Where is the Evangelical Church?

(Part Two)

V. IS THERE WARRANT FOR THE CLAIM THAT THE PLIGHT OF THE PRE-BORN IS NOT AN EMERGENCY THAT CALLS FOR EXTRAORDINARY ACTION BY THE CHURCH?

 

In this section we will examine several of the most commonly raised arguments in support of the position that the church should not make the plight of the pre-born a matter of high priority. I will attempt to show that none of these arguments is warranted.

 

A. Argument: Despite the fact that abortion was widely practiced in the Roman Empire, Jesus said nothing about it, leading one to think that He did not consider the issue to be of great importance.

 

Rebuttal: There are, at least, a couple of problems with this argument. First, although abortion, as the Christian scholar Michael J. Gorman, in his book Abortion & The Early Church, says, was widespread in the Roman Empire, nonetheless, “… the witness of antiquity is that Jews, unlike pagans, did not practice deliberate abortion.”76 And since Jesus, as He Himself says, “… was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel” (Matt. 15:24, NIV)—not to pagans—it is not at all surprising that he was silent about the pagan practice of abortion. However, it wasn’t long after Jesus’ ascension that his followers began to speak out in defense of the pre-born. In fact, as we saw above, both Gorman and the historian William E. H. Lecky, in his book History of European Morals, claim that there is reason to think that the early church was influential in having abortion outlawed throughout the Roman Empire in the third-century.

Second, to quote Stott, “It is irrelevant to reply that Jesus and his apostles … neither required nor even commended political action, let alone engaged in it themselves. This is true. They did not. But we have to remember that they were a tiny, insignificant minority under the totalitarian regime of Rome. The legions were everywhere and under orders to suppress dissent, crush opposition, and preserve the status quo.77 But, obviously, just because Jesus was unable to engage in political action about some issue, such as abortion, because he lived in a totalitarian regime, it does not follow that we, who live in a democracy, cannot, or should not, do so.

 

B. Argument: The church should not make the plight of the pre-born a matter of high priority as long as there is the possibility that doing so will offend aborted women (i.e., women who have had abortions) within the church.

Rebuttal: In response to this objection, several things should be noted. First, by this criterion, the church would not now, or ever,make responding to the plight of the pre-born a matter of high priority, for the possibilityof offending aborted women within the church can never, completely, be eliminated. However, such a position, as I have argued above, is contrary to the implicit teaching of Scripture.

The following words by Stott are, I think, pertinent here:

“… when the church concludes that biblical faith or righteousness requires it to take a public stand on some issue, then it must obey God’s Word and trust him with the consequences.”78

Second, the example of Jesus exemplifies the principle that, given the choice between speaking the truth and offending someone, one should speak the truth (cf. Matthew 15:1–14; John 6:51–66; Mark 3:1–6). To do otherwise, I would argue, would fail to show a high regard for truth.

Third, it is unwise to try to hide the truth about abortion from women who may have obtained them. For as Randy Alcorn, the award-winning author, says, “There can be no healing without forgiveness, no forgiveness without confession and repentance, and no confession and repentance until abortion is clearly seen to be sin.”79

C. Argument: The reform of Canada’s policy concerning abortion will, likely, only come about as the result of a nationwide revival.

Rebuttal: There are, at least, two problems with this objection. First, it only contains the truth of a half-truth. It is surely no coincidence that the abolishment of slavery and the slave trade in Great Britain that occurred, largely, through the work of the Clapham Sect (under Wilberforce’s leadership), was preceded by the Evangelical Revival (associated, primarily, with the preaching of John Wesley and George Whitefield). In fact, the last letter that Wesley is known to have written was addressed to Wilberforce, in which, speaking of slavery, he says:

“Unless the divine power has raised you up to be an Athanasius contra mundum [i.e., give you the courage to act], I see not how you can go through with your glorious enterprise in opposing that execrable villainy which is the scandal of religion, of England and of human nature. Unless God has raised you up for this very thing, you will be worn out by the opposition of men and devils; but if God is with you, who can be against you? Are all of them stronger than God? Oh, be not weary in well doing. Go on, in the name of God and in the power of His might, till even American slavery, the vilest that ever saw the sun, shall vanish away before it.”80

However, it does not follow from the fact that the reform of Canada’s policy concerning abortion will, likely, only come about as the result of a nationwide revival that the church should not make responding to the plight of the pre-born a matter of high priority. For Scripture says that revival must be preceded by repentance (cf. 2 Chronicles 7:14; Isaiah 1:15; Isaiah 58:6), and repentance, the Bible teaches, is a two-step process. It involves, first, turning away from sin, and, second, turning to God (which includes doing His will). But if the case that I present in this paper is correct, then it is God’s will—what theologians call God’s preceptive willfor the church to make, responding to the plight of the pre-born a matter of high priority.

