Living Pro-Life in a Post-Roe World

Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. (Prov. 3:3, ESV)

Heresy is a strong word that can leave a mark. In the Church, we sometimes have to caution younger students of theology to be wary of slinging the “H word” around too casually in their zeal to “guard the trust” (1 Tim. 6:20). Nevertheless, heresy is real, and it is a harsh taskmaster, as C. FitzSimons Allison tells us in his book, The Cruelty of Heresy:
We are susceptible to heretical teachings because, in one form or another, they nurture and reflect the way we would have it be rather than the way God has provided, which is infinitely better for us. As they lead us into the blind alleys of self-indulgence and escape from life, heresies pander to the most unworthy tendencies of the human heart. It is astonishing how little attention has been given to these two aspects of heresy: its cruelty and its pandering to sin. . . . Scarcely any ancient heresy can be found that does not have a modern expression; scarcely is there a modern heresy that we have not seen before.[1]

     As one might guess from the title of his book, Allison is calling for a renewal of the Church’s defense of a delight in the Trinitarian and Christological truth fought over and for in the early centuries of the Church. “Heresy is rightly, fittingly a strong word that must be when affirmations central to biblical orthodoxy are rejected.”

     “Heresy” can also be confusing, especially when it is wielded manipulatively, in an effort to alter the terms of a debate. A recent example of this was demonstrated by television personality and former Florida Congressman, Joe Scarborough—a self-described “backslidden Baptist” who still “knows the Bible,”—when he claimed that, since Jesus never said anything about abortion, that “for people perverting the gospel of Jesus Christ down to one issue [abortion], it’s heresy.”[2]

     If this backslidden Baptist, who still knows the Bible, only knew some basic hermeneutics, he would have made the connection between the law of Moses and the words of Christ, and might have resisted the rhetorical allure of what he thought amounted to a mic-drop-moment argument from silence. By appealing to Jesus, Scarborough provides a glaring example of Corruptio optimi pessimumest—“the corruption of the best is the worst.” However, Joe Scarborough is not alone. When the US Supreme Court ruled on June 24, 2022, in the Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, that the Constitution of the United States never has and does not declare a woman’s right to abortion, sending the issue of abortion to the states,[3] a tragic number of clergy across the country rushed to their keyboards to lament the unconstitutionality of this decision. We might expect this of mainline denominations and clergy, such as Rev. Jes Kast of the United Church of Christ, who was quick to Tweet a day after Dobbs that the circumcision in Galatia, in which Paul was arguing for bodily autonomy, is a precedent for “You can choose what to do with your body.” A serious misreading of Scripture consistent with her prior comments in The Atlantic:

When people talk about “Our body is a temple of God, and holy,” I see that as I have the right to choices over my body, and the freedom to make the decisions that are right for me.[4]

     Prior to that interview in The Atlantic, she tweeted:

My first protest that my parents took me to was when I was 12. It was an anti-abortion protest. But as Scripture says, when I became an adult I put childish thinking behind me. I only knew in part [sic]. Now I serve on the Clergy Advocacy Board for Planned Parenthood. How did I get here?

     This is yet another example of a not-so-subtle maneuver pro-abortion advocates have employed in recent years, involving word games that would have made Wittgenstein proud. Through some real conceptual gymnastics, they’ve coopted the nomenclature of the pro-life community, reverse-thrusting with their own categories, redefining and spinning words and phrases to their own devices. Suddenly, pro-life people are actually the real killers because they always neglect the babies after they’re born. Pro-life people, the assertion (not argument) goes, only care about a baby within the womb, because it’s easy—that fetus cannot place any demands on the pro-life person. Convenient, right? Curiously, those making such claims never seem willing to do the research that would yield mountains of data on just how sacrificially committed pro-life Christians are to women, children, and men affected by the realities of choosing life instead of abortion. Perhaps a visit to a crisis pregnancy center would temper the quickness of pro-abortion faithful to play the “pro-lifers-are-only-pro-birth” card.

"Perhaps a visit to a crisis pregnancy center would temper the quickness of pro-abortion faithful to play the “pro-lifers-are-only-pro-birth” card."

