I have become all things to all, to save at least some. — 1 Corinthians 9:22
Is there a more challenging place in America for sharing the word of God than the pro-life arena? There’s always that “gotcha” impulse, on both sides, with people waiting to jump on each others’ misstatements or awkward phrasings or just plain outrageous assertions. I know one activist who has dedicated his life to pro-life work because he thinks aborted babies go to hell. He may have saved some babies, but I’m skeptical that the dear man – and he is a dear man – has touched the hearts of any adults with his cockeyed theology.
I have a vocabulary with which I’m comfortable when I’m talking about the life issues. Pro-life, not anti-abortion. Pro-restorative justice, not anti-death penalty. Preborn, not unborn or “fetal,” however clinically accurate “fetus” may be.
And yet if I am to be all things to all people, my vocabulary has got to expand. How far can I take that and still deal in truth?
But there are St. Paul’s words: all things to all. He didn’t say be a word snob.
Today, I was challenged by someone who objected to my use of the term “preborn.” Not trolling, but a sincere objection. Why not “unborn”? Why not “fetus”?
While I’m edging out of my comfort zone, I’d like to hear from people who’ve learned more about the art of dialogue.