Second, there can still be reform without revival. Evidence of this is the encouraging progress achieved in recent years by the pro-life movement in the United States. For example, in 2015, they succeeded in getting passed 47 pro-life bills nationwide.81

D. Argument: The church’s first order of business should be trying to fulfill the Great Commission, not responding to the plight of the pre-born.

 

Rebuttal: The Great Commission says not only that the church should “make disciples of all the nations,” but that it should “teach them to observe all things that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19–20, NKJV). And the latter, as we have seen, includes Jesus’s teaching that the church is to be “the salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13a, NKJV), which, as we saw above, includes fighting social evils, such as abortion.

 

E. Argument: The abortion controversy is a spiritual problem. To win this battle, therefore, the church must use spiritual weapons.

 

Rebuttal: The great Russian novelist, Alexander Solzhenitsyn (1918¾2008), in his 1983 Templeton Prize speech, said, “More than half a century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of older people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.”82 Solzhenitsyn believed that there was a cause-and-effect relationship between the Gulag Archipelago, which, according to him, claimed the lives of 60 million, and his nation’s rejection of God.83 Though Canada, unlike the former Soviet Union, is not communist, nonetheless, it has, like the country that Solzhenitsyn loved so dearly, rejected God. A Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, for example, described Canada as a “secular nation.”84 And Harry Antonides, former director of the Work Research Foundation (now called Cardus), says that, “What is unfolding with great speed [in Canada] is a radical secularization of life….”85 But what, the reader may wonder, does the term “secular” mean? The historian James Hitchcock, says, “To call someone secular means that he is completely timebound, totally a child of his age, a creature of history, with no vision of eternity. Unable to see anything in the perspective of eternity, he cannot believe that God exists or acts in human affairs.”86 Like Solzhenitsyn, I would argue that abortion in Canada is merely a symptom, or effect, of Canada’s rejection of God. I would agree with this objection, then, that the abortion issue is a spiritual problem.

            However, the fact that the abortion conflict is, at root a spiritual problem, in no way, negates my claim that theplight of the pre-born in Canada is anemergency that requires extraordinary action by the church. The reason for this is that the abortion conflict is not simply a spiritual problem. It is, also, a moral and political issue.87 For as Schaeffer, speaking, in part, of the abortion issue, says, “The primary battle is a spiritual battle in the heavenlies…. The spiritual battle has its counterpart in the visible world, in the minds of men and women, and in every area of human culture.”88 The abortion conflict, then, must be waged on two levels: on one level it is a spiritual battle that must be fought in the heavenly realm, using such spiritual weapons as those mentioned by Paul in Ephesians 6:10–18; on another level it is a visible battle that must be conducted on earth, using such weapons as political agitation, protests, boycotts, etc.

 

F. Argument: For the church to make the plight of the pre-born a matter of high priority would confuse the kingdom of this world with the Kingdom of God, which Jesus says we should “seek first.”

 

Rebuttal:There are, at least, three problems with this argument. First, what Jesus says is that we should “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness…” (Matthew 6:33, NIV) (emphasis mine), and “righteousness” consists, in part, of social righteousness, which can include fighting abortion. Second, as Augustine (354–430) says in his masterpiece, The City of God, Christians are citizens, not just of one “city” (kingdom), but of two—the “City of Man” and the “City of God.”89 I would hasten to add, however, that our first allegiance must be to the City of God. Third, although our first allegiance must be to the City of God, it is one of the messages of the “Parable of The Good Samaritan” that, as I argued above, emergencies can arise in the City of Man that call for immediate action by the church. And the mass killing of the pre-born, I would argue, is just such an emergency.

 

G. Argument: For the church to treat the plight of the pre-born as an emergency that calls for immediate action on its part would be a violation of the separation of church and state.

