I’ve written previously about noted Catholic blogger Matt Walsh who has some very misconceived ideas about what creationists believe. He has come out recently with some more misconceptions, this time about how to argue about social issues in particular. Walsh argues that the Bible is not necessary to convince people to think a certain way about the social issