Tim Barnett responds to the objection that a pro-life God would have saved all pregnant women when he sent the flood.
Original video: Would you say the Bible is a pro-life book? Then what do you say to the people out there who say, “Well, you know what? God killed everybody on earth. He killed everybody except for Noah and a bunch of farm animals. That’s not very pro-life.” Because I’ve had people make the argument that there were probably some pregnant women there, and when the flood happened that God sent, he kind of aborted those babies. If a fetus is considered a baby, shouldn’t he have saved every pregnant woman?
Tim: Would you say the Bible is a pro-life book? Well, that depends entirely on what is meant by a “pro-life book.” Sometimes, we need more information before we can answer a question. In this case, it’s not immediately clear to me what is meant by a “pro-life book,” and so we need to ask a clarifying question: What do you mean by a “pro-life book”?
Most people associate “pro-life” with the abortion debate. The phrase “pro-life” is shorthand for the belief that elective abortion is wrong. So, someone could take a “pro-life book” to mean a book against elective abortion, and that’s probably what the priest took the question to mean, but that’s not what the questioner meant. Instead, he’s asking something like, “Do you think the Bible is against all killing?” Well, that’s a different question with a different answer. After all, the Bible is full of examples of God killing people through acts of judgment. The flood is a prime example.
Notice we have two different questions with two different answers. Is the Bible pro-life? Well, that depends. God gives commands against murder—unjustified killing—and I think this includes taking the life of an unborn human, but God is also justified in taking life, especially in judgment. Unlike humans, God can legitimately take life that he gives. In other words, God has prerogatives regarding humans as their Creator that humans just don’t have.