 

Rebuttal: In answering this objection, I can do no better than to quote the following statement by Sproul:

 

“When the church calls on the state to prohibit abortion…. [t]he church is simply asking the state to be the state. If it is the role of the state to protect, sustain, and maintain human life, and if it is the conviction of the church that abortion involves the destruction of human life, then it follows that the church has the right to call the state to outlaw abortion.”90

 

H. Argument: Instead of condemning abortion, which is a negative action, pastors should be positive and stick to preaching about the doctrine of the sanctity of life.

 

Rebuttal: It is true that condemning abortion is negative, but so is the action of salt. To quote Stott, “… we Christian people should be more courageous, more outspoken in condemning evil. Condemning is negative, to be sure, but the action of salt is negative.”91

 

I. Argument: Some members of the evangelical church, especially in the United States, have, while fighting against abortion, done a poor job of dispensing grace, and, in so doing, have damaged the church’s witness and integrity. For this reason, the church should think twice about treating the plight of the pre-born as an emergency that calls for immediate action on its part.

 

Rebuttal: In his book What’s So Amazing About Grace, the award-winning writer, Philip Yancey, tells of a conference in Great Britain, several years ago, in which the question under discussion was, “What, if any, Christian belief is unique to Christianity.” Among some of the Christian beliefs that were suggested, but rejected, were the Incarnation and Resurrection; other religions had versions of these beliefs. After the discussion had dragged on for some time, C.S. Lewis, the famous Christian writer and medieval scholar, joined in by asking, “What are you discussing?” After being told, he replied, “Oh, that’s easy. It’s grace.”92

Unfortunately, as this objection points out, the manner in which some evangelical Christians have expressed their opposition to abortion can, accurately, be described as grace-less. At times, these Christians seem more interested in playing power games than dispensing grace. The angry rhetoric of some of these Christians stands in stark contrast to Paul’s admonition to, “… [speak] the truth in love….” (Ephesians 4:15, NIV).

With that having been said, however, there are several problems with this argument. First, it is not so much an objection to my claim that the church should make the plight of the pre-born a matter of high priority, as it is a complaint—albeit a valid one—about the way that some evangelicals in the United States have opposed abortion. Second, this objection presupposes that responding to the plight of the pre-born is an optional activity for the church, when, as I have argued above, nothing could be further from the truth. Third, as Augustine said, one should not judge a philosophy by its abuse.93 As should be obvious to the reader, those evangelical Christians, who in their opposition to abortion, exhibit a lack of grace, are not being faithful to the teaching of Scripture.

J. Argument: Abortion is a political issue, and the church should stay out of politics.

 

Rebuttal: If what is meant by this objection is that the church lacks the authority to formulate public policies, then I agree with it, in part. To quote Donald Bloesch (1928–2010), an American evangelical theologian, “The church as a church must speak to the critical moral issues in society through its preaching of the law. It must point directions, but as a general rule, it should not issue political directives nor try to determine policy.”94 Similarly, William Temple (1928–2010), the former Archbishop of Canterbury, says, “The Church is committed to the everlasting Gospel and to the Creeds which formulate it; it must never commit itself to an ephemeral programme of detailed action.”95 Put another way, “… the Church is concerned with principles and not with policy.”96, 97

However, as an objection to my claim that the church should make the plight of the pre-born a matter of high priority, this argument fails for, at least, two reasons. First, it falsely assumes that the abortion controversy is, simply, a political issue. For, as we have seen, this conflict is, primarily, a spiritual issue. It is also, secondarily, a moral issue. This is because it involves the question: Is abortion morally right, wrong, or indifferent? Hence, because abortion, as well as being a political matter, is also, a spiritual and ethical issue, it follows that the church can, without going beyond its authority, oppose this practice.

Second, although the church as church should stay out of politics that is not to say that individual Christians, acting as private citizens, should do so. For like Wilberforce, who served in the British House of Commons, from which, for over three decades, he introduced several resolutions and gave numerous speeches for the purpose of outlawing slavery and the slave trade in the United Kingdom, Evangelicals in Canada, today, who work to end abortion, should, similarly, take advantage of the democratic process.

 

K. Argument: The church should not oppose abortion if there is the possibility that doing so will hinder the spread of the Gospel.

