Birth Control for Christians: Making Wise Choices
Jenell Williams Paris
Baker, 219 pp., $14.99

It's an issue that every Christian couple must face, and yet there are few reliable books that can help them think through family planning from a Christian perspective. This book is one of those few.

This up-to-date guide to birth control offers a balanced, ethical framework for Christians of almost any background to make informed decisions. Jenell Williams Paris, a fertility awareness instructor, supplies detailed descriptions of birth control methods and devices, costs, possible side effects, and the moral dilemmas each present—information invaluable for its specificity.

Most chapters end with thoughtful discussion questions, allowing spouses to share responsibility and deepen communication. There is also a section on notoriously ineffective methods, including douching, herbal remedies, and post-coital prayer (the Lord, she notes, seems unwilling to be used as a contraceptive).

She tackles sticky issues such as the Pill as an abortifacient, and, while clearly prolife, manages to present her information in a way that engages any Christian. She also offers plenty of reassurance ("It is not uncommon … to try three or four or even more birth control methods").

This book deserves a place on every pastor's and counselor's bookshelf. It is appropriate for engaged couples preparing for married life, and married couples will find it a useful reference guide.

Related Elsewhere

Birth Control for Christians: Making Wise Choices is available at and other retailers.

In July, the book's author Jenell Williams Paris wrote an online piece for CT called "Has Natural Birth Control Been Proved Impossible?"

Christianity Today's recent articles on contraception and fertility include:

Make Love and Babies | The contraceptive mentality says children are something to be avoided. We're not buying it. By Sam and Bethany Torode (Nov. 9, 2001)
'Be Fruitful and Multiply' | Is this a command, or a blessing? By Raymond C. Van Leeuwen (Nov. 9, 2001)
Souls on Ice | The costs of in vitro fertilization are moral and spiritual—not just financial (June 24, 2003)
400K and Counting | Christians recoil at explosive growth of frozen human embryos (June 24, 2003)
Books & Culture Corner: More Sex, Fewer Children | Mixed messages on condoms, contraception, and fertility. By John Wilson (Sept. 10, 2001)
How to Make a Person | New reproductive technologies raise difficult moral issues. (Jan. 6, 1997)
Mourning the Morning-After Pill | A Christianity Today Editorial (Apr. 7, 1997)
Charity Defies California Law on Contraception | Court to decide if state can require Catholic ministries to pay for birth control (June 25, 2002)
No Room in the Womb? | Couples with high-risk pregnancies face the 'selective reduction' dilemma (dec. 10, 1999)
Hannah's Sisters | At a Washington Assembly of God, prayers for fertility are answered (Mar. 21, 2002)
Embryo 'Adoption' Matches Donors and Would-be Parents | 'Snowflake' program is only of its kind in dealing with leftover fertilized eggs (Nov. 2, 1999)

Today's Christian Woman, a Christianity Today sister publication, also examined natural birth control, and Books & Culture examined whether making love still leads to making babies. For more relevant CT articles, see our Sexuality and Gender archive.

For more current news on fertility and pregnancy, see Yahoo's full coverage area.

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