Friday, January 19, 2018


Today is the 2018 March for Life. I'm reading through the chapter on abortion in Richard B. Hays 1995 book The Moral Vision of the New Testament.

Since the NT doesn't deal with abortion, he has to approach the subject from the way the scriptures portray reality, and then connect that "world view" with the issue of abortion.

Hays says:
"To terminate a pregnancy is not only to commit an act of violence, but also to assume responsibility for destroying a work of God, 'from whom are all things and for whom we exist' (1 Cor. 8:6). ... to understand ourselves and God in terms of the Bible's story is to know that we are God's creatures. We neither create ourselves nor belong to ourselves. Within this worldview. abortion--whether it be murder or not--is wrong for the same reason that murder and suicide are wrong: it presumptuously assumes authority to dispose of life that does not belong to us."
He also says that Christians who hold this view cannot, and I would add, should not try to "coerce moral consensus" on this issue. Hays continues:
"We should recognize the futility of seeking to compel the state to enforce Christian teaching against abortion... because we recognize that the convictions that cause us to reject abortion within the church are intelligible only within the [worldview] of Scripture. The church's rejection of abortion is perspective only in light of the gospel of Jesus Christ; in this respect we stand in relation to our culture just as the early church stood in relation to the culture of the Roman Empire."
What matters more than anything is the way we live, the way we love, the way we form a "countercommunity of witness, summoning the world to see the gospel in action," establishing viable alternatives to abortion, providing long-range care for victimized women and unexpected children and families struggling with poverty, mental illness and domestic violence.

Comments welcome.

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