 

Rebuttal: In response to this argument, three things should be noted. First, this objection seems to downplay the importance of social action. But, as Stott stated above, Jesus’ metaphors of salt and light, which comprise the church’s responsibilities in the world, refer to social action and evangelism, and nowhere does Scripture suggest that one metaphor should take precedence over the other. To quote Stott:

 

“… we should never put our two vocations to be salt and light, our Christian social and evangelistic responsibilities, over against each other as if we had to choose between them. We should not exaggerate either, nor disparage either, at the expense of the other. Neither can be a substitute for the other. The world needs both. It is bad and needs salt; it is dark and needs light. Our Christian vocation is to be both. Jesus Christ said so, and that should be enough.”98

 

Second, this objection fails to take into consideration that, as the Parable of the Good Samaritan teaches, emergencies sometimes arise that require immediate action on the part of the church. This is true even if these emergencies, for whatever reason, inhibit, temporarily, the church’s ability to share the Gospel. The theologian, Ronald Sider (born 1939), says, “In times of emergency, it is entirely proper to feed the starving and cloth the naked without speaking of Christ. At other times, it will be just as appropriate to invite people to accept our Lord before any social action is undertaken. It all depends on the circumstances.”99

Consider, for example, the actions taken by Pastor Andre Trocme and the small, Protestant Huguenotcongregation that he pastored in the village of Le Chambon, France, during the occupation of their country by Nazi Germany. During this time they harbored hundreds of orphaned Jewish children whose parents had been sent to death camps. Their actions, no doubt, offended some in the village who were anti-Semitic, especially since what they were doing was illegal and could have brought harsh reprisals down upon the whole village.100 Furthermore, the time and energy required to protect these children would also have impeded their ability to evangelize. But even though the actions of Trocme and his congregation may have, temporarily, hindered the spread of the Gospel in Le Chambon, most Christians, I think, would agree that this was a price worth paying in order to rescue these children.

Lastly, it could be argued that not responding to the plight of the pre-born could hurt the church’s ability to evangelize—at least in the long run. For example, Curt Young, former executive director of Care Net (formerly Christian Action Council) says, “Some Christians no doubt will see the question of abortion as a peripheral matter to the ‘business of the church.’ They will not recognize that the integrity of the church and its witness for generations is at stake.”101 Similarly, Francis Schaeffer and C. Everett Koop say, “Future generations will look back, and many will either scoff or believe in Christ on the basis of whether we Christians of today took a sacrificial stand in our various walks of life on these overwhelmingly important issues.”102 Consider, for example, how the integrity of the evangelical church of Germany has been affected by its guilty silence during the Holocaust, and of how this has, likely, hindered its ability to be a witness for Christ.

 

L. Argument: Most churches have too much on their plate as it is right without adding another program to their agenda.

 

Answer: There are several problems with this objection. First, it misses the point. For, in reminding the church of its responsibility to the pre-born, I am not so much suggesting that the church take on another program as I am calling upon the church to be the church. Bonhoeffer, similarly, argued that the German evangelical church of Nazi Germany, by ignoring the plight of the Jews, had ignored its true identity.103

Second, this objection fails to appreciate the enormity of the evil of abortion. For, as I said above, since 1969 almost four million pre-born Canadian children have been killed by abortion. It is, in other words, the mass shedding of innocent blood.

Lastly, this objection overlooks the fact that the plight of the pre-born, as I have argued above, is an emergency that calls for extraordinary action by the church. As such coming to the pre-born’s aid is not an option. It is something that the church must do if it wishes to be faithful. If the church does not have the time to do this, then it must, somehow, make the time.

 

M. Objection: Condemning abortion, more often than not, just evokes hostility.

 

Answer: In response to this objection several things should be noted. First, Scripture teaches that speaking the truth, whether it is by claiming that “One can only be saved through Jesus Christ,” or by saying that “Abortion kills children,” often evokes hostility. For example, in John 15:18, Jesus says, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.” Jesus’ teachings often enraged his listeners, especially the Pharisees. He was not crucified for being nice, after all! In their book Resident Aliens, Stanley Hauerwas and William H. Willimon recall hearing someone suggest that the Prayer for Enemies should be removed from the Book of Common Prayer because those in this person’s denomination are so nice now that they no longer make enemies.104 These authors, then, state the following truism: “Truth makes its own enemies.”105 Jesus did not let other people’s angry reactions deter Him from speaking the truth, and neither should we.

