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COMMENTS ABOUT STEVE WAGNER

“I continue to support Steve Wagner through JFA because you continue to teach and reach out to the next generation lovingly, carefully, and thoughtfully. Meeting them where they live in heart and mind. With the truth of the sanctity of life, good, bad, happy, or sad. Dialoguing with them, engaging them in the debate. Accepting their feelings about how they think.” (Tanya, handwritten note, June 2011)

“The explanation about a separate organism totally change my mind about ‘the morning after pill’ and life before the heartbeat.” (Fellowship Christian School student Steve mentored during an Abortion: From Debate to Dialogue Seminar)

“This was one of the best talks I have ever heard.”  (Katie, a college student, after hearing Steve Wagner speak at the Students for Life Conference in Washington D.C. on January 24, 2009)

“Steve, you are excellent. You put things in such an understandable honest way. I wish I had heard you speak before a conversation I had yesterday! Your strategies for reading people will help me in the future!”  (Elise, a college student, after hearing Steve Wagner speak at the Students for Life Conference in Washington D.C. on January 24, 2009)

“I thought this was a great presentation! I have been pro-life for only a year but still didn’t understand all arguments against and for this stance. This presentation answered so many questions for me…The presentation and [open forum] questions helped my growing knowledge… Thanks. It was amazing!”  (Jenna, a student at Clarion University (Clarion, PA), after Steve Wagner led an open forum on abortion at her school on April 7, 2009)

“Hands down, the single best trainer on the topic of person to person pro-life persuasion.”  (Scott Klusendorf, President, Life Training Institute  and author of The Case for Life, Crossway, 2009)

“Steve [regularly lectures at Focus on the Family Institute and]…has not only taught, but demonstrated how to engage others in the abortion debate with a great mix of using the mind and heart in conjunction with one another…Steve understands what it takes to speak Truth to a hurting culture.”  (Chris Leland, Focus on the Family Institute)

“The guy is making perfect sense…He’s an articulate, intelligent, calm presence. Suddenly, a chill creeps up your spine: I hope there are people on the pro-choice side who are equally perceptive and balanced.”  (Nerve Magazine, an online adult magazine that’s no friend to pro-life advocates, referring to Steve’s work featured in Unborn in the USA, a 2007 documentary)

“Steve not only presented compelling arguments that the others were not able to counter, but he did so in such a winsome manner that people in the audience were doubly-persuaded. If I were in a debate, I sure would want to be on the same side as Steve!”  (John Kilner, President, Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity)

“What you said today moved me almost more than anything ever has before.”  (Kelly, High School Student in Paso Robles, CA)

“We ALL LOVED Steve! His day-long training was wonderful. The kids were excited to do the field trip the following day. It was pouring rain, but it didn’t dampen their spirits! We spent two hours in downtown Portland with the survey…the kids were SO excited when they were done…it was a huge success! I think the field trip cemented to them how to talk to others and gave them the courage that they can do it! We look forward to having him back!”  (Gayle Atteberry, Executive Director, Oregon Right to Life)

“I am happy to tell you that the Banquet raised … the largest amount brought in at a banquet to date. We have had very positive feedback on you as a speaker and on the entire evening being “the best banquet ever.” (Janet Evanco, Director, CareNet-Rhode Island)

“I was pro-choice until you…”  (Homeschooling mother of five kids, Pennsylvania)

“Steve Wagner makes an instant and impressive connection with young people, giving them the tools to winsomely articulate their faith to their peers. Our City on the Hill students like him so much, we’ve invited him back for a third time!”  (Michael Geer, President, Pennsylvania Family Institute)

“The approach Steve Wagner explained gave me some idea of how to defend my view in a way that does not escalate the conversation and make it more adversarial than necessary. He is clearly a highly intelligent person who has experience talking to pro-choice people. … If I were to get more involved in the pro-life cause I’d tend to use Mr. Wagner’s approach as training wheels.”  (Pro-Life Atheist, UCSB)

“I am writing in connection to Stephen Wagner’s visit to my Introduction to Ethics class. I asked Steve to present the strongest case he could in favor of the “pro-life” position in the abortion debate, and he did just that. He gave an intelligent and lively talk; I would be glad to have him back again.  I was especially impressed that Steve addressed – with the seriousness they deserve – Peter Singer’s arguments about abortion. Instead of retreating into the mindless platitudes that are all too familiar in the abortion debate, Steve argued that Singer’s arguments fail on their own terms and have unsavory consequences. This is the kind of sophistication appropriate for philosophy classes.  I think all my students benefited from seeing a person who is so clearly committed to the truth of some ethical point of view – even those who, like myself, ultimately disagree with his position. Too often, ethics is an abstract pursuit. Steve’s talk brought home to all of us just how real and how important these issues are.  (Jeffrey Moriarty, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Philosophy, California State University, Long Beach)

COMMENTS FROM PROFESSIONALS ABOUT COMMON GROUND WITHOUT COMPROMISE

“Steve Wagner has made a great contribution to breaking the logjam in the discussion of abortion.  These discussions often end up as posturing or shouting matches because there is no common place to begin.  Steve has identified places of common ground from which to proceed–this has the chance to actually make some headway in these difficult and emotional discussions.  I commend this book for those who want to engage the discussion seriously.”  (Scott B. Rae, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Department of Philosophy, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University)

