I call upon You, Lord, God of Abraham and God of Isaac and God of Jacob and Israel, You who are the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the God who, through the abundance of your mercy, was well-pleased towards us so that we may know You, who made heaven and earth, who rules over all, You who are the one and the true God, above whom there is no other God; You who, by our Lord Jesus Christ gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit, give to every one who reads this writing to know You, that You alone are God, to be strengthened in You, and to avoid every heretical and godless and impious teaching.

St Irenaeus of Lyons, Against the Heresies 3:6:4

Friday, March 26, 2010

A New Kind of Stupid!

Here is another letter exchange I had at the Roanoke Times. WARNING: The first letter contains a new kind of stupid; read at your own academic risk!

“We’re not alive until we’re breathing” (03/23/10)

Re: "Christians must put Jesus first" and "Crosses represent murders by abortion," March 18 letters:

Two letters deserve special attention because they relate to one another. Darius McBride says, "Christians do not have the option of deciding which part of the Bible we want to accept."

That relates directly to what Aubrey and Linda Hicks had to say about the abortion issue. They declare, "The baby isn't cells or a mass or just a fetus. It is living, breathing and formed by God."
I have no problem with that last part, but biology says we are indeed a mass of cells. Many seem to confuse growth with living prior to birth.

Genesis says, "Then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being." Other biblical passages reinforce the connection between life and breath.

We don't start living until we are born and start breathing. And we stop living when we take our last breath. It's God's plan, according to the Bible. McBride says Christians need to accept it all.



Although preborn children enjoy respiration from conception to birth, Herb Detweiler’s letter, “We’re alive once we’re breathing” (3/23), indicated that his oxygen count might be low.

Detweiler said, “Many seem to confuse growth with living...” arguing that living does not occur until “we are born and start breathing.” Biologically preposterous!

If the preborn child is growing, respiration is necessarily occurring. So, the child is living prior to birth. Detweiler’s outlandish argument doesn’t depend on the fact of the preborn’s respiration, but its mode of respiration, which is all that changes at birth. Detweiler is therefore arguing that one’s method of oxygen exchange should determine whether one may be killed.

Detweiler’s appeal to Genesis 2:7 was equally reckless. There is simply no analogy between the historically unique, extraordinary creation of Adam from inanimate material and the nine months of development in the womb under God’s superintending providence. To say otherwise is to neither think clearly nor take the Bible seriously.

I agree we must accept all what the Bible says, including, “For behold...the baby in my womb [John the Baptist] leaped for joy” (Luke 1:44). This verse alone knocks the breath out of Detweiler’s argument.


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