Second, even if true, this objection does nothing to refute my claim that the plight of the pre-born is an emergency that calls for extraordinary action by the church. For, as Mother Teresa, said, God has called us to be faithful, not successful. Furthermore, nowhere does the Bible teach that a criterion for measuring whether or not Christians are successful is the positive responses of others. On the contrary, the Bible defines success as being faithful.106 From this, it follows that even if our defense of the pre-born does, largely, evoke hostility, we were, nonetheless, successful because we were faithful.In other words, the assumption behind this objection—that we have failed if our defense of the pre-born, largely, evokes hostility—is false.

Third, what is the evidence that condemning abortion, more often than not, evokes hostility? Without question, this activity does evoke some hostility, but it is not at all obvious that it mostly evokes hostility. For example, I know, personally from having participated in a couple of dozen Life Chain protests through the years, and to a less extent, the March for Life demonstrations in Ottawa, they often generate a favourable response. For example, at the last Life Chain protest, I observed that the positive responses from motorists outnumbered the negative ones by a ratio of, about, 2/1.

 

VI. CONCLUSION

 

In this paper I have attempted to prove two main points. First, drawing upon Scripture, the testimony of contemporary evangelical leaders, and church tradition, I argued that there is warrant for the claim that the plight of the pre-born is an emergency that calls for extraordinary action by the church. Second, by examining, and offering rebuttals of, all of the most common arguments in support of the position that the plight of the pre-born is not an emergency that calls for extraordinary action by the church, I have tried to show that this position is not warranted.

James Boswell, in his famous biography of Samuel Johnson, records Johnson as responding to his detractors in the following way:

 

“Sir, I consider myself as entrusted with a certain portion of truth. I have given my opinion sincerely; let them show where they think me wrong.”107

 

If past experience is any indication, many readers of this paper, and, in particular, evangelical leaders, will take issue with some of the claims contained within it, especially my two main points. To such detractors I would, as I stated above, respectfully issue—Johnson-like—the following challenge:

 

Either refute my case that the plight of the pre-born in Canada is an emergency that calls for extraordinary action by the church, or join with believers like myself in opposing this evil.

 

Let me close with the following, pertinent, words by Martin Luther (1483–1546):

 

“If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at the moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved and to be steady on all the battle front besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.”108

 

_____________________

References

 

1) “Annual Abortion Rates.”

http://abortionincanada.ca/stats/annual-abortion-rates/Web.

2) “On the Unity of the Church.”

https://www.christianhistoryinstitute.org/incontext/article/cyprian/Web.

3) “Doctrinal and Ethical Positions Church of the Nazarene.”

www.crivoice.org/creednazarene.html#Human_Life. June, 2015. Web.

4) Personal correspondence, June 12, 2013.

5) Personal correspondence, June 12, 2013.

6) Personal correspondence, June 12, 2013.

7) Personal correspondence, June 17, 2013.

8)John R. W. Stott, The Message of the Sermon on the Mount (Downers Grove, Ill: Inter-Varsity Press, 1978) 118.

9) “Annual Abortion Rates.” http://abortionincanada.ca/stats/annual-abortion-rates/

10) William Barclay, And Jesus Said (Edinburgh: The Saint Andrew Press, 1970) 83.

11) Ibid, 83.

12) Ibid, 80.

13) The claim made here—that the shedding of innocent blood pollutes a land—was written with Israel in mind. That being the case, some readers may question the legitimacy of applying it to other nations. I think that it can legitimately be applied to other nations for, at least, three reasons. First, the city of Ninevah is, similarly, denounced, in the book of Nahum, as a “city of blood” (3:1). Second, John Gill, in his commentary on this passage, interprets it as applying to any nation (http://biblehub.com/commentaries/numbers/35-33.htm). Third, this claim alludes back to the prohibition against the shedding of innocent blood in Genesis 9:6, which applies, not simply to Jews, but to all human beings.

14) “Annual Abortion Rates.” http://abortionincanada.ca/stats/annual-abortion-rates/Web.

15) John Stott, Decisive Issues Facing Christians Today (Grand Rapids, MI: Fleming H. Revell, 1992) 93.