     In a move similar to Scarborough’s, former pastor, now life coach, Paul Swearengin, insists, “Anyone who uses ‘Thou shalt not kill’ as a command against abortion is missing the fact that the Bible never once says life begins at conception. It really never speaks directly to it. Besides, hundreds of verses say we’re commanded to take care of the poor and the marginalized.”[5] Of course, some things are just too plain to say. One need only ponder the implications of passages, such as Exod. 21:22–25, wherein the death penalty is prescribed for someone who causes the death of a baby in the womb; Ps. 139:13-16, which speaks beautifully of God’s knitting a person together in the womb; Jer. 1:5, in which God was in personal relationship with Jeremiah even before he was knit together in the womb; or Luke 1:41, in which the Spirit enabled personal acknowledgment of two cousins in the wombs of their mothers, Elizabeth and Mary.

     But this manipulative language isn’t only used covertly. We even hear open claims in the media today by pro-abortion activists that they are the true pro-lifers! After all, they tell us, it is pro-life to favor a woman’s right to bodily autonomy, pro-life to want to see women not shackled down by having to raise a child instead of pursuing an education and career, pro-life to prevent children with Down’s Syndrome from being born and having to face life with such a disability, pro-life to decrease the potential for minority babies to grow up in poverty, pro-life to fight against the “fact” that opposition to abortion arises from and perpetuates white supremacy. This last one would make Margaret Sanger proud. Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, desired a program of eugenics to help with what she saw as the problem of a growing black population. Sanger’s credena (what she believed) and her agenda (what she accomplished) have been a sinister symbiosis. The 2015 Policy Report of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education revealed that since 1973, 44 million babies around the nation had been aborted by 2015.[6] Today it is estimated that more than 63 million abortions have been carried out since Roe V. Wade was enacted. Approximately one million abortions are performed in the U.S. each year, according to the Guttmacher Institute.[7] What is rarely covered in mainstream media, however, is the fact that Margaret Sanger’s original vision for the control of the black population in the nation has largely been realized—the majority of these abortions have been performed in minority communities.[8] Tragically, these numbers were only allowed to grow until the Dobbs ruling. The discriminatory and racist impact of abortion in the U.S. is undeniable.

     This adoption of pro-life language by abortion rights advocates is consistent with the larger dynamic that we learn in covenantal apologetics, wherein unbelievers borrow epistemic capital from the Christian worldview. The Van Tilian, covenantal apologetic that is at the heart of our theological program at Westminster teaches us that only with the Triune God of the Bible and the Bible of the Triune God can we account for the laws of logic—inductive reason upon which science depends, deductive reasoning upon which math depends, the normativity of nature upon which science depends, objectivity in predication upon which language depends, universals, morality, personhood, and the list goes on. In other words, a naturalist/physicalist worldview, committed as it is, to the exclusive existence of matter and energy in randomness, cannot account for the laws of logic or the normativity of nature. For the laws of logic are non-corporeal and nature displays undeniable regularity, neither of which fit within the worldview commitments of atheistic naturalism. In other words, the pro-abortion attempt to borrow the pro-life label is consistent with a worldview that isn’t established on God’s Word.

"Only with the Triune God of the Bible and the Bible of the Triune God can we account for the laws of logic."

     In light of this changing landscape post-Dobbs, there are new questions for the Church to answer about our pro-life identity. What does it mean to stand fast in faithful Christian witness in our cultural moment? What does it look like to live pro-life in a post-Roe world, in which abortion is more intensely front and center in every arena, than it has been in years? Depending which state you live in, this may no longer look like deciding which companies to boycott, or how to peacefully engage in cobelligerent protest with other pro-life people. But regardless of your location, the question of living faithfully must begin with the question of thinking faithfully and thinking biblically about the worldview contours of the issue. Being able to thoughtfully engage others who do not believe the way we do in these matters is something the Reformed worldview is uniquely called and equipped to do.

     We are uniquely equipped for this apologetical task because of the very object of apologetics. A brief look at 1 Pet. 3:15–16 and 2 Cor. 10:3–6 will make my point. Peter calls upon every follower of Christ to be an apologist. He writes, not to people with PhDs in apologetics, but to a group of persecuted Roman Christians who were worried about being thrown to the lions. It’s in this context that Peter encourages them to make a defense, “...but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame” (1 Pet. 3:15–16).

