THE CASE FOR LIFE: EQUIPPING CHRISTIANS TO ENGAGE THE CULTURE
In this assembly presentation, LTI speakers use hard-hitting logic expressed in an engaging way to argue for the truth of the pro-life view. We contend that pro-life students can make an immediate impact provided they’re equipped to engage the culture with a robust but graciously communicated case for life. Making that case is what this presentation is about.
1) Clarify the moral logic surrounding issues like abortion and embryonic stem cell research. These issues are not morally complex, though they are often presented that way in academia and in the popular culture. For example, the abortion controversy is not a debate between those who are pro-choice and those who are anti-choice. It’s not about privacy. It’s not about trusting women to decide. It’s not about forcing one’s morality. It’s primarily about one question, What is the unborn?
2) Equip students with a persuasive case for the pro-life view using science and philosophy. Does each and every human being have an equal right to life or do only some have it in virtue of some characteristic that may come and go within the course of their lifetimes? That question is hugely problematic for abortion-choice advocates. Their own leaders say so. For example, Kate Michaelman and Francis Kissling lament that a new generation of equipped pro-life advocates is advancing “sophisticated philosophical challenges” to what once was considered a settled debate. Your students will learn to make a case for the pro-life view in one minute or less. That case can be summarized in just two steps. 1) The science of embryology establishes that from the earliest stages of development, the unborn are distinct, living, and whole human beings. 2) Philosophically, there is no relevant difference between the embryo you once were and the young adult you are today that justifies killing you at that earlier stage of development. Differences of size, level of development, environment, and degree of dependency are not good reasons for saying you had no right to life then but you do now. In short, humans are equal by nature not function. Although they differ immensely in their respective degrees of development, they are nonetheless equal because they share a common human nature made in the image of God.
3) Challenge students to courageously stand for the lives of the unborn. Let’s face it, many young adults tragically think they’re defined by how many followers they have on social media or by how well they do playing online games. They value being liked over being right! What they need is a good dose of courage to live for something beyond their Twitter accounts. The pro-life cause calls out young adults to be missional and put their reputations on the line for the sake of those who can’t speak for themselves. It challenges them to take Jesus seriously when He said, “Take up your cross and follow me.” Like Wilberforce and Bonhoeffer of yesteryear, today’s pro-life students are challenging the prevailing secular orthodoxy with a winsome alternative—namely, that each of us has value simply because we are human.
Brief Outline of the Presentation:
Title: The Case for Life: Equipping Students to Engage the Culture
Thesis: Pro-life students can make a persuasive case for life if they are clear on three key questions:
1. What is the unborn?
They are distinct, living, and whole human beings
Elective abortion intentionally kills an innocent unborn human
2. What makes humans valuable?
Humans are valuable because we share a common nature, not because of some capacity that may come and go in the course of our lifetimes.
If you deny this, the result is savage inequality: Might makes right.
3. What is our duty?
Love our unborn neighbor even though it’s costly
Live for something beyond ourselves
Ideal audience: Grades 9-12
Time allotted: Ideally, 50 minutes—though adjustments possible upon request.
Audio-visual equipment needed: ability to play short DVD clip, mic (prefer lapel or countryman)
ADVANCED TRAINING SESSIONS
CAN ANYONE BE RIGHT ABOUT ANYTHING? THE CASE AGAINST MORAL RELATIVISM
“Who are you to push your views on me?” If you’re a Christian, you’ve heard that said many times. Indeed, at both the street and academic levels, moral relativism remains the single biggest challenge to a Christian worldview. Beginning with Kant and the empiricists of the 17th and 18th centuries, objective moral rules were either considered non-existent or unknowable. Now, it seems the only thing our tolerant culture won’t tolerate is you claiming to be right! Indeed, the very definition of tolerance has been turned on its head! In this session, your LTI speaker will trace the history of the relativistic worldview and suggest tactics Christians can use to expose its intellectual shortcomings. Although relativism is used to silence dissent, its bark is worse than its bite. When subjected to scrutiny, it self-destructs!
Identify three major forms of relativism
Recognize their inherent flaws
Learn tactics for responding thoughtfully
Brief Outline of Presentation:
Title: The Case Against Relativism
Thesis: Relativism is flawed for at least three reasons:
It is self-refuting.
It can’t say why anything is wrong, including intolerance.
It can’t live with its own rules
Watch the presentation here: http://vimeo.com/80824427
KEEPING COOL UNDER FIRE: HANDLING OBJECTIONS WITH GRACE AND TRUTH
Ever felt like you’re on the hot seat? Christians are often grilled with tough questions from the secular culture. And it’s only going to get worse when your students arrive at the university campus! Nevertheless, as Christians, we’re called to give a persuasive yet gracious defense for our beliefs (1 Peter 3:15). Thankfully, doing that doesn’t require that you memorize an encyclopedia of answers to every objection hurled your way. You just need to master three simple questions that can make a world of difference in your next conversation. Before you know it, you’ll be out of the hot seat and into the driver’s seat—where you belong!
Equip students to recognize the difference between thoughtful arguments and mere assertions
Teach students to ask three key questions that will reverse the burden of proof and put the critic on the defensive. Greg Koukl calls them “Colombo” questions, named after the famous television detective played by Peter Falk. The goal is not dominance, but clarity.
Apply those three “Colombo” questions to specific claims related to the pro-life position and the Christian worldview in general.
Brief Outline of Presentation:
Title: Tactics: Keeping Cool Under Fire
Thesis: When you are under fire, you can get back in the driver’s seat by asking 3 key (“Colombo”) questions:
1. What do you mean by that?
2. How did you come to that conclusion?
3. Have you considered the implications of your view?
FIVE BAD WAYS TO ARGUE ABOUT ABORTION
Pro-life advocates present compelling arguments for their position based on science and philosophy. Nevertheless, many critics ignore the scientific and philosophic case that pro-life advocates present and argue for abortion based on self-interest. That is the lazy way out. If we care about truth, we will courageously follow the facts wherever they lead. Here are five common mistakes people make arguing for abortion and how you can respond thoughtfully.
Equip students to recognize common fallacies found in abortion-related discussions.
Explain why these common fallacies are not persuasive and only muddle clear thinking
Provide persuasive responses to these bad arguments
Brief Outline of the Presentation:
Title: Five Bad Ways People Argue About Abortion
Thesis: Pro-life students can answer many objections if they first learn to recognize five bad ways people argue:
They assume rather than argue
They assert rather than argue
They attack rather than argue
They confuse functioning as a human with being a human
They hide behind the hard cases