The high destiny of every human soul, that destiny which we affirm in the reading of Psalm 139, makes many a Christian chill with distaste at the very mention of abortion. Such a threat to the right to life, the right to God-given privileges and mandates, is in their view simply and frankly appalling. God gave life, and gives life as a continuing gift, a gift always to be welcomed no matter how inauspicious its beginnings. There is no child who should not have been born (or almost none, if we wish to leave some margin), for redemption is freely offered to all human beings, none excepted, and the privilege of drawing even one breath of fresh air is more profound than we can ever imagine. Made in the Image of God, that is what man is all about. Who shall say that it is nothing?

But our enthusiasm for the mystery of life and for the secret of the human soul so perfectly “knit together” in the foreknowledge of God can sometimes turn into a blinding enthusiasm. “Sold” on life, and on God himself, we are struck dumb at the thought that anyone could actually want an abortion. The sooner we can dispense with the arguments and protestations of such a person, the sooner we can get back to the realities we love so well.

But the temptation to put down quickly the abortionist view when it confronts us has led to certain short circuits in our ability to communicate. And at a time when anti-abortion amendments petitions are circulating widely among evangelical Christians we need to think out our reasons for this keenly felt stand. In the days ahead we will have to be communicating more and more about this vital subject. We must do so without those short circuits that cut off our listeners before we make our point; we want to speak worthily, ...

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