That year, Christianity Today — edited by Harold Lindsell, champion of “inerrancy” and author ofThe Battle for the Bible — published a special issue devoted to the topics of contraception and abortion. That issue included many articles that today would get their authors, editors — probably even theirreaders — fired from almost any evangelical institution. For example, one article by a professor from Dallas Theological Seminary criticized the Roman Catholic position on abortion as unbiblical. Jonathan Dudley quotes from the article in his bookBroken Words: The Abuse of Science and Faith in American Politics. Keep in mind that this is from a conservative evangelical seminary professor, writing in Billy Graham’s magazine for editor Harold Lindsell:
God does not regard the fetus as a soul, no matter how far gestation has progressed. The Law plainly exacts: “If a man kills any human life he will be put to death” (Lev. 24:17). But according to Exodus 21:22-24, the destruction of the fetus is not a capital offense. … Clearly, then, in contrast to the mother, the fetus is not reckoned as a soul.
Christianity Today would not publish that article in 2012. They might not even let you write that in comments on their website. If you applied for a job in 2012 withChristianity Today or Dallas Theological Seminary and they found out that you had written something like that, ever, you would not be hired.
Quite frankly I think the debate over when life begins is a way to distract people from the fact that this entire debate is about the power of the state, and whether government should have the ability to force you to bear a child against your will. Not to mention prevent you from obtaining much-needed medical treatment in the guise of morality, should your pregnancy go terribly wrong in the way that pregnancies can.
Nevertheless, it’s fascinating to see the way the desire for power has shaped the public positions of evangelical Christians who claim their authority comes straight from God. Go read the whole thing.