Tonight I stumbled across the thoughts of Dorothy Patterson on birth control, entitled “Convenient Contraception or Challenging Parenthood: Personal Agenda vs. God’s Plan.” It’s quite a lengthy read, but well worth your time, if for no other reason than to absorb the position taken by an learned woman who has thought critically and interacted substantively with the subject of evangelical gynology. Whether or not you agree with all of Patterson’s conclusions, you have to appreciate that she refuses to dictate her position as the only biblical position on birth control. You will also appreciate her personal story immensely, and share her thankfulness to God for how he protected her through difficult pregnancies and deliveries to raise her children according to biblical principles. The following excerpt is especially interesting to me:
I do not feel that it is my responsibility to convince people not to use the Pill. However, I do want to provide other women with the tools necessary to make an informed decision rather than one based on disinformation or ignorance. The moral issues surrounding use of the Pill are difficult and are noticeably more “gray” than many issues concerning the sanctity of human life. In matters of conscience, one must allow others grace to make their own decisions before God.
How does one reconcile liberty and license? Is genuine liberty merely doing what one wants to do and not doing what one doesn’t want to do? Some seem to think so. However, God has a completely different idea. His challenge is for you to do what you ought to doâ€”what He meant for you to do. Although I am created in God’s image, I am not God! His liberty is predicated upon my obedience; my freedom in His order must be sanctified by discipline according to His boundaries.
There has never been any question that one has the power to choose–even to choose to disobey. Everyone is capable of doing many things that he is not supposed to do. Yet one is clear that the ability to do a thing is not a command nor even a permission to do it.
At the heart of the whole issue of liberty is the matter of personal choice. You always have choices, and the right choice is not always the easy choice or the painless choice, but it should be the faithful choice. To go, do, see, and have what you want and reject what you do not want; to determine the timing of God’s blessings and the kind of blessings you would accept; to demand individual rights–selfishness rather than selflessness–the price of this freedom is too great. The one who chooses faithfully believes in a God who not only controls the big things but the little things as well.”
Now aside from the content of her essay, which is not funny, I got a good laugh when I noticed that the First Lady of Southwestern has published her view on contraceptive devices under the “recipe” section of her blog.
Here is the link
And here is the address:
And now for something completely different:
I’ve just received a phonecall that the link to Dorothy Patterson’s blog is strangely inaccessible. I’ve been reloading the page, and it could be that the web administrator at SWBTS is changing some of the layout. If the link to her position paper changes, I will provide a new link as soon as possible.