Periodical Reviews -- By: Anonymous
BSac 128:511 (Jul 71) p. 271
“Abortion: Can an Evangelical Consensus he Found?” Eternity, February, 1971.
“Abortion: An Evangelical View,” Carl F. H. Henry, Christian Heritage, February, 1971.
“Facing the Abortion Crisis,” Carl F. H. Henry, The Evangelical Beacon, February 23, 1971.
“Abortion Was Our Answer,” Anonymous, Christian Life, March, 1971.
The lead article of the four listed above is actually a journalistic symposium. It includes three distinct articles-”Abortion in Perspective” by Klaas Runia, “When Does Life Begin?” by Nancy Hardesty, and “Is Life Ever Cheap?” by Carl F. H. Henry. In addition it discusses “Abortion Issues: The range of evangelical thought” with quotations from nine legal, medical, psychological and theological experts and an editorial analysis of each issue. The issues are “Fetal Life,” “Eugenic Abortion” and “Who Decides?” The symposium is an extensive, informative, in-depth study of a practical moral question facing the church and society today.
The question in the title of this lead article—”Can an Evangelical Consensus be Found?”—is a bit misleading in the light of the discussion. Although the experts do not parrot an evangelical party line, they are in quite general agreement on the major issues of the subject of abortion. This is especially true with regard to “the intrinsic value of fetal life” and the liberalization of laws for eugenic abortion. The symposium reveals that not only can an evangelical consensus be found; it seems pretty well to exist. It is evident that the biblical orientation of evangelicals holds them to a more or less common position with variations on minor points only. In essence evangelicals—at least as
BSac 128:511 (Jul 71) p. 272
represented by the experts polled by Eternity—do not rule out abortion, but they certainly would limit its use drastically.
The two articles by Carl Henry are listed not only because of their contribution to the discussion and understanding of the subject but also because they illustrate an interesting journalistic phenomenon. A casual reading of the articles reveals many paragraphs identical in wording. The similarities are so extensive that one is tempted to suspect the author of committing the unpardonable journalistic sin of submitting essentially the same article to two magazines. The answer is found in the note accompanying the Henry article in Eternity, which echoes the other two: “This article by Dr. Henry…is abridged from an Evangelical Press Association feature article and is used by permission.” All three magazines used the same article wit...
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