16) Desmond Doig, Mother Teresa—Her People and Her Work, (Glasgow, Great Britain: William Collins Sons & Co Ltd., 1981)142.

17) Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer—Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2010) 247.

18) Harold O.J. Brown, Death Before Birth (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc. Publishers, 1977) 85.

19) William Barclay, And Jesus Said (Edinburgh: The Saint Andrew Press, 1970) 106.

20) As an evangelical I hold to the Reformed formula that says, “We are justified by faith alone, but not by a faith that is alone.” See R.C. Sproul, Essential truths of the Christian Faith (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1992) 191. That is, although faith should, necessarily, produce good works, nonetheless “… it is the work of Christ, not our own, that justifies us.” R.C. Sproul, Faith Alone—The Evangelical Doctrine of Justification (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1995) 160. Hence, I believe that what Jesus, in this parable, is saying to the sheep and goats, is that their actions towards those in need are, simply, confirmation of what He already knew about them (i.e., that they either were, or were not, His children).

21) Neil R. Lightfoot, Lessons from the Parables (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1965) 180.

22) John Stott, Decisive Issues Facing Christians Today (Grand Rapids, MI: Fleming H. Revell, 1992) 308.

23) Brian Kilodiejchuk, M.C., ed., Mother Teresa—Where There is Love There is God (New York, NY: Doubleday Religion, 2010) 15.

24) Neil R. Lightfoot, Lessons from the Parables (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1965)182.

25) Ronald Sider, Evangelism & Social Action (London, England: Hodder & Stoughton, 1993)167.

26) John Stott, Decisive Issues Facing Christians Today (Grand Rapids, MI: Fleming H. Revell, 1992) 21.

27) “The Lausanne Covenant.” https://www.lausanne.org/content/covenant/lausanne-covenant. August 1, 1974. Web.

28) “Evangelism and Social Responsibility: An Evangelical Commitment.”

https://www.lausanne.org/content/lop/lop-21 June 25, 1982. Web.

29) Bruce C. Birch, What Does the Lord Require?—The Old Testament Call to Social Witness (Philadelphia, PA: The Westminster Press, 1985) 39.

30) John Stott, Decisive Issues Facing Christians Today (Grand Rapids, MI: Fleming H. Revell, 1992) 330.

31)John R. W. Stott, The Message of the Sermon on the Mount (Downers Grove, Ill: Inter-Varsity Press, 1978) 65.

32) David Clyde Jones, Biblical Ethics (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1994) 43.

33) Some readers may question my contention that the church as a whole, as opposed to individuals within the church, can be guilty of a particular sin. However, such readers should bear in mind that in this paper, as previously stated, I am speaking in broad, general terms. Furthermore, there is Scriptural precedent for ascribing guilt to a large group of people. For example, Daniel, in his prayer for the restoration of the Jews who were in captivity, says, “… we have sinned and done wrong” (Daniel 9:5a, NIV) (emphasis mine). Furthermore, as previously stated, the authors of the Stuttgart Confession of Guilt declared that the German evangelical church was guilty of the sin of omission for its failure to respond to the plight of the Jews and other victims of the Third Reich.

34) “The Westminster Larger Catechism.”

http://www.epc.org/file/main-menu/beliefs/catechisms/wcf-lc-modern-2011.pdf

35) “Billy Graham: ‘My Heart Aches for America.’”

http://billygraham.org/story/billy-graham-my-heart-aches-for-america/July

19, 2012. Web.

36) “Who Is John Stott?”

www.christianpost.com/news/the-john-stott-the-world-knew-little-about-52970/

2016. Web.

37) John Stott, Decisive Issues Facing Christians Today (Grand Rapids, MI: Fleming H. Revell, 1992) 308.

38) R.C. Sproul, Abortion—A Rational Look at an Emotional Issue (Colorado Springs, CO: Navpress, 1990) 151.

39) James M. Boice, Transforming Our World (Portland, OR: Multnomah Press, 1988)79.

40) Charles Colson, The God of Stones & Spiders—Letters to a Church in Exile (Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Books, 1990) 25–26.

41) Charles R. Swindoll, Sanctity of Life—The Inescapable Issue (Dallas, TX: Word Publishing, 1990) 11, 13.

42) Ibid, x.

