Theology professor claims that the Bible is neutral towards abortion

'This 2,000-year-old text says nothing about abortion,' the professor claims.

These opinions have met with disapproval from many Christians in higher education.

According to one theology professor, the Bible is neutral when it comes to abortion.

On July 20, Melanie A. Howard, Associate Professor of Biblical & Theological Studies at Fresno Pacific University (FPU) in California, published an article in The Conversation explaining her view that the Bible neither condemns nor supports abortion.

FPU claims to be the only accredited Christian university in California’s Central Valley.

“In the days since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade,” writes Howard, “some Christians have cited the Bible to argue why this decision should either be celebrated or lamented. But here’s the problem: This 2,000-year-old text says nothing about abortion.”

[RELATED: Vanderbilt launches abortion-focused Task Force]

According to Howard, the Bible doesn’t address the topic of abortion “head-on.” 

After citing non-Jewish abortion practices in the ancient world, Howard writes, “In other words, the Bible was written in a world in which abortion was practiced and viewed with nuance.”  

Opinions such as Howard’s have met with disapproval from many Christians in higher education. 

John MacArthur, past president of The Master’s University and current pastor of Grace Community Church, openly criticizes arguments such as Howard’s. 

In an article titled “Is Scripture Clear About Abortion?,” MacArthur cites Exodus 21:22-25, where the Mosaic Law outlines the punishments for a man guilty of harm to a pregnant woman and her child. 

“According to God’s law,” writes MacArthur, “killing an infant is murder. Scripture doesn’t have to use the word abortion to make the point any more clear.”

Howard’s stance on abortion is not surprising considering many Christian universities are neutral, or even openly supportive of abortion. 

[RELATED: Emory workshop promotes abortion advocacy]

In a report in January of this year, for example, Campus Reform listed a sampling of 18 Christian universities that promote abortion. Some of the Universities include Texas Christian University, Virginia Wesleyan University, the College of St. Rose, and others. 

Campus Reform contacted Fresno Pacific University inquiring about Howard's article. The university responded with a statement on the sanctity of life:

“We believe that God is creator and giver of life, and highly values each person. Procedures designed to take human life are wrong. We oppose all attitudes that devalue human life, especially the defenseless lives of the unborn, disabled, poor, aging and dying.”

Campus Reform contacted Melanie Howard and John MacArthur. This article will be updated accordingly. 

Follow @emily_fowler18 on Twitter.