Saturday, January 02, 2016

Book Review: We Choose Life- General Editor Dave Sterrett

We Choose Life is a timely book.  Due to the recent videos released by the Center for Medical Progress exposing Planned Parenthood and their barbaric practices, the abortion debate has once again taken center stage.

Editor Dave Sterrett, founder of Disruptive Truth, has assembled an excellent collection of essays that succeed in combining both argument and personal narrative to make a persuasive and gripping case for the preborn.  Sterrett explains:

"In this book, you will read stories from counselors, teachers, lawyers, nurses, business leaders, stay-at-home moms, and people from many other professions. We don’t all fight against the injustice of abortion in the same way, but we all believe that one person can make a difference. We have joined together to write We Choose Life because we realize that our society faces a crisis of staggering proportions, similar to that of the injustice of slavery in the early history of our nation." p.13

And Sterrett goes on to explain why we cannot be silent about the injustice of abortion:

"Think of it in this manner: What if you found out that thirty-five kindergarten students were murdered by a maniac two miles from your home? Wouldn’t that anger all of us? And what if you found out the same thing happened in a hundred cities across America? Thirty-five hundred children dead. What if it happened the next day, and then the next? How long would it take us to rise up and say, 'Not in my generation. Let’s end the killing'? Yet every day we are killing just as many Americans in the name of 'choice' or women’s 'health.'" p.14

The book includes 17 different essays written by various individuals of all walks of life.  The list includes former abortion workers, individuals conceived through rape or incest and men who confess to struggling with post-abortive guilt.  Further, as an added bonus, the work features an appendix written by Life Training Institute's Scott Klusendorf demonstrating to the reader how to make the case for life in 5 minutes or less.

One of the major strengths of this work was put well by philosopher Jay W. Richards in his recommendation of the book:

"There are many important books that make the intellectual case for protecting preborn human life. You'll find the core elements of that case in We Choose Life.  What makes this book different is that the contributors follow the model of Jesus in the Gospels: they tell compelling and sometimes heart-breaking stories that show, as profoundly as any argument, the dignity of human life at its most vulnerable."

I will confess that I like arguments.  I like syllogisms and premises.  That is how I think.  However, We Choose Life illustrates just how powerful an argument can be when it is coupled with a powerful personal account.

Throughout the various stories offered in the book, diverse topics arise that help the reader think through some of the most common arguments used by pro-abortion choice advocates.  Each author does a great job explaining how they came to hold their pro-life convictions.

Some of the questions answered in the book are as follows:
  • When does life begin?
  • What really goes on at Planned Parenthood?
  • Why do people stay at Planned Parenthood?
  • Is sidewalk counseling effective?
  • Is abortion okay in cases of rape or incest?
  • What if an unborn child is diagnosed with a disability?
  • Can I be forgiven for having an abortion?
One account that stayed with this reader was that of Rebecca Kiessling.  She was adopted at birth and when she turned 18  she received her "non-identifying information" and learned that she was conceived of rape.  She writes the following:

"I remember feeling ugly, unwanted, and very much devalued and targeted by our society. I instantly thought of what people say about abortion:

'I’m pro-life—well, except in cases of rape,' or,'I’m pro-choice—especially
in cases of rape!'

I realized that there were multitudes of people who didn’t even know me but were standing in judgment of my life, and who were quick to dismiss it just because of how I was conceived. I
felt like I was now going to have to justify my own existence, that I would have to prove to the world that I shouldn’t have been aborted and that I was worthy of living. I wanted to have all of my assets lined up so that people would see me as a person of value at a time in my life when I felt like I was being devalued every day." p. 72

I realized that behind a common pro-abortion choice rhetoric point is a person.  A person who should never be treated as if they are less valuable because of how they were conceived.

Further, this account illustrates another strength of this book.  It takes common arguments used by the pro-abortion choice crowd and not only offers intellectually satisfying responses, but connects it to real-life.  The heartache, the pain and the redemption experienced in the lives of these individuals is real and serves not only to demonstrate the destruction caused by the abortion industry, but also how Jesus continues redeem lives.

This reviewer honestly can't think of one person that would not benefit from reading this work.  If you are already pro-life, your beliefs will be strengthened and you will be inspired to share your convictions.  If you have made the decision to abort in the past and are struggling to forgive yourself, you will meet others who have struggled with the same emotions and have found peace and forgiveness in Jesus Christ.  If you are pro-choice, but opened to understanding the effects of abortion on individual lives, then this book will be very eye-opening and challenging.  Further, the essays are written by people who have been on both sides of the debate and the opposing side is represented fairly and compassionately.

The body of Christ must stand for the preborn.  We must give a voice to the voiceless.  We Choose Life offers the church a very affordable way to do just that.  This excellent resource is only $6.95 and is excellent for small group study or to give away.

The culture of death we currently find ourselves in must be combated with good reason, evidence and individuals willing to share their pro-life convictions.  We Choose Life offers all three in a very affordable package.  I encourage individuals and churches to take advantage.

I highly recommend this book!  You can get your copy here.

Courage and Godspeed,

* Many thanks to Hendrickson Publishers and Dave Sterrett for the review copy

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