43) Francis A. Schaeffer, The Complete Works of Francis A. Schaeffer—A Christian Worldview, Vol. 5 (Westchester, Ill: Crossway Books, 1982) 409.

44) Francis A. Schaeffer, The Great Evangelical Disaster (Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Books, 1992) 37.

45) Michael J. Gorman, Abortion & the Early Church (Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity Press, 1982) 93.

46) Ibid, 49.

47) Ibid, 49.

48) Ibid, 17.

49) Ibid, 58.

50)Michael J. Gorman, Abortion & the Early Church (Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity Press, 1982) 61-62;Harold O.J. Brown, Death Before Birth (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc. Publishers, 1977) 123.

51) William Brennan, Dehumanizing the Vulnerable (Chicago, Ill: Loyola University Press, 1995) 220.

52) John Stott, Decisive Issues Facing Christians Today (Grand Rapids, MI: Fleming H. Revell, 1992) 49.

53) Ibid, 50.

54) Helmut Thielicke, Nihilism: Its Origin and Nature¾With a Christian Answer (New York, NY: Schocken Books, 1969) 37.

55) Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer—Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2010) 235.

56) Ibid, 247.

57) Herbert Schlossberg and Marvin Olasky, Turning Point—A Christian Worldview Declaration (Westchester, Ill: Crossway Books, 1987) 152.

58) Ibid, 152.

59) Robert Sanders, Radical Voices in the Wilderness—The Social Implications of the Prophets (Waco, TX: Word Books, 1970) 123.

60) John D. Woodbridge, ed., Great Leaders of the Christian Church (Chicago, Ill: Moody Press, 1988) 293.

61) Ibid, 294.

62) “Thoughts Upon Slavery.”

http://www.umcmission.org/Find-Resources/John-Wesley-Sermons/The-Wesleys-and-Their-Times/Thoughts-Upon-Slavery2016. Web.

63) Kevin Belmonte, William Wilberforce—A Hero for Humanity (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2007) 275.

64) “William Wilberforce’s Great-Grandson: He Would Have Fought Abortion.”

www.lifenews.com/2013/07/29/william-wilberforces-great-grandson-he-would-have-fought-abortion/. July 29, 2013. Web.

65) B.J. Oropeza, 99 Reasons Why No One Knows When Christ Will Return (Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity Press, 1994) 174.

66) John S. Feinberg and Paul D. Feinberg, Ethics for a Brave New World (Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Books, 1993) 394.

67) William Barclay, And Jesus Said (Edinburgh: The Saint Andrew Press, 1970) 172.

68) John Stott, Decisive Issues Facing Christians Today (Grand Rapids, MI: Fleming H. Revell, 1992) 63.

69) Harry Blamires, The Christian Mind—How Should a Christian Think? (Marleybone Road, London: Servant Publications, 1963) 3.

70) As evidence of this, Mary A. Kassian, in her book The Feminist Gospel, a book that Dr. Wayne House, past president of the Evangelical Theological Society, calls “… the best contemporary critique of feminism in the church,” says, “[Feminism is causing a] major upheaval within the church” (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 33).

71) “Study Compares Christian and Non-Christian Lifestyles.” http://www.christiantoday.com/article/american.study.reveals.indulgent.lifestyle.christians.no.different/9439.htm. February 7, 2007, Web.

72) Michael S. Horton, Beyond Culture Wars (Chicago, Ill: Moody Press, 1994) 40.

73) John Stott, Decisive Issues Facing Christians Today (Grand Rapids, MI: Fleming H. Revell, 1992) 369.

74) D. Elton Trueblood, Philosophy of Religion (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1982) 238.

75)Another reason for the church’s apathy, that I could have mentioned, is anti-intellectualism. By this is meant that the intellectual life, or the pursuit of truth, is not valued as it ought to be. One must be careful, here, to distinguish between the pursuit of truth and the pursuit of a degree. For one may pursue higher education, not because one places a high value upon the pursuit of truth, but because one wishes, simply, to get a degree that will allow one to land a good job and earn a living. The theologian R.C. Sproul says, “We live in what may be the most anti-intellectual period in the history of Western civilization….” See J.P. Moreland, Love Your God With All Your Mind, Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress Publishing Group, 1997) 19. Unfortunately, anti-intellectualism, as Stott argues in his book Your Mind Matters, is also prevalent in the church today. See John Stott, Your Mind Matters (Leiscester, England: InterVarsity Press, 1972).

76) Michael J. Gorman, Abortion & the Early Church (Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity Press, 1982) 34.

77) John Stott, Decisive Issues Facing Christians Today (Grand Rapids, MI: Fleming H. Revell, 1992) 58.

78) Ibid, 13.

79) Randy Alcorn, ProLife Answers to ProChoice Arguments (Portland, OR: Multnomah, 1992) 222.

80) Clifford Hill, The Wilberforce Connection (Oxford, U.K.: Monarch Books, 2004) 53.

81) “States enacted 47 pro-life bills in 2015.”

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/states-enacted-47-pro-life-bills-in-2015-abortion-advocacy-organization 08/12/2015.

82) John S. Feinberg and Paul D. Feinberg, Ethics for a Brave New World (Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Books, 1993) 383.

83) Ibid, 383.

84) Ian Hunter, Three Faces of the Law—A Christian Perspective (Mississauga, ON: Work Research Foundation, 1996) 12.

85) Ibid, 10–11.

86) James Hitchcock, What is Secular Humanism? (Ann Harbor, MI: Servant Books) 1982.

87) Of course, in one sense, all of life is spiritual, because God, who is a spirit, created it. However, following Augustine, I am using the term “spirit,” here, in a more restrictive sense to mean things that pertain to the “city of God,” as opposed to “earthly,” by which is meant things that relate to the “city of man.”

88) Francis A. Schaeffer, The Great Evangelical Disaster (Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Books, 1992) 25.

89) Augustine, The City of God Against the Pagans (Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 1998) 634.

90) R.C. Sproul, Abortion—A Rational Look at an Emotional Issue (Colorado Springs, CO: Navpress, 1990) 90.

91) John R. W. Stott, The Message of the Sermon on the Mount (Downers Grove, Ill: Inter-Varsity Press, 1978) 65-66.

92) Philip Yancey, What’s So Amazing About Grace (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1997) 45.

93) Ravi Zacharias, A Shattered Visage—The Real Face of Atheism (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1990) 60.

94) Michael S. Horton, Beyond Culture Wars (Chicago, Ill: Moody Press, 1994) 103.

95) William Temple, Christianity & Social Order (London, England: Shepeard-Walwyn Publishers Limited, 1987)41.

96) Ibid, 45.

97) Temple gives a couple of reasons for why the church should not attempt to formulate policies. One is that doing so would be imprudent since the policy may be mistaken and the church blamed for its failure. Another reason is that some Christians will, likely, disagree with it, and it would be wrong to exclude their views. For example, the church can say that the government should join with other Western nations in trying to stop ISIS because of its, obvious, disregard for the principle of the sanctity of human life, but it should not say how, specifically, the government should go about doing this. With regard to abortion, this means that although the church can, and, as I have argued in this paper, should do everything within its means to persuade the government to provide legal protection for the pre-born, it should not attempt to tell the government how to do this.

98) John R. W. Stott, The Message of the Sermon on the Mount (Downers Grove, Ill: Inter-Varsity Press, 1978) 67.

99) Ronald Sider, Evangelism & Social Action (London, England: Hodder & Stoughton, 1993)170.

100) Philip P. Hallie, Lest Innocent Blood Be Shed (New York, NY: Harper-Collins Publishers, Inc., 1994)

101) Paul B. Fowler, AbortionToward an Evangelical Consensus (Portland, OR: Multnomah Press, 1987) 211.

102) Francis A. Schaeffer, The Complete Works of Francis A. Schaeffer—A Christian Worldview, Vol. 5 (Westchester, Ill: Crossway Books, 1982) 409.

103) Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer—Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2010) 156.

104) Stanley Hauerwas and William H. Willimon, Resident Aliens (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1989) 150.

105) Ibid, 150.

106) That God’s definition of success differs radically from the world’s is an idea that runs throughout the whole Bible. For example, Jesus says, “But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first” (Matthew 19:30, NIV). Later, in the same chapter, Jesus explains what He means by being “first”, as follows: “… and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:27–28, NIV). For more on this subject, see Charles Stanley, Success God’s Way (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2000).

107) D. Elton Trueblood, General Philosophy (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1963) 111.

108)Francis A. Schaeffer, The Great Evangelical Disaster (Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Books, 1992) 51.