     What can we take from this text? First, the task of apologetics is primarily a matter of the lordship of Christ in the heart. Second, we are to be always ready to make a defense of the reason for the hope that is within us. To apply this to our present topic, we must position ourselves in the defense of the faith and the defense of the preborn as HOPE DEFENDERS. The object of our defense is nothing less than that which is most needful today—the hope that the Christian faith alone offers. We are to do this with gentleness and respect—the reverence due to even those with whom we disagree most, as they—just like the unborn children we seek to protect—are gloriously created imago Dei.

     In 2 Cor. 10:3-6, Paul issues a similar exhortation:

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.

     We are called to demolish, not people, but the pre-tensions that keep people in bondage—worldviews that are raised against the knowledge of God. Taken together, these scriptures confirm we are HOPE DEFENDERS, who function both as the welcoming committee and the wrecking crew. We are gentle, respectful, and we demolish.

     In many ways, worldview is the crux of the issue post-Roe. We need to ask, “What are the worldview implications, intentional and unintentional, of the pro-abortion position?” Understanding this is crucial in meaningful Christian witness. As G. K. Chesterton observed:

But there are some people, nevertheless—and I am one of them—who think that the most practical and important thing about a man is still his view of the universe. We think that for a landlady considering a lodger, it is important to know his income, but still more important to know his philosophy. We think that for a general about to fight an enemy, it is important to know the enemy’s numbers, but still more important to know the enemy’s philosophy. We think the question is not whether the theory of the cosmos affects matters, but whether, in the long run, anything else affects them.[9]

     The first time we read of worldview is in Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Judgment (1790), in which he juxtaposes the noumenal, which we cannot intuit, yet can be regarded as the “substrate underlying what is mere appearance, namely, our intuition of the world (Weltanshauung).” While this is not the place to do a deep dive into the intricacies of Kant’s philosophical program, it should be pointed out that what he postulates as the transcendental behind our experience, later Christian theologians were quick to recognize, not as postulation, but as a Person, apart from whom we cannot properly have a true worldview or life-system. In response, James Orr appealed for comprehensive Christocentricity when it comes to worldview:

It is the Christian view of things in general which is attacked, and it is by an exposition and vindication of the Christian view of things as a whole that the attack can most successfully be met.[10]

     Everything here, of course, depends on the view we take of Christianity itself. The view we hold to at Westminster centers in the Divine and human Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. It implies the true Divinity as well as the true humanity of the Christian Redeemer. Unfortunately, this is a view of Christianity that we are not at liberty to take for granted, as Ligonier’s 2022 “The State of Theology” report makes clear.[11] But we must be prepared in due course to vindicate it. I would only at present point out that, for the person who does accept it, a very definite view of things emerges. He who with his whole heart believes in Jesus as the Son of God is thereby committed to much else besides. He is committed to a view of God, to a view of man, to a view of sin, to a view of Redemption, to a view of the purpose of God in creation and history, to a view of human destiny, found only in Christianity. This forms a “Weltanschauung,” or “Christian view of the world,” which stands in marked contrast within theories wrought out from a purely philosophical or scientific standpoint.[12]

     Thinkers such as Orr and his contemporary Abraham Kuyper conceived of worldview exclusively in terms of Christ, and specifically, the historically resurrected Christ. This is central to the hope we defend. The resurrected Christ, and all the implications thereof, is the crown jewel of the hope we have to offer, as we seek to be a faithfully subversive witness in this culture of death in which we find ourselves.

"The resurrected Christ is the crown jewel of the hope we have to offer, as we seek to be a faithfully subversive witness in this culture of death in which we find ourselves."

     The struggle over abortion in this nation touches every piece of the worldview puzzle: theology, anthropology, epistemology, metaphysics, and ethics. How we engage those who oppose life in its most vulnerable unborn stage must seek to understand what a pro-abortion position assumes, generally speaking, about each of these five areas, as well as set forth the covenantal and Christocentric hope all along the way.


     We must begin our consideration of living and witnessing pro-life in a post-Roe America by realizing that the issue of abortion is not first and foremost a political question. It is a theological question, a question about the very nature of God: Who is God? Can God be known? Does God see me? Does he care? One need not look far for evidence—pop culture is bursting with curiosity, from the sincere if misguided questions of Joan Osborne’s “What If God Was One of Us” to the more reckless speculation of Dishwalla’s “Counting Blue Cars (Tell Me All Your Thoughts on God).”

