Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Book Worthy of an Answer

I started reading Bryan Hodge's A Christian Case against Contraception. So far, so good. Hodge examines contraception in light of the four disciplines of theology. Beginning with an historical perspective of the Church toward preventing conception, Hodge makes the argument, as the title of the book suggests, that contraception is sinful. He then moves to an exegetical look at procreation and contraception in the Scriptures, a systematic look at contraception, and a practical look at issues of contraception. So far, I'm only into the exegetical section, but the look at contraception in the history if the church was pretty good.

Inasmuch as an opposition to contraception was nearly universal in the Church until 1930, the burden of proof to demonstrate that contraception is an acceptable avenue for Christian married couples falls to the pro-contraception crowd.

Here's my challenge: pony up; get the book; read it; and let's discuss it. Email me if you'd rather not make a public answer to the book but would still be interested in the dialogue. I genuinely want a fraternal--not an antagonistic--discussion. Takers?


Anonymous said...

Do you think this is a good book for older teens, like 18 or 19? My son wants a large family, and I tell him that he needs to be very upfront about that with any young lady he is interested in. The accepted default in this society is that women are the final decision makers and he needs to be on the same page as his future wife.

Rev. Josh Sullivan said...

that's a very good question. The 'problem' with contraception is that is assumes certain things already about the nature of life, marriage, and man/woman relationships. Good insight, too, that society puts women as the final decision about children. That gets to the core of the problem, I think.

I'll have the discussion. However, the book isn't at the top of my reading list at the moment. It's within the top 5 though.

Pastor Hemmer said...

Sorry for the late reply; I didn't see your comment here.
If your son is looking for a somewhat academic treatise on why birth control is not Christian, this book is it. But it can get quite heady, which the author readily acknowledges. If he's just looking for a book that will help persuade would-be wives that large families are a blessing from God, this might not be it. I'll keep my eye out for something of the sort. Send me an email at jeffhemmer at gmail dot com, and I'll let you know when I come across something.

There's a slight, albeit noteworthy, difference between the desire for a large family and the desire to allow God to determine one's family size. While the pro-life mentality of anti-contraception sees children as a blessing and, generally speaking, wants more than the average 2.1, it also acknowledges that it is God alone who gives fertility and the gift of children.

I'll keep an eye out for such a book.