Life is Precious

Josh Wester

Babies are beautiful. There is a reason joy springs from our hearts when we learn that a friend is pregnant. There is a reason we are moved after hearing a child’s heartbeat in the womb via ultrasound. There is a reason we love to see images of a mother holding her newborn. And there is a reason we smile when we unexpectedly encounter a new baby. 

All of this happens because babies are beautiful.

But their beauty is much more than physical. Sure, we love to see the chubby cheeks or hear the infectious laugh of an infant. Who doesn’t? But the reason we love babies isn’t actually their looks or laughter or the thought of them in a cute onesie, as wonderful as these things may be. The true reason is much deeper. We love babies because their little lives testify to a reality all of us know intuitively: life is precious.

This issue of LIGHT is about that reality. As evangelicals, we embrace and affirm the Bible’s teaching about the sacredness of human life. Human beings matter because we bear God’s image. And bearing the image of our Creator is no small thing. At a minimum, it means that every person, at every stage of life, has intrinsic and inestimable worth and dignity. 

Sadly, nowhere in our culture is life more imperiled than in the womb. For almost 50 years, the United States has lived under the dark shadow of Roe v. Wade, the infamous Supreme Court ruling which opened the floodgates for on-demand abortions nationwide. But thankfully, that ruling has not gone unchallenged. In the intervening years, courageous Christians have joined arms with other passionate defenders of life to step into that darkness and counter it with a message of light and hope. 

Across nearly five decades, the pro-life movement has grown into a comprehensive and flourishing effort to combat the culture of death with the positive vision of life. The movement has mounted countless legal challenges to America’s abortion laws. And we continue to pray for legal victories to bring an end to the state-sanctioned slaughter of innocent children. But in addition, the pro-life movement has also met the cold and callussed work of the abortion industry with a loving and hospitable pro-life alternative for women, children, and families in need of care and support.

This issue revisits the history of the pro-life movement, takes stock of the present, and dares to dream about a future after Roe. Within these pages you’ll find articles and essays from members of our team here at the ERLC, interviews with those on the front lines of pro-life ministry, and information about ROE50, where thousands of believers plan to gather in our nation’s capital to commemorate this tragic milestone and further the work of ending abortion in our lifetime.

We are working toward a day when abortion is not only illegal but unthinkable. Will you join us?

Joshua B. Wester serves as Director of Content and Chair of Research in Christian Ethics. He holds an M.Div from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Th.M. in Public Theology from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Josh is married to McCaffity, and they have two children.