Just how old is the Evangelical view on abortion and contraception?

The Catholics had it first. Evangelicals railed against the Catholics. Politics. 1988. Stuff like that and bam…

By the mid-1980s, the evangelical right was so successful with this strategy that the popular evangelical community would no longer tolerate any alternative position. Hence, the outrage over a book titled Brave New People published by InterVarsity Press in 1984. In addition to discussing a number of new biotechnologies, including genetic engineering and in vitro fertilization, the author, an evangelical professor living in New Zealand, also devoted a chapter to abortion. His position was similar to that of most evangelicals 15 years prior. Although he did not believe the fetus was a full-fledged person from conception, he did believe that because it was a potential person, it should be treated with respect. Abortion was only permissible to protect the health and well-being of the mother, to preclude a severely deformed child, and in a few other hard cases, such as rape and incest.

slacktivist » The ‘biblical view’ that’s younger than the Happy Meal.

You really, rally must read the entire article.

For more from Dudley, read here and then a response here.

Joel L. Watts
Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

8 thoughts on “Just how old is the Evangelical view on abortion and contraception?

  1. It was within a year or two of Roe v. Wade that an outside guest spoke against abortion at a Baptist church where I was volunteer group leader. The presentation was complete with disturbing photographs. I remember thinking, “Just because it is visually disgusting that doesn’t make it wrong.” It was reading “Abortion and the Early Church” (1982, Intervarsity Press) that clarified my thinking on the issue. I’m against it.

  2. It doesn’t take much of a Google search to find that article lacking. Try 1866 and before then, not the early 1980s.

    ” … psychological science has now fully demonstrated the fact that life exists contemporaneously with conception. Consequently, designed abortion, even at it’s earliest period, is actual murder, with it’s full weight of guilt”. “Designed abortion therefore, … is a crime against soul and body”.

    The Evangelical repository and United Presbyterian review. 1866. Page 18.

    1. But, does that line up with what was going on with the Evangelicals in the 20th century? Note the change of course in the 1920’s with fundies in the US going underground

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