Sunday, March 22, 2009

Book Review: The Case for Life by Scott Klusendorf

The Case for Life by Scott Klusendorf is subtitled, Equipping Christians to Engage the Culture, and it is essentially that.

The book is divided into four parts:

  1. Pro-Life Christians Clarify the Debate
  2. Pro-Life Christians Establish a Foundation for the Debate
  3. Pro-Life Christians Answer Objections Persuasively
  4. Pro-Life Christians Teach and Equip

Far from showing all the complexity of these issues, The Case for Life strips away appeals to complexity from claims of choice, privacy or scientific research. The fundamental appeal rests on the question of what’s the issue: in considering who are the unborn? That human beings of every stage of development are made in the image of God, puts everything into perspective.

For too long, non-Christians have been allowed to frame this debate. Klusendor advocates that Christians step up to define the ground rules in establishing a foundation for the debate. Metaphysics, the myth of “moral neutrality” the person of God and Scripture must be referenced in this debate. Yet, if I would see any lack in this work it would be in the content of scriptural examination. Since there is an obvious apologetic aim of this work, the limit in this mater is understood. Its brief highlight however endangers this book in being too tied to the immediate and not transcendent enough. That the material is presented in a well-researched, well-written, logical and clear manner, its usefulness should prove itself.

Arguments cannot be won without dealing with the issues and presuppositions of the opponent, thus Klusendor covers the most frequently argued objections in real dialogue formats. From illegal abortions, tolerance, focus, rape, personal attacks to personal freedom, The Case for Life helps those who would argue for life to both understand and counter what is presented against those who would stand for life.

Finally, hope for this battle is secured with accounts of how pro-life Christian are making an extraordinary impact. The training resources outlined in the Appendix give the motivated reader direction for further action. Each chapter includes review questions and helpful resources for further study and consideration.

In terms of complexity of writing, Klusendor’s work here could be considered to be written at the intermediate level. The detail supplied provides a helpful context without coming to the point of losing the novice. Copious links are provided for further detail when needed.

The Case for Life can have an immediate impact for someone to speak on fundamental issues of bioethics like abortion, cloning and embryo research. The challenge with a work on this subject is its natural dating of material to contemporary science. The obvious challenge is to continue to use this source in light of undoubted forthcoming medical changes. The transcendent usefulness of this work will be in the philosophical approach demonstrated. Defining the transcendent issue, ground rules and arguing against common objections, these frame this debate regardless of future medical changes.

The Case for Life by Scott Klusendorf should be considered an essential tool in the present battle for life. For everyone who stands idly by while millions are slaughtered, “I don’t know what to say” can no longer be an answer.

No comments: