Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My Son Paul Armstrong's "Bible and Pro-Life" Book: "Defending Life"

Front cover photo by Samuel Rosa of Paris [ link ]

Needless to say, we are very proud parents. Paul is all of eighteen years old and already has written a book.

My son Michael (16) has also authored two fantasy novels (a la Lord of the Rings, etc.) that are extraordinarily good (he hopes to get them "officially" published in due course: I wish him the best, knowing how hard that will surely be, but knowing also how very talented and gifted he is), and is at work on a third in the series. Paul is working on a book of that sort, too. I didn't write anything of any theological significance (or any other) until I was 23, and even then it wasn't very good at first.

Paul and Michael are both very active in Catholic youth groups and teaching catechism and supervising younger children at various youth group activities and sports teams and events. My wife Judy home-schools all of our four children (we also have a 13 year-old son and 8 year-old daughter). This is what one "gets" for that effort. It pays priceless dividends. We wouldn't trade it for anything. The good fruit is palpable and undeniable. We've observed it many times in other home-schooled children.


Pro-life has been extremely important to me since 1982, when I switched my position from an ignorant "pro-choice" or "agnostic" on the issue to an informed and active pro-life stance. I suppose some of that (by God's grace) has rubbed off onto my children. It played a key role in moving me towards the Catholic Church, too. After examining the related issue of contraception, it became (in 1990) the first major subject (before my conversion) where I changed my mind and was persuaded of a specifically Catholic position.

Now, since I am an author, some may wonder how much I "helped" Paul with this book. I had nothing whatever to do with its inception or initial draft. In fact, I've always urged all my kids not to be writers, because of all that I have had to go through. I'm not at all the type of father who tries to force his children to do optional, open-ended things (careers, or sports or whatever), according to his wishes. They have their own God-given talents and desires (as the Holy Spirit distributes), and that's fine with me. But sure enough, here they are, writing anyway. Maybe it's a gene that is passed down . . .

My wife Judy and I helped Paul last night in selecting photographs for the front and back covers, and designing the colors and fonts, and putting together the text on the back. It was a true group effort, but Paul had the final say. I did do the formatting of the book (in the same way I set up all my Lulu books), and light editing. I've had my own books or articles edited far more heavily than I edited Paul's book. I know what that is like, as an author myself (we often have a sort of "love/hate" relationship with editors: though I have been truly blessed with mine), so I wanted to respect his feelings. He seems to be very pleased with the minor changes I made, which is great.

Mainly I modified sentences where the "person" changed or went into first or second person, to make it consistent and more "objective"-sounding. I made a few word or phrase changes here and there and contributed an occasional added clarifying sentence. But that's it. It really wasn't much. I wanted to make this clear, so there is no confusion about it. It is altogether his book, and (if I do say so): a very good one, on a crucial topic.

It features over 300 Bible passages on the subject of the sanctity of life. It was completed (quite significantly, I think) on 8 December 2009, on the Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception of Mary.

The book is available for purchase as a paperback (116 pages) for $11.95 at Lulu; also as a PDF file for only $3.00. Just follow the icon below:

Once on the Lulu web page for the book, you can view a large photograph of the cover by clicking on "preview" to the left, just under the book photograph. By repeatedly selecting the right arrow on the top right, you can read the Prologue, Acknowledgments, Table of Contents, and also see the back cover with its text, and another photograph.

Thanks for reading, on Paul's behalf, and please spread the pro-life "Word" to all and sundry. Lives depend on it, and entire civilizations have been relegated to the dust-heap of history because of sins far less grave than this abominable holocaust of childkilling. This book can be very useful for anyone who wishes to provide the biblical rationale for the pro-life position, and it can be particularly good for young people to read, because of the age (18) of the person who wrote it.