Friday, April 3, 2009

The Smart Pro-Lifer: A Reading List [SK]

I'm often asked what books aspiring pro-life apologists should read, so I'm reposting links to my personal favorites. I begin with those titles most accessible to the newcomer. A few titles--like Kreeft's The Unaborted Socrates, Beckwith's Defending Life, and Koukl's Tactics should be devoured and mastered fully.

Relating to Pro-Life Apologetics:

1. Randy Alcorn, Why Pro-Life?

2. Peter Kreeft, The Unaborted Socrates

3. Greg Koukl, Precious Unborn Human Persons

4. Greg Koukl, Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions

5. Ramesh Ponnuru, The Party of Death: The Democrats, the Media, the Courts, and the Disregard for Human Life

6. Scott Klusendorf, The Case for Life: Equipping Christians to Engage the Culture

7. Robert P. George and Christopher Tollefsen, Embryo: A Defense of Human Life

8. Francis J. Beckwith, Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case Against Abortion Choice

9. Hadley Arkes, Natural Rights and the Right to Choose:

10. Patrick Lee, Abortion and Unborn Human Life

Christian World View in General (defense of):

1. Ken Boa & Rob Bowman, 20 Compelling Evidences that God Exists

2. Nancy Pearcy, Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from its Cultural Captivity

3. Greg Koukl & Francis J. Beckwith, Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-Air

4. R. Scott Smith, Truth and the New Kind of Christian

5. Ken Samples, A Worldview of Difference: Putting Christian Truth-Claims to the Worldview Test

6. James Sire, The Universe Next Door: A Basic Worldview Catolog:

7. W. Phillips, W. Brown, and John Stonestreet, Making Sense of Your World: A Biblical Worldview

8. Tim Keller, The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism

9. William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics

Reading Aids:

For an overview of of my book (The Case for Life)go here.

Koukl's Tactics is reviewed here.

George & Tollefsen's Embryo is summarized here.

Beckwith's Defending Life is discussed in the following links:

#1 Overview of major themes
#2 The nature of moral reasoning
#3 What Roe said and did, part 1
#4 Roe, part 2: Blackmun undercuts his own case
#5 Roe, part 3: Blackmun's viability errors
#6 Metaphysics and abortion debate
#7 Thomson's 'Equal Reasonableness' Isn't Reasonable
#8: Science and the Unborn

Update 4/4: How did I forget Steve Wagner's Common Ground without Compromise? Get it. Now.


  1. Making Peace in the Abortion War by Rachel McNair. (Major advantage -- you can read it online!

    Mark Crutcher's "Lime 5" is an ugly snapshot of abortion as it's actually practiced in America, and how the abortion lobby and the CDC conspire to keep Americans in the dark about it.

    "In Necessity and Sorrow" by Magda Denes is an irrefutable, because "prochoice" look at typical, non-malpractice abortion. Pretty damning.

    Marvin Olasky's "Abortion Rites" looks at how we squashed abortion the first two times, giving insights on what we can try again.

    Bernard Nathanson's "Aborting America", written while Nathanson was still a queasy prochoicer and part-time abortionist, is an eye opening look into how the abortion lobby gained the political and PR upper hand.

    "Surprise Child" by Leslie Leyland Fields, is a must for CPCs and ordinary folk. It's how women work through the normal ambivalence of early pregnancy.

    "The American Way of Death", by Jessica Mitford, is an expose of the American funeral industry, and the specifics are out of date, but she does an excellent job of looking at the dynamics of selling YOURSELF on the "necessity" of a "service" that you're selling to stressed-out people at a vulnerable moment when time is of the essence. Most of the lessons from this book apply to abortion as well.

  2. Unfortunately, you can't read the new edition (this year's) of Achieving Peace in the Abortion War online.

    I would also recommend The House of Atreus: Abortion as a Human Rights Issue by James Bohan. And of course the various pro-life feminism books.


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