic Christianity has always emphasized that faith and reason go together. In everyday terms, faith is simply trusting in what you have good reason to believe is true. Faith in the Christian life is trust that God is who he claims to be and will do all that he has promised to do. This is reasonable because God has shown himself to be reliable and trustworthy. So faith is not belief in spite of the evidence, but belief in light of the evidence.
“For if Darwinism is true, then religion and morality are nothing more than irrational, upper-story beliefs inhabiting the realm of value rather than fact. We are sometimes reassured that this is not a bad thing, because after all the subjectivity of the value realm renders it immune to rational scrutiny. The marketing pitch can be quite seductive: Scientific naturalists say they will acknowledge that there are certain moral and religious feelings that science cannot account for—if, in return, theology will agree not to intrude into realms investigated by science. In other words, if Christians would just relinquish all claims to objective truth, then they would be granted an arena where their beliefs are secure from criticism.” – Nancy PearceyThat’s not a good deal at all and we should reject it—precisely because we are Christians who stand in a knowledge tradition. So I am with Peter on this one: “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen” (2 Peter 3:18).