CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

The Battle for Life, and for Children

Jan 31, 2017

We are living in what seems like unprecedented times, with little or no respect for human life, human dignity, and the well-being of our children. Everywhere adult desires and wants are trumping the rights of the child, the right to life, and the right to human flourishing.

We see all this in the major cultural and moral battles of the day, including the war over abortion, euthanasia, the family and marriage. Ethical battles, including bioethical conflicts, are being waged all around us. A culture of death and an anti-family militancy seems to be getting the upper hand.

challenge of euthanasiaThus it is incumbent upon us to do all we can to stand up for life, for family, and for our children. Because these issues are so crucial, I have produced a trilogy of books dealing with these very topics. My “Life and Death Matters” trilogy is now over two-thirds complete.

The first volume in the trilogy, The Challenge of Abortion, appeared in 2015. The second volume, The Challenge of Euthanasia, appeared in 2016. The third volume, The Challenge of IVF and Surrogacy, will hopefully appear in 2017 (it is around 75 percent complete at this stage).

Each of these three books are divided into two main parts: the social, medical, scientific and moral concerns; and the biblical and theological aspects. Thus the first half of each book is fully done with non-religious material and arguments, while the second half will appeal to religious folks.

A non-Christian therefore can still benefit from the first half of each book, while the Christian will hopefully benefit from both. Believers especially need to have the theological and Scriptural data, but they also need to be able to master the facts and evidence, and present them to non-religious folks in a non-religious manner.

All three books are extensively documented with hundreds of footnotes, and lengthy bibliographies at the end of each book lead those who are interested to further reading. And being relatively brief (around 100 pages each) they are easy to read volumes which can quickly be gleaned for helpful prolife arguments and facts.

Let me here briefly outline the contents of each:

The Challenge of Abortion

The first half of this book examines the usual myths and objections raised by the pro-abortion crowd. The fifteen myths covered are:

Myth 1: Abortion is a “women’s issue”
Myth 2: Abortion is all about freedom of choice and control of one’s body
Myth 3: Abortion simply removes some unwanted tissue
Myth 4: Abortion is about helping women
Myth 5: Abortion is needed since women should not be forced to have unwanted babies
Myth 6: Abortion helps prevent child abuse
Myth 7: Abortion must remain legal to prevent backyard abortions
Myth 8: Abortion doesn’t hurt the unborn child
Myth 9: Abortion should be legal because of the ‘hard cases’
Myth 10: Abortion helps us to avoid mentally and physically defective babies
Myth 11: Abortion is a safe and harmless procedure for women
Myth 12: Women do not suffer after an abortion
Myth 13: Abortion helps control our overpopulation crisis
Myth 14: Pro-lifers have no right to impose their values on others
Myth 15: Abortion opponents are only religious people

In the biblical and theological section I examine what the Bible says about the sanctity of life; I look at some of the “hard cases” as found in Scripture; and I deal with various religious objections that some people raise. The book finishes with three testimonies of women who have had abortions and now deeply regret their decisions.

The Challenge of Euthanasia

This volume looks at this hot potato issue in a fair amount of detail. The ten issues covered in Part One of the book are:

One. The doctor-patient relationship is weakened
Two. The right to die implies a duty to kill
Three. The most vulnerable will be at risk
Four. Legal euthanasia sends out the wrong message
Five. Autonomy, freedom of choice, and self-determination
Six. “Safeguards” and the slippery slope
Seven. Hard cases make for bad law
Eight. Faulty diagnoses and prognoses
Nine. Palliative care
Ten. A faulty understanding of compassion

The second half of the books looks at what Scripture says about such things as the sanctity of human life, the issue of suicide, the place of suffering, and the biblical understanding of death.

The Challenge of IVF and Surrogacy

This volume will have four main sections: a scientific, legal, medical, social and ethical look at IVF; biblical and theological concerns about IVF; a scientific, legal, medical, social and ethical look at surrogacy; and biblical and theological concerns about surrogacy.

The wellbeing of children will especially be highlighted in this volume, and the very real concerns about designer babies, the commodification of children, and the depersonalisation of life will be carefully considered. Plenty of recent news items will be featured, as these issues are now the concerns of almost daily headlines.

The Bible of course has much to say about life, about fertility, about families, and about children, so there is plenty of biblical material available by which we can assess these modern assisted reproductive technologies. The Brave New World of where all these biotechnologies are taking us are urgent matters indeed that warrant careful consideration and assessment.

Of course all of these important bioethics issues are covered in plenty of books, especially in America and the UK. The main difference and importance of my three volumes for Australians especially is all the Australian data, facts and figures included. However, there is enough generic material in all three books that anyone from any country will greatly benefit from what is contained therein.

The war over life, over family, and over children is hotting up each passing day. Those who care about all three need to be fully engaged in the battles. Part of the way we engage is to be well-read and well-informed about the issues, and to be able to offer well-reasoned and fact-based responses to those on the other side of the debate.

It is hoped that these three books will be of help for such battles. Happy reading as you stand up for life, children and family.

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10 Responses to The Battle for Life, and for Children

  • Thank you for the preview of your books, Bill. I look forward to reading them and to placing copies in the library of my church.

  • Many thanks Sheila. Bless you.

  • Bill if any writer loves the LORD his God with all his heart, soul, mind and strength and his neighbour as himself it is you! Many months back I lead a discussion among seniors who had differing views on the LGBTQI scene. I had your books on the subject from which I read several sections. Even the militant pro-gay people were satisfied and expressed enjoyment. I look forward to this trilogy of divine wisdom: love for humanity under the Southern Cross. Many thanks!

  • I’m looking forward to your thoughts on IVF Bill.

    A Pastor I know (now the National Director of Global Care) wrote a blog “Wrestling with the Ethics of IVF and Sperm Donation” and my thoughts which are too long to repost (and in which I link back to you at Best-Life-Now-Working-Joel-Jesus so completing the circle) are at https://peterpilt.org/2013/07/29/wrestling-with-the-ethics-of-ivf-and-sperm-donation/#comment-20226

  • Thanks Adrian. While I hope you get the book when it comes out, you don’t have to wait till then, as I have penned numerous articles on it already, such as:

    https://billmuehlenberg.com/2007/08/30/concerns-about-ivf/

  • Thanks Bill for your perseverance in proclaiming the abortion/euthanasia issue. Recently one aspect of Matthew 25:31-40 (cut-and-pasted below) hit me very powerfully in relation to all this in a way I hadn’t experienced before. (I’ve omitted the other categories in Jesus’ list below in order to emphasize this aspect.):

    “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
    “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For … I was sick and you looked after me, … .’
    “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you … sick …?’
    “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

    “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For … I was sick … and you did not look after me.’
    “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you … sick … and did not help you?’
    “He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
    “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

  • Here’s something truly mind-boggling; the possibility of half-human, half-pig hybrids:
    https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/researchers-grow-human-tissue-within-pig-embryo-but-so-far-theyre-staying-w

  • OK, just lodged a submission on religious freedom to the federal enquiry, and fired off an email to Senators looking at the Draft Exposure Bill on the Marriage Act.

    They don’t want to stop, do they?

  • Well done John. No, they never give up – so neither should we!

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