     The question of who God is, who has the rightful claim to the throne of glory really goes all the way back to the Garden where our first parents’ eyes were opened to see what pathetic excuses for gods they turned out to be. The temptation to remake God in our own image, to redefine what he has revealed about himself, is ultimately a quest to be our own gods. It never goes very well, at all. Yet, the perennial question of who gets to be God is the question of the abortion debate. To be sure, the question of what constitutes life is central. But that question cannot be answered apart from settling the theological question. As far back as 1990, F. LaGard Smith traced the lines from John Dewey’s philosophical pragmatism, which viewed history as irrelevant to rational analysis of the present, to abortion via its conquest of the classroom:

School prayers and controversies about after-school Bible studies on campus are merely popular distractions. The real issue is far more fundamental: Reference to God in the classroom would be a thorn in the flesh of relativism. By their very natures, a God of absolutes and a philosophy of relativism don’t mix. It is not a battle between religion and secular education, but between two different religions: the biblical God of transcendent values, and the secular god of individual choice.[13]
...If Choice is the God of relativism, therapy has become relativism's established religion. There has been an observable shift from minister to psychologist, from pulpit to couch, from eternal judgment to “nonjudgmental,” from divine authority to“self-actualization.”[14]
...Abortion is a transcendent moral issue precisely because it transcends all religious beliefs and even outspoken nonbelief. Only religious bigotry allows pro-choice supporters to summarily dismiss opposition to their cause as nothing more than the narrow-minded religiosity of the Catholic Church and Bible-belt fundamentalists.[15]

     This was 1990! What about post-June 24, 2022, when the SCOTUS overturned Roe v. Wade? Indeed, choice is a god. This is why causing the death of a baby in utero, say, in a violent attack on a pregnant woman is criminal, while that same woman choosing an abortion is celebrated—choice, as god, makes a metaphysical and ethical determination. The gods of today are self and state. But we must defend, declare, demonstrate, and delight in our hope that God is God. We do this by remembering the words of the prophet:

"The gods of today are self and state. But we must defend, declare, demonstrate, and delight in our hope that God is God."

Remember this and stand firm, recall it to mind, you transgressors, remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’ calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of my counsel from a far country. I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it.“ Listen to me, you stubborn of heart, you who are far from righteousness: I bring near my righteousness; it is not far off, and my salvation will not delay; I will put salvation in Zion, for Israel my glory. (Isa 46:8–13, ESV)

     We must pray for the Lord’s grace of the relational IQ and EQ necessary for meaningful engagement with those who disagree with us on the issue of life. We must seek to take the question back to God. “Press the antithesis,” as Van Til would say. Keeping in mind that we are interacting at every turn with imagers of God, we must seek to joyfully persuade them of who they already know, namely the very Triune God in whose image they are made and to whom they are covenantally accountable.

     The Christocentricity of worldview comes into focus here as we segue from the question of theology into the anthropological considerations of living pro-life post-Roe. After all, it is in Jesus, who came in his incarnation to exegete the Father for us, that we might begin to focus on the life aspect of pro-life as more than a mere commodity to be pawned in political debate. The fact that Christmas is just weeks away only amplifies the hope we are seeking defend as we defend unborn life. For, indeed, God did become like one of us, to give us everlasting life. To live pro-life post-Roe is uniquely theological, because it is a commitment to living coram Deo—before God as God.


     Anthropology is more than the study of skull fragments. It is the question of what it means to be human. Are we, as neo-atheist, Sam Harris claims, simply “bio-chemical puppets?” Are we just accidental disconnected bags of biology? Or are we gloriously created from the moment of conception as imagers of the one true God?

     In a recent episode of The Dr. Phil Show, Lila Rose (of Live Action, a pro-life ministry) fielded questions from the show’s ever-authoritative host, an array of aggressive fellow guest panelists, and an antagonistic audience. One of the guests insisted that Lila was dismissive of fourteen-year-old rape victims by demanding that the victims carry “the clump of cells,” that isn’t even a child, to term.

