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Abortion: A Rational Look at an Emotional Issue Paperback – May 26, 1990

4.4 out of 5 stars 80 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Classic Sproul! Logical, clear, fair, attempting to understand the pro-choice view while all the time making a solid, biblical pro-life apologetic that seeks both to convince the opponents but also to bring about in practical ways the end of this North American holocaust. Add to that the forward of George Grant and you have a winner. --Peter Jones: Executive director, truthXchange Escondido, CaliforniaR.C. Sproul covers the issues candidly and objectively-without the emotion and demagoguery that so often pervade the abortion debate. You are the jury; decide the verdict. --John MacArthur: Pastor-teacher, Grace Community Church Sun Valley, CaliforniaWhen I read R.C. Sproul's book on abortion twenty years ago, I was still a pastor. I recall how grateful I was that a respected theologian had spoken out so clearly on the critical issue of abortion. At the time, such voices were few and far between, with many evangelical theologians seeming silent about the plight of unborn children. Sproul's logic is sharp and penetrating, and his reliance on biblical authority is refreshing. The appendix, in which Dr. Jerome Lejeune offers courtroom testimony, is a great bonus. I'm happy to recommend the re-release of Dr. Sproul's book on this vital subject, and I pray God will use it to enlighten many new readers. --Randy Alcorn: Founder and director, Eternal Perspective Ministries Sandy, Oregon
--This text refers to the Unknown Binding edition.

About the Author

Dr. R.C. Sproul is founder and chairman of Ligonier Ministries, an international Christian education ministry located near Orlando, Fla. He is also co-pastor of Saint Andrew s Chapel in Sanford, Fla., chancellor of Reformation Bible College, and executive editor of Tabletalk magazine. He can be heard on the radio program Renewing Your Mind, which is broadcast on hundreds of radio outlets in the United States and around the world. Dr. Sproul has contributed dozens of articles to national evangelical publications, has spoken at conferences, churches, and schools around the world, and has written more than ninety books, including The Holiness of God, Faith Alone, and Everyone's a Theologian. He also serves as general editor of The Reformation Study Bible.
--This text refers to the Unknown Binding edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 207 pages
  • Publisher: Navpress; First Edition edition (May 26, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0891093451
  • ISBN-13: 978-0891093459
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 6 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,493,695 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
R.C. Sproul is a theologian, not a sociologist or health professional. That fact is clearly stated on the outside and inside this book. So I was surprised to come across one of his books from the 1990s on this subject: "ABORTION (A Rational Look at an Emotional Issue)." Since most of R.C. Sproul's books are on Theology, Church history and matters of ethic and logic, it seemed unusual for him to write a book on a social issue like abortion.

The book is divided into three parts:

Part I: Abortion: The Ethical Dilemma of Our Time.

Part II: An Analysis of Pro-Abortion and Pro-Choice Arguments.

Part III: A Compassionate Response and Strategy

In Part I, Sproul points out how emotionally divided America is over the abortion issue, with the potential of ripping apart the social fabric of one of history's most successful nations. In doing this, he covers some of the core issues like "Is a fetus a living human person?" "When does life begin?" the sanctity of life from a biblical viewpoint, the sanctity of life in Natural Law and how abortion violates that sanctity. Sproul summarizes this as follows:

"A negative prohibition against actual and potential murder implicitly involves a positive mandate to work for the protection, sustenance, and respect for the sanctity of life. To oppose murder is to promote life. Whatever else abortion does, it does not promote the life of the unborn child. Although some people will argue that abortion promotes the quality of life of those who do not desire offspring, it does not promote the life of the subject in question, the developing unborn child.
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I first read this important book when it was published in 1990. Since that time I’ve heard Dr. Sproul mention several times that it’s one of the worst- selling of his 90-plus books. It was updated in 2010, and features an extended Foreword from George Grant, who helped to update the book in light of changes over the past twenty years. In light of the recent Planned Parenthood videos, and the fact that one and a half million babies are killed every year in the United States alone, I decided to read the book again.

Sproul examines the ethical implications of abortion, looking at the issue from the perspectives of biblical law, natural law, and positive judicial law. He makes it clear that while he will examine arguments from both sides of the debate, he is convinced that abortion on demand is evil. He shows that abortion is against the law of God, against the laws of nature, and against reason. He states that the book is addressed primarily to those who are not sure about the ethics of abortion. He addresses the issue in a biblical and logical manner, not using inflammatory language.

Helpful summaries of the major points of each chapter and discussion questions suitable for group study are included at the end of each chapter.

Sproul writes that many, if not majority, of those who oppose abortion are driven by religious convictions. He states that at the heart of the abortion issue rests one overarching question: Is abortion a form of murder? Or, to say it another way, does abortion involve the willful destruction of a living human person?
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The author demonstrates that the Bible condemns abortion, and then shows that advances in science now prove that unborn babies are human beings. He points out that the people to target in trying to bring pro-choice advocates to the pro-life position are those who say they are personally against abortion but don't want to force their views on women who have the right to choose. That's like saying you are personally opposed to murder but don't want to take away others' right to choose. Some things are not a matter of choice.

One of the most interesting things in this book to me was an appendix. The French geneticist who discovered the chromosome for Down syndrome testified in a case in which a divorcing couple were in a custody battle over frozen embryos remaining after they tried in vitro fertilization, and the transcript of his testimony was in the appendix. The geneticist spoke in English as a second language, but his description of the development of a baby from conception was absolutely lyrical. He never wavered; no matter how many ways the lawyers tried to get him to say that the embryos should be destroyed, he insisted they should not be destroyed as they were living human beings.
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I appreciated Sproul weighing in on this topic. Those who have read other works on pro-life works (see my review of Scott Klusendorf's work) will not find anything dramatically new here. Yet it's good to read and review the pro-life's argument. One thing that stood out as unique in this book was actually George Grant's preface. Grant summarized the current landscape in our society, political sphere and culture as the result of the abortion debate since Roe vs. Wade. This fascinating essay filled with footnotes by Grant puts into perspective for the Christian the extent of how much the abortion controversy has seeped into so many spheres of our lives today. The book is worth reading for the preface alone. Getting into Sproul's actual work I do appreciate how the author does deal with various objections given against the prolife position. I was reminded that more women have been known to have been killed by abortion after Roe vs. Wade than before it which makes the back alley abortion argument for legalizing abortion kind of ironic. Concerning the argument that the fetus is part of the woman's body, Sproul bring modern study of cells to bear, noting that babies have a different genetic fingerprint than the mother. The more interesting part of the book is the appendix that ended up being a rather lengthy testimony of a medical expert on the status of the embryo. Perhaps a little too lengthy. Sproul could have had his arguments tighter and I say this because I've seen other works that have made it air tight in their presentation. For those who might want to read an introductory work or to remind and refresh their prolife apologetics I can recommend this work.
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