Sanctity of Life is an ambitious book by Katie Lynn Daniels. This little book tackles the difficult problems of torture, suicide, sacrifice, and killing — subjects that could each fill an entire book. And Sanctity of Life asks all of these difficult questions. It is a book that makes you think.
First off, one thing needs to be said: this is an adapted blog post series. The introduction, written by Aubrey Hansen, even references it as a blog series. And the book is short: about five blog posts long, or 22 pages on my nook. And that was the first thing I noticed about Sanctity of Life: it’s really short. Short is good, if it answers all the questions it presents.
But many questions are left unanswered. This book does an excellent job at asking difficult questions. It is very thought-provoking, that’s for sure. But we don’t see all that much of the author’s viewpoint except in the way the questions are asked. With only 22 pages of material, Daniels had an excellent chance to provide her own viewpoint. Yet most of the book only asks questions.
An author does not only provoke thoughts, but must provide her own worldview in answering these questions. Because this is a self-published book, we have a rare glimpse into the author’s mind with her post My Bastard Children. I would counsel Daniels to provide more of her own worldview in the book.
Sanctity of Life asks questions that absolutely need to be asked. We need more books like it, and I am grateful that I had a chance to read it. But more than that, we need books that provide the answers. Daniels asks the questions well, challenging her fellow writers to meet these difficult questions of death and killing head-on. My challenge to Daniels is this: to provide answers to these questions. Just as writers have incredible opportunities to shape their writers, Daniels in this book has an incredible opportunity to shape her fellow writers. I’m eager to see her take that opportunity.
If these questions have never occurred to you before, Daniels’ book is an excellent place to start. It will ask you difficult questions about human life and its value; questions that will make you squirm. But it is deeply worth it. In a culture that glorifies carnage and killing, we as Christians are called to stand out, to keep ourselves from being desensitized and blending in. We are called to respect the Sanctity of Life that God created.