Last month I continued a chapter-by-chapter summary review of Scott Klusendorf’s book “The Case For Life: Equipping Christians to Engage the Culture” (paperback, Kindle, GoodReads, Video Trailer, Interview, Life Training Institute). Today I will conclude the summary with Part 4 of the book and my thoughts and recommendation.
Part 4- Pro-Life Christians Teach and Equip
Chapter 16- Equip to Engage: The Pro-Life Pastor In The Twenty-First Century
After presenting the case for life and addressing objections, Klusendorf now addresses training pro-life advocates. He explains the importance of local pastors in accomplishing this task. He puts forth four necessary steps for the pastor- preach a biblical view of human value, equip people to engage the culture, restore the passion for the fight for life, and confront his own fears and insecurities of preaching on the subject.
Chapter 17- Healed and Equiped: Hope For Pro-Abortion Men and Women
Numerous people have been involved in deciding to abort and come to the realization that what they did was objectively wrong. The guilt eats at them. Klusendorf explains that there is a way to deal with the guilt. Its not through denial of the act (or its morality) or through trying to do enough good to make up for it. It is through the forgiveness of Jesus Christ. People can be relieved of the burden of any and all sins when they confess their sin and accept Jesus’ offer to forgive them. Only then will the healing begin, and the post-abortion man or woman can begin their fight for life.
Chapter 18- Here We Stand: Co-Belligerence Without Theological Compromise
Some Christians oppose efforts for cultural reform based on the fact that laws cannot change the heart of a person. Their concern is that time and other resources are spent doing something other than spreading the Gospel. They also contend that working with non-believers to reform culture only gives the non-believer a false sense of security, thus makes them less receptive to the Gospel. Klusendorf defends the efforts for cultural reform and partnership with non-believers in seven different ways. These include the facts that working for cultural reform provides an avenue for presenting the Gospel to those who are being helped and common ground with those nonbelievers who are part of the effort.
Chapter 19- Can We Win? How Pro-Life Christians Are Making An Extraordinary Impact
Even though rational arguments have been presented and challenges have been addressed, Christians still wonder if the pro-life movement is having any effect, considering the vast amount of funding and effort on the pro-choice side relative to the pro-life side. Klusendorf presents several examples of individuals changed by the case for life and the impacts they are currently having in their communities and nationwide. He encourages pro-life advocates to invest more resources in this effective movement. He explains that the intellectual level of engagement from the pro-choice side is constantly decreasing, while the level of emotional reaction is increasing. He advises that providing an intellectual case in an emotionally sensitive way will be the most effective. He concludes the book with a short case for using graphic images in presentations. Like with other realistic depictions of evil, they can be offensive; however, if prefaced sensitively and provided in the intellectual context of it being truly evil and the spiritual context that forgiveness and healing is available through Christ, they can be powerful tools for communicating the reality of abortion in a way that words simply cannot.
I cannot recommend this book enough to everyone. Though it is not a comprehensive case, it is a succinct presentation of the case for the pro-life position, against the pro-choice/abortion position, and the answers to the most common objections and powerful rebuttals. Every person who is pro-life needs to have this information to equip them to provide a case for their view that goes beyond merely emotional appeals. I highly recommend this book for educators, pastors, and small-group leaders to assist with preparing more people with the resources to defend life in the public square.