Saturday, January 22, 2011

Book Review: Abortion by R.C. Sproul

Where were you in August of 1992?

I was living in Houston, Texas. The Republican National Convention had come to town, and my husband and I decided to join a pro-life demonstration at an abortion clinic downtown. My heart broke as I saw women enter the doors of that clinic. I prayed for them, and I wept for them. I also wept as I saw some of the people on our side of the street yelling at them and hurling insults at them. I don't know if any mothers and their babies were saved from abortions that day, but I know that many people were hurt, physically as well as emotionally. It was quite an experience that day for our family of four.

I don't think we realize sometimes that the issue of abortion involves real people, men and women who are struggling to do the right thing. Whether it be the question of "Do I abort or not?" or "What is my family going to think?" or "How is all of this going to affect my life?", there are some agonizing decisions to be made. So often pro-lifers focus on the issue and not enough on the mother and her baby.

R.C. Sproul has written a book with a unique perspective on the subject of the abortion debate. At the same time honest and compassionate, Mr. Sproul offers wise thoughts on how both sides of this discussion might look at how they view the sanctity of human life, and guides the reader to look at the core issue:

"At the heart of the abortion issue rest one overarching question: Is abortion a form of murder? In other words, does abortion involve the willful destruction of a living human person?"

"I am convinced that if somehow it could be proven conclusively that the destruction of unborn babies is in fact the willful destruction of living human beings, the debate on abortion would be all but over, and the law of the land would as clearly prohibit abortion as it does all forms of homicide. The abortion debate is not over whether or not murder should be legalized; it is a debate over whether or not abortion is a kind of murder."

Mr. Sproul also emphasizes the fact that what has happened in our society in the last 50+ years is that we have had a "national crisis of ethics." He states: "Beneath the division in society over abortion is a more foundational problem: How does one determine what is right? The irony of the United States debate on abortion is that it is a battle over "rights" in a nation that is sharply divided over how to determine what is right about anything." He says we are "(reducing) ethics to personal preferences rather than to objective norms for what is right and wrong."

Even though it is a relatively small book (approx. 200 pages), the author covers a lot of ground. The chapters are divided into three parts:

PART 1: Abortion: The ethical dilemma of our time
PART 2: An analysis of pro-abortion and pro-choice arguments
PART 3: A compassionate response and strategy

I gained tremendous insight from this little book. I have been involved in the pro-life movement for over 30 years, but I learned new ideas and truths from reading this book. It is a difficult subject to read about, but a book I believe that all should read. Mr. Sproul has given us a great gift by writing this book. He calls it “…a book I wish I did not have to write.” But I, for one, am glad he did.

Copyright information: © 2010 by R.C. Sproul, Published by Reformation Trust Publishing. All Rights Reserved.

I give Abortion: a rational look at an emotional issue 5 out of 5 stars. Read it. I dare you.

Here's R.C. Sproul on the issue of abortion:

R.C. Sproul Discusses the Issue of Abortion from Ligonier on Vimeo.

Read a sample chapter.
Buy the book.
Buy the ebook.


Carrie said...

I saw this book pop up and I seem to remember reading a book about abortion by Sproul back in my teens. Is this a reprint with a new cover, or is this a brand new book? Do you know?

Kate {The Parchment Girl} said...

Great review. I'd really like to read this one. Right now I'm reading Unplanned by Abby Johnson, who was a Planned Parenthood clinic director before she joined the fight for life. I'm not very far into that one, but so far it's really good and I like her perspective on the issue, as she's been on both sides of the aisle.

the Ink Slinger said...

Wow. That sounds like a great read, and I really appreciate the thoughtful review you gave it. Thanks!