“Both sides of the abortion debate claim to be defending the dignity of persons. Unfortunately, while quarrelling with each other they sometimes neglect to consider the dignity of the person with whom they are disagreeing. Steve Wagner’s book, Common Ground Without Compromise, is an antidote to this. He offers to his readers a template on how one may go about discussing the abortion issue with firm conviction while at the same time exhibiting charity.  This is a fine piece of work.”  (Francis J.Beckwith, Associate Professor of Philosophy & Church-State Studies, Baylor University)

“Steve Wagner has mastered the art of pro-life communication and I can’t think of anyone better suited to winsomely engage hostile critics. He’s a tough-minded thinker with a gracious attitude, one who charms rather than repels. I commend Steve to you without reservation. Indeed, to the extent you trust my pro-life work trust his. And please, don’t just read this book. Consume it. Lives will be saved because you did.”   (Scott Klusendorf, President, Life Training Institute)

“This motivational book proves to be a necessary tool that combines the use of stories and interaction to create effective ways to enter into reasonable, sound and peaceful discussions on the topic of abortion.” (Melanie Welsch Pritchard, Life Educational Corporation)

“Some books are well-timed. Stephen Wagner’s Common Ground Without Compromise: 25 Questions to Create Dialogue on Abortion (Stand to Reason, 2008) should help many pro-lifers achieve the progress possible in a tough political environment: Transformations of heart and mind can save many lives now and create opportunities for when the political pendulum swings back.”  (Marvin Olasky, “Abortion Treadmill,” World Magazine, January 17, 2009)

“Simply put, this book is brilliant. I’ve seen it work in person. It definitely makes for a more “Christian” discussion, as opposed to screaming at people or waving bibles in their faces. Anyone who doubts the approach should consider the results of those that use it. This book has helped me go to the next level in establishing common ground with even the most extreme pro-choice advocate.”  (Josh Brahm, Creator of Life Report & Director of Education and Public Relations, Right to Life of Central California, Fresno Office; from a Review on Amazon.com)

COMMENTS FROM READERS ABOUT COMMON GROUND WITHOUT COMPROMISE

“In a realm where cleverness and strategy are prioritized over understanding and dialogue, Common Ground Without Compromise represents a rare and invaluably sincere perspective. In its attempt to bring us all, pro-choice and pro-life, back to our common humanity, this book will do more than challenge your views – it will challenge your idea of how we should go about working for a better world. There were definitely moments when reading this that I had some buttons pushed and wanted more explained from ‘my side.’ Then I realized that this was the purpose – to start conversations with each other, not to say how they should end. Wagner’s approach represents one of the most hopeful things I have encountered in my experiences with this great social dilemma of our time.”  (Lynette Shaw, Pro-Choice)

“I found Common Ground Without Compromise very insightful. I see a lot of promise for the future of this debate, as well as many other contentious issues, if people are willing to mindfully utilize this method. I feel as though Steve has a firm grasp upon the ways in which discussions turn sour based on typical, perhaps natural, human approaches to communication. To be honest, I still don’t quite agree with Steve’s account of one issue, truth, but I found an unbelievable amount of other common ground for us to stand on.”  (Jonathan Schmalz, Pro-Choice)

“Great organization, easy read, and a solid stepping stone for dialogue about abortion.”  (Will Esler, Pro-Life)

“A step towards the center is a step towards a solution. In a debate known for its differences, Steve highlights areas of agreement between the sides that often posture themselves as complete opposites.” (Róbert Heimir Helgason, Pro-Choice)

“Common Ground Without Compromise comes as a timely response to the shared frustration that pro-life and pro-choice advocates have nothing in common. Steve tears down the “sides” and “party lines” we are all tired of, and reveals the solid foundation of beliefs and motivations we all share. This book will equip pro-life and pro-choice advocates alike to have meaningful conversation with each other and, hopefully, to cooperate and care for all affected by abortion.”  (Jennifer Hardy, Pro-Life)

MORE COMMENTS FROM READERS ABOUT COMMON GROUND WITHOUT COMPROMISE

“I’m a bi-vocational pastor.  In addition to my ministry responsibilities, I teach K-5 music in an elementary school.  At church, people value my insight on moral and spiritual issues.  At school, my thoughts are just the opinions of another teacher.  Because of this I feel the same fear as others when engaging in conversations about such weighty topics as life or choice.  I’m secure in my viewpoint, but I don’t want to merely offend.  The day after reading Common Ground Without Compromise the topic of abortion came up during a school lunchroom conversation.  Rather than keeping quiet as before, I fully engaged in the conversation.  I felt confident, but more importantly the content of Stephen’s book enabled me to be compassionate as well.  It felt good and natural.  I wondered why I had been fearful for so long.” (David Duty, Houston, TX)

“[Common Ground Without Compromise is] by far the best book I have read on the abortion issue! Should be read by those on both sides of the issue and those who take no side. The more people who follow the advice laid out in this book, both in terms of the abortion issue and in all aspects of life, the better off we will be.  (Clare’s Catholic Clutter)

“Excellent resource for speaking intelligently about abortion. Common Ground Without Compromise encourages authenticity in interactions with others – a common sense notion which nevertheless is often completely disregarded. Please do yourself a favor and investigate this text for yourself. I wager you will not be disappointed.”  (Mlle Mandy,” Central IL, USA, “Sincere Approach,” Review on Amazon.com, January 16, 2009) 

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