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Within the past couple weeks, Doubleday has released two new books by First Things board members. You might want to give them a read.

In Faith, Reason, and the War Against Jihadism: A Call to Action , George Weigel offers a succinct statement of where the war on jihadism stands today, what we’ve done wrong in the past, and what we need to get right to win the future.

The Southern Baptist theologian Albert Mohler reviews the book here , and NRO’s John Miller has an audio interview with Weigel here .

Meanwhile, in Embryo: A Defense of Human Life , Robert P. George and Christopher Tollefsen produce a tour de force for the pro-life cause. Working through the embryology, philosophy, and ethics, George and Tollefsen have written the definitive tome, a tome that anyone in favor of embryo destruction will be forced to wrestle with again and again.

The new issue of National Review features a review of the book by Wesley J. Smith (subscription required), and NRO’s John Miller has an audio interview with George here .

Since the Smith review is for subscriber’s only, here’s a taste:

This book is bigger than the sum of its parts. The pro-life apologist and Princeton professor Robert P. George and his co-author, University of South Carolina philosopher Christopher Tollefsen, don’t just make a compelling and rational case — no religious arguments here — for the biological humanity and personhood of embryos. They also demonstrate convincingly that human life matters morally at every stage of existence, simply because it is human. And despite the high academic credentials of both authors, Embryo is no scholarly tome. Instead, while George and Tollefsen write very intelligently and mount their case with impeccable logical precision, the book is highly readable and their argument readily accessible to the average reader. . . .

Having demonstrated forcefully that the human embryo is biologically a human being from the moment of conception, and having strongly argued that every human being is ipso facto a person, the authors draw some important conclusions: All innocent human beings have a right to life; destructive embryonic-stem-cell research and human cloning are wrong, because they violate the bodily integrity and right to life of the nascent human person. Even though these biotechnological techniques could lead to scientific advancement and potential medical treatments, the authors assert (quoting Kant) that each of us must always be considered an end, never a means. . . .

Powerful forces seek to knock human life off of the pedestal of exceptionalism. Many who stand against the resulting cultural riptide have too often struggled to mount a scientifically valid, entirely secular, and philosophically coherent rebuttal. This important task just became much easier with the publication of George and Tollefsen’s Embryo, an important and powerful contribution in “defense of human life.”

I’ve read both of these books already (I offered some minor assistance in the production of Embryo ), and they’re definitely worth checking out.



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