     If it sounds dehumanizing to call an unborn baby just a “clump of cells,” that’s because it is. But it is more than dehumanizing, it is “de-humaning.” Given the number of abortions performed while Roe was upheld, it is certain that America has experienced a significant (63-plus million) de-humaning, an eradication of humans from the population. This can only be tolerated if an unbiblical anthropology has won the day in the marketplace of ideas. Abortion is very much a matter of one’s anthropology, and Satan is quite interested in the subject. He hates God but can do nothing to thwart him. So, he targets the next best thing—the image of God in humans.

"Satan hates God but can do nothing to thwart him. So, he targets the next best thing—the image of God in humans."

     How do we meaningfully engage with our friends and loved ones who may disagree with a pro-life position because they don’t believe an unborn baby is actually a human life? Well, again, given Christmas is around the corner, living pro-life post-Roe could involve an appeal to consider the incarnation of Christ. The annunciation narratives in the gospels only speak of the child within Mary’s womb to be personal, human, holy, and living from the moment of conception. Advent is the answer to abortion, as the incarnation affirmed the reality and worth of life in the womb, as Christ came as the most vulnerable helpless babe. Jesus took on our physicality, affirming and redeeming it. We must engage others in the world of shame with a Christocentric anthropology, as in Heb 2:10–18, our unashamed Elder Brother, made like us in every way, came to destroy him who holds the power of death, that is the devil, and deliver all of us, who through our fear of death, were held in lifelong slavery.

     So, to live pro-life post-Roe is uniquely anthropological, as we insist that an unborn baby is not just a clump of cells, but a unique creation and an image of God. Yes, caught in the fallout of the fall. But that is why that Christmas Babe was born—come to earth, as the old carol says, to taste our sadness.


     The question of how we know what we know is ultimately a question of authority. From the point of view of covenantal apologetics, our approach to knowing is revelational. Our knowing is analogous to God’s comprehensive, independent, all-determinative knowing. The Creator authoritatively defines his creation at every point.

     When questions about when life begins arise, we need to be aware that the pro-abortion position is not, by its very own definitions, seeking to submit to scriptural categories of humanness, of life in the womb, etc., because for them the self has become epistemologically determinative. This is seen when the widely presupposed hegemony of scientism (note: scientism, not science) is appealed to settle the question of when life begins. The effort is to show that scientists are not all in agreement about when life begins, so abortion must be legally, widely, and safely accessible with no restrictions. However, when science is presented, revealing overwhelming consensus on life beginning at conception, science is simply ignored. This is because science is not the true principium. Self is.

     In the episode of The Dr. Phil Show I referenced earlier, Dr. Phil—who presents himself as a man of logic and science, a man of evidence-based research—insisted that the scholarly literature suggests scientists really don’t know when life begins. Lila Rose readily informed him that this is not the case, as 96% of embryologists agree that life begins at conception. He replied that this does not mean life begins at conception. So, he insists the scientific literature must be followed... until, of course, it contradicts his opinion.

"If self is the true principium, the true starting point of epistemology, truth cannot be sustained."

     If self is the true principium, the true starting point of epistemology, truth cannot be sustained. To deny theBible’s authority on such a matter as life, is to leave onewith both feet planted firmly. . . in mid-air. For, with theprincipium of self as epistemological foundation, the very self that insists upon an appeal to the authority of science, has no way to account for the inductive logic or the normativity of nature upon which said appealed-to science depends. However, the Bible accounts for these pre-conditions of intelligibility. If someone were to say that the Bible can’t be trusted historically, then that person must first be asked by what standard they judge Scripture. Secondly, they can’t then appeal to the supposedly historically untrustworthy Bible to insist that Jesus did not speak to the issue of abortion. Just as Pilate ironically asked the question, “What is truth?” when the very Truth was standing in from of him (John 18:38), so autonomous human reasoning stands Pilate-like before Jesus, pretending truth is not absolute and obligatory in the matter of abortion. To live pro-life post-Roe is uniquely an epistemological issue, as we are advocating for epistemological self-awareness in the very question of truth.


