Stephanie Gray’s powerful book on pro-life apologetics is a superb study guide on how to communicate well to both the head and the heart. As a seasoned pro-life activist, Stephanie has had the experience of decades of debating abortion with abortionists, students, media professionals and post abortion men and women. Her testimonies carefully help the reader to understand the power of stories, listening, empathising and seeking to understand first. Sometimes it is the way in which you say things that matters most.
Stephanie is keen to find out where people are coming from with their questions to get at the heart of their worldview before launching into pro-life apologetics. By advocating, understanding and personal dialogue first, her methodology seems far more effective at reaching hearts and minds in a personal, pastoral and powerful way. Dialogue through listening, understanding, drawing the worldview out of the other person first before delivering stories which bring home a transforming message seems an effective way of reaching someone on a difficult topic, rather than just having an argument.
Stephanie shares some extraordinary experiences of debating abortion: from the pro-abortion advocate who promoted abortion because his sibling was aborted and he felt his existence was due to the abortion, to the victim of child abuse. She ends the book with a great appendix of how to reach out to someone considering abortion with understanding, unwavering support and information.
The discovery of common ground is a good starting point for dialogue. The power of questions can help to unearth erroneous preconceived notions of what the unborn are for the pro-abortion advocate. She compares the experience of pre-borns in pregnancy with individuals in airplanes. Both are enclosed in properly pressurized environments. Both are powerless to control the plane and/or are at the mercy of someone else.
Stephanie is particularly adept at explaining how to communicate to the heart. Logic can’t explain to a hurting person that they are of infinite worth. Only genuine love can touch them. Our goal sometimes should not be to win arguments but to win people over. When we treat people with great value are share our lives we are not just be pro-life, but we can also be pro-their lives. Some people are not able to see the value of preborn children until they see the value in themselves. Dr Martin Luther King said “Whom you would change you must first love, and they must know that you love them.” Sometimes when people ask about abortion and rape, they’re seeking to know if the pro-lifer is human. Gray also references Victor Frankl who sought meaning in suffering as an answer to some of the hard questions pro-lifers face.
I highly recommend this book as a very useful resource for anyone looking to improve their debating skills or pro-life activism.