By Jonathon Van Maren
Editor’s note. What could be a better subject for looking back a year to see what appeared in NRL News Today than a column about wonderfully life-affirming books?
Over the past several months, I’ve been asked by readers of this column to occasionally recommend particularly helpful resources to educate and equip in responding to the challenges brought about by the culture wars. In December, for example, I reviewed Pro-Life Kids, a wonderful children’s book by Bethany Bomberger that helps parents introduce this difficult topic to their children in an engaging and age-appropriate manner. This recommendation was met with such a positive reaction that I thought I’d draw attention to some other great resources over the next few months.
One recent release by the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform (where, full disclosure, I serve as communications director) is a unique and comprehensive resource on pro-life apologetics: Stuck: A Complete Guide to Answering Tough Questions about Abortion. Published by LifeCycle Books as a textbook, author Justina Van Manen combines the foundational work done by apologists such as Scott Klusendorf (The Case for Life), Randy Alcorn (Pro-Life Answers to Pro-Choice Questions), Greg Koukl (Tactics), and Stephanie Gray (Love Unleashes Life) with experience of CCBR’s tens of thousands of face-to-face conversations with the public on abortion to create what I believe to be an essential textbook for anyone who wishes to be fully equipped on the abortion issue.
Stuck covers every possible question a pro-life person can get about abortion, from the basics of biology to abortion procedures to abortifacient forms of contraception to embryonic stem cell research. Each circumstance that could lead to someone choosing abortion — sexual assault, poverty, abusive situations, and so on — is specifically addressed, with sample conversations, dialogue tips, and street-tested apologetics laid out to equip the reader to respond. Testimony spotlights accompany each argument, providing real-life examples of how the dialogue tips and apologetics were used to change someone’s mind on that specific issue. Every argument in the textbook has been used, over and over again, to persuade pro-choice people to become pro-life.
While many essential pro-life resources already exist — a number of which made up the foundation for Stuck — this textbook is both comprehensive and eminently practical. Sidebars ensure that even corollary questions that often come up in discussions about abortion are addressed (such as “Adoption: Setting the Record Straight” on page 18, which addresses the idea that the foster care and adoption systems are fundamentally broken). CCBR, an educational activist organization that facilitates thousands of face-to-face conversations every year in high schools, on campuses, and on the street, felt that a simple, straightforward street manual that covered every question that comes up would be a hugely helpful resource for the movement at large.
In short: If you want to get one resource that covers everything, this is that resource.
One of the key themes that Stuck emphasizes is that changing someone’s mind on abortion is possible. In fact, in many instances, changing someone’s mind on abortion is far simpler than you might think. At CCBR, we see people change their minds on this issue and become pro-life every single day.
Stuck presents the apologetics and conversational tactics that we utilize to change these minds. Additionally, Stuck also addresses “heart apologetics” — how to discuss abortion with people who are not responding to scientific facts, logic, or philosophy because, for example, they or someone they love had an abortion. Sometimes, we have to switch from engaging the mind to engaging the heart. This textbook details precisely how to do that, too — again, with strategies that have been tested and proven to be effective.
This textbook is ideal for classes, homeschooling families, or anyone who just wants to be prepared for tough conversations and wants to be able to change minds on the life and death issue of abortion. I hope you find it useful!
Editor’s note. This appeared at LifeSiteNews and is reposted with permission.