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The Historic Christian Defense of Life

By Dr. Jeff Mirus (bio - articles - email) | Feb 23, 2009

Tired of pro-choice Christians going on about how their stance is a gospel virtue? A new book by Dennis Di Mauro goes far toward undermining that claim. Di Mauro is the Secretary of the National Pro-Life Religious Council, which provides coordination and impact for pro-life Protestants. He was also heavily influenced by Harold O. J. Brown, his advisor at Reformed Theological Seminary and a co-founder of Care Net. Di Mauro's book is A Love for Life: Christianity’s Consistent Protection of the Unborn.

Though he is not a Catholic, Di Mauro thoroughly covers not only the commitment to life of key Protestant groups but the consistent pro-life witness of the Catholic Church, as well as the entire history of the Christian pro-life ethic from its roots in Judaism. In other words, this is a compelling resource for all Christians. Through his survey of the history of the Christian position on abortion, the author proves that abortion was regarded as a grave evil even before it was known that ensoulment takes place at conception. He also demonstrates the pro-life views of the major Protestant reformers. By the time he gets to his sixth chapter, the appropriateness of its title is eminently clear to the reader: Those Christians who have recently turned pro-choice are “Breaking from Tradition.”

Indeed, A Love for Life also does an excellent job covering the deviations from the pro-life position that have characterized a number of Protestant denominations and some Catholic individuals and groups (but never the Church herself). At the same time, he details the counter-movements that have grown up in nearly every denomination, and also among Catholic priests and laity, to carry on the Christian tradition despite the failures of some Christian leaders. In all, this book dispels the myth, promoted by pro-choice Christians of every affiliation, that there is something uncertain or ambivalent about the Christian witness to life from the earliest times. Not only will the book enrich and educate those who don’t know the history of the Christian position on abortion, but  it will provide a great deal of useful information for specific debates with pro-choice "Christians", who have broken not only with tradition but with Faith itself.

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