     Cornelius Van Til was rarely without his chalk. When he wasn’t flicking it at slumbering students, he used it to sketch his familiar circles—one large, one small, with a pair of lines connecting them. It was a visualization of the Creator/creature distinction. The process of differentiation between God and his creation was central to his metaphysic. God is God, and we are not.

     Metaphysics deals with the nature and reality of existence. Is it material? Is it spiritual? Is it both? A biblical metaphysic insists reality is both material and spiritual. While this is not often discussed, even by Christians, in the debate over abortion, proponents of abortion are making a significant metaphysical assumption—abortion is purely a physical act, as there is no non-physical person being eradicated. This creates a problem in that the question of personhood necessitates acknowledging the metaphysical duality of the physical and non-physical. Otherwise “personhood” is a meaningless concept. For those who defend abortion up to birth, the assumption is personhood is related to a stage of development (i.e.,having exited the birth canal and umbilical cord cut). However, in such a position, how does the physical location outside the womb determine the state of one’s non-physical personhood?

     This is the question that left Joe Rogan without an answer in a recent episode of his podcast with pro-life advocate Seth Dillon of The Babylon Bee.[16] Although Rogan mocked the idea of conception as a “miraculous event,” he could not answer Dillon’s challenge to account for how stage of development determined valuable humanness.

     The subjectivism involved in the metaphysics of the pro-abortion position can never actually say when it is wrong to end a life. If a proponent of abortion says that after a certain number of weeks, abortion is the ending of human life, and should not be allowed, say, a late term abortion, what reality sealed the humanness of what was previously just a developing clump of cells? If a proponent of abortion believes the procedure should be allowed up to the point of birth, what metaphysically mitigates against infanticide after the baby is born? By what standard is personhood, which is not material in nature, conferred? Can physical location (i.e., inside or outside the womb) confer humanness, personhood, a soul?

"Can physical location (i.e., inside or outside the womb) confer humanness, personhood, a soul?"

     This, obviously, is closely related to the question of anthropology, as all the pieces of the worldview puzzle are distinguishable, but not divorceable. Does man determine the nature of reality? Assuming the right to determine reality by fiat declaration that one is or is not actually human is a metaphysical move. To live pro-life post-Roe is also a matter of the metaphysical. It is a recognition of the Creator/creature distinction in answer to the question of the nature of reality.


     Ethics does not exist apart from the other pieces of the worldview puzzle. A covenantal apologetic, which asks, “By what standard?” in the realm of epistemology, for instance, does so as well in that of ethics. Ethics is a matter of statistics, culture catechizes us, and might makes right. This is often best seen in marketing. Allure recently posted an article in which they linked to the Don’t Ban Equality project, for which hundreds of corporations and companies signed a petition declaring abortions rights as a justice issue. These companies publicly committed themselves to support abortion rights in their policies for their employees and in their charitable efforts around the world. Being a glamour magazine and website, Allure asked 108 cosmetic companies just what they were doing to join the cause. They posted the responses, so their readers could know just how in-line these cosmetic companies were with the pro-abortion agenda. The message was clear—if your favorite makeup brand is not on this list, they are perpetuating injustice.

     Of course, corporate ethics in these matters isn’t always borne out of altruism. It is more cost effective for companies, like Dick’s Sporting Goods, to pay travel expenses for an employee’s out-of-state abortion, than to provide maternity leave in most cases. It is particularly chilling that cosmetic companies are so committed to abortion, given the use of fetal tissues in cosmetic research and development and even in products such as Neocutis’ anti-wrinkle creams. This in an industry that heralds products manufactured without cruelty to animals.

     I recently spoke with a member of my men’s Bible study, who has been faithfully serving in a pro-life ministry that arrives at the Planned Parenthood in Nashville early each morning to witness to Christ and counsel people showing up seeking abortions. They point them to myriad resources churches and ministries in the Nashville and surrounding areas offer for women facing an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy. There will always be more ways the Church needs to serve those in need. But the work of my friend, and thousands like him, is simply ignored in the rush of evangelical leaders to exhort us not to celebrate Dobbs too much. The sheer data on all the resources and aid faithful Christian churches and organizations have provided to prevent abortions and support mothers who choose life simply doesn't support their premise. This kind of virtue-signaling is, by and large, a sanctimonious shibboleth.

