Thursday, March 12, 2009
The Case for Life is Now Available! [SK]
I'm pleased to announce that my new book, The Case for Life: Equipping Christians to Engage the Culture has been released for public consumption by Crossway.
Get your copy here.
Here's the thesis of the book: The pro-life message can compete in the marketplace of ideas provided Christians properly understand and articulate that message.
My primary purpose is to provide the intellectual grounding for the pro-life convictions that many evangelicals hold, but can't articulate. Christians in particular find it difficult to discuss issues like abortion, cloning, and embryo research without a clear understanding of the essential truths of the pro-life position. This book helps readers articulate a biblical worldview on these issues in the face of an increasingly secularized culture.
While the book is primarily for evangelical Christians, it will benefit any pro-life supporter looking to communicate pro-life principles. One of its chief aims is to simplify issues like abortion and embryonic stem cell research. Despite claims to the contrary, these issues are not morally complex. They come down to just one question: Is the embryo 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 more than a disposable instrument. Conversely, if the embryos and fetuses in question are not human beings, killing them to extract stem cells or advance your career requires no more justification than pulling your tooth.
Here's the table of contents for The Case for Life:
Part One: Pro-Life Christians Clarify the Debate
1. What's the Issue?
2. What Is the Unborn?
3. What Makes Humans valuable?
4. Is Embryonic Stem Cell Research Morally Complex?
Part Two: Pro-Life Christians Establish a Foundation for the Debate
5. The Ground Rules: Can You Name My Claim?
6. The Ground Rules Part 2: Is Moral Neutrality Possible?
7. Foundations: Does God Matter or am I just Matter?
8. Dead Silence: Does the Bible Justify Abortion?
Part Three: Pro-Life Christians Answer Objections Persuasively
9. From Debate to Dialogue: Asking the Right Questions
10. The Coathanger Objection: "Women will Die from Illegal Abortions"
11. The Tolerance Objection: "You shouldn't force your views on others."
12. The Single Issue Objection: "Pro-lifers should broaden their focus"
13. The Hard Cases Objection: "Rape justifies abortion"
14. The "I Don't Like You" Objection: "Men can't get pregnant" and other attacks
15. The Bodily Autonomy Objection: "It's my body, I'll decide"
Part Four: Pro-Life Christians Teach and Equip
16. Equip to Engage: The Pro-Life Pastor in the 21st Century
17. Healed and Equipped: Hope for Post-Abortion Men and Women
18. Here We Stand: Co-Belligerence without Theological Compromise
19. Can We Win? How Pro-Life Christians are Making and Extraordinary Impact
Taken from the introduction to the book:
"My own thesis is that a biblically informed pro-life view explains human equality, human rights, and moral obligations better than its secular rivals and that pro-life Christians can make an immediate impact provided they’re equipped to engage the culture with a robust but graciously communicated case for life.
Making that case is what this book is about.
Part one helps pro-life Christians simplify debates over abortion and embryonic stem cell research. These issues are not morally complex, though they are often presented that way. Can we kill the unborn? Yes, I think we can. If. If what? If the unborn are not human beings.
Part two explains why moral neutrality is impossible. In a typical abortion debate, the pro-life advocate will be grilled incessantly on every one of his starting points. His critics will demand to know how a right to life can stand apart from fundamental religious underpinnings, why those underpinnings should be allowed to inform public policy, and why anyone should suppose that just because I exist as a human, I have a right to life others are obliged to respect. The truth is, both sides bring prior metaphysical commitments to the debate and are asking the same exact question: What makes humans valuable in the first place?
For Christians fearful they’ll get caught with nothing to say on abortion, part three provides answers to the most common objections including appeals to the hard cases, assertions of bodily autonomy, and personal attacks that ignore the real issue. Pro-lifers who stay focused on the one question that truly matters, the status of the unborn, won’t be sidetracked.
Part four addresses questions related to the pastoral side of pro-life advocacy. First, what is the role of the pro-life pastor? To make an impact on culture, pro-life pastors must not only understand the times, but pursue four vital tasks which I outline in some detail. Second, are evangelicals who work with Catholics, Jews, and others to reform culture compromising the gospel? Some evangelicals say yes. I say no, provided we draw careful lines between co-belligerence and co-confession. Third, how can post-abortion women and men find hope? Many precious pro-life advocates I meet are trying to atone for past abortions with tireless activity. There’s a better way. It’s called grace. Finally, I conclude with three goals designed to lay a foundation for victory.
I do not pretend to have written an exhaustive defense of the pro-life view. That’s been done already by selected authors I cite throughout the text. My purpose is different. This book will take those sophisticated pro-life defenses and put them in a form that hopefully equips and inspires lay Christians (with or without academic sophistication) to engage the debate with friends, coworkers, and fellow believers.
Admittedly, a book about pro-life apologetics may not appeal to some lay Christians. It seems many believers would rather focus on end times rather than these times. That’s a mistake. Humans who ignore questions about truth and human value may soon learn what it really means to be left behind."
Endorsements for The Case for Life:
“Scott Klusendorf has produced a marvelous resource that will equip pro-lifers to communicate more 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 pro-life 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.”
Randy Alcorn, best-selling author
“Scott Klusendorf takes the insights and methods for defending the right to life he so effectively communicates in his teaching presentations into a book that provides a clear and cogent biblical rationale for the sanctity and dignity of life, born or unborn. This is a great tool for the layman who knows he or she is pro-life, but doesn't understand the presuppositions on which his or her beliefs are based or who doesn’t feel equipped to defend or discuss the issue with others.”
Chuck Colson, founder, Prison Fellowship
“The Case for Life is a veritable feast of helpful information about pro-life issues, the finest resource about these matters I have seen. It is accessible to the layperson, and it lays out a strategy for impacting the world for a culture of life.”
J. P. Moreland, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Biola University; author of Kingdom Triangle
“The Case for Life has set a new standard for pro-life apologetics. Accessible for the layperson, Scott has articulated and refuted every major and minor pro-choice objection to the pro-life position.”
Barbara Shackelford, Executive Director, A Women’s Pregnancy Center, Tallahassee, Florida
“Scott Klusendorf’s accessible, winsomely-written book presents a well-reasoned, comprehensive case for intrinsic human dignity and worth. Klusendorf not only equips the reader with incisive, insightful responses to pro-abortion arguments, he also presents a full defense of the biblical worldview.”
Paul Copan, Professor and Pledger Family Chair of Philosophy and Ethics, Palm Beach Atlantic University, West Palm Beach, Florida
“This book will equip the reader to articulate both a philosophical case and a biblical case for life and to answer intelligently and persuasively the main objections to the pro-life position. It is easy to follow and hard to put down.”
Patrick Lee, McAleer Professor of Bioethics, Director, Institute of Bioethics, Franciscan University of Steubenville
“The Case for Life: Equipping Christians to Engage Culture by Scott Klusendorf is prophetic and practical. It is prophetic in the sense that it makes a clear and undeniable argument based on truth about human value. It gives a biblically informed pro-life view. It is practical because it provides pro-life advocates a toolbox for offering understandable defenses for the unborn. It shows how to logically answer objections and move a debate to a dialogue. As a pastor, I was challenged, informed, and inspired to confidently and graciously make a difference in my generation for the cause of life.”
Jimmy Dale Patterson, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church, Newman, Georgia