     It is only a biblical ethic that can account for why life matters at all—the life of a pregnant mother, or the life of the unborn child. Any approach to the issue of abortion that is not grounded in a biblical ethic has given up the transcendent basis for human rights, and makes all human beings expendable. If God is acknowledged, then so must be his law. If God is denied, then we are all just clumps of cells, inside or outside the womb. To live pro-life post-Roe is to delight in the law of the Lord (Ps. 1:2), and to display the light of that law, that all may see its beauty. Indeed, we are to be the welcoming committee, as Hope Defenders. We are also to be the wrecking crew, as we challenge non-Christian worldviews to give an account for any moral position apart from the transcendent standard of God’s law.

"It is only a biblical ethic that can account for why life matters at all—the life of a pregnant mother, or the life of the unborn child."


     Fitzsimons Allison says that a hallmark of heresy is the desire to escape basic humanity. Heresy is cruel. Abortion is a true expression of atheism, whether or not a person seeking or supporting abortion is actually an atheist, for it is a denial of the lordship of the Lord of life across all the pieces of the worldview puzzle. The same Lord of life who came to destroy the last enemy: death (1 Cor. 15:26). To be a Christian apologist is to be a Hope Defender. Ours is an eschatological hope, an eschatology that touches the past, present, and future. Resurrection reality and the promise of eternal life is the indicative for the imperative of living pro-life post-Roe. Can it be said more beautifully than this:

Yet the gift is in order to the task. The example is also meant to be a sample. Christ walks indeed a cosmic road. Far as the curse is found, so far his grace is given. The Biblical miracles of healing point to the regeneration of all things. The healed souls of men require and will eventually receive healed bodies and a healed environment. Thus there is unity of concept for those who live by the Scriptural promise of comprehensive, though not universal redemption. While they actually expect Christ to return visible on the clouds of heaven, they thank God for every sunny day. They even thank God for his restraining and supporting general grace by means of which the unbeliever helps to display the majesty and power of God. To the believer the natural or regular with all its complexity always appears as the playground for the process of differentiation which leads ever onward to the fullness of the glory of God.[17]

     To live pro-life post-Roe is to follow Jesus on that cosmic road, patiently and diligently fighting the good faith. And, until his walk of that road and the reverse of the curse is complete, we will pray and work toward every abortion clinic in this country becoming a pregnancy support center.

[1] C. FitzSimons Allison, The Cruelty of Heresy: An Affirmation of Christian Orthodoxy, (Harrisburg, PA: Morehouse Publishing, 1994), 17.

[2] Joe Scarborough,, accessed, Sept 16, 2022.

[3] Dobbs has hit hard in Tennessee, with one woman recently telling the Tennessean newspaper she is leaving the state because of it.

[4] Rev. Jes Kast,, accessed Sept 16. 2022.

[5] (accessed 09/22/2022).

[6]  Star Parker, Policy Report: The Effects of Abortion on the Black Community, Center for Urban Renewal and Education,, accessed Sept 16, 2022. Henceforth, Policy Report.

[7] Jeff Diamant and Besheer Mohamed, What the data say about abortion in the U.S.,, accessed Sept 17. 2022.

[8] Policy Report, 3.

[9] G.K. Chesterton, “Heretics,” in The Complete Works of G.K. Chesterton vol. 1, ed. David Dooley (San Francisco, Ignatius Press, 1986, 41.

[10] James Orr, The Christian View of God and the World as Centering in the Incarnation (New York: Anson D.F. Randolph, 1893).


[12] James Orr, The Christian View of God and the World as Centering in the Incarnation (New York: Anson D.F. Randolph, 1893), 4.

[13] F. LaGard Smith, When Choice Becomes God (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1990), 29.

[14] Ibid., 30.

[15] Ibid., 61.

[16] (Accessed 09/22/2022).

[17] Cornelius Van Til, “Nature and Scripture,” in The Infallible Word: A Symposium by the Members of the Faculty of Westminster Theological Seminary, ed. N. B. Stonehouse and Paul Woolley (1946; repr., Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2002), 271-72.

David Owen Filson is Adjunct Professor of Church History and Director of Alumni Engagement at Westminster Theological Seminary. He is the Pastor of Theology and Discipleship at Christ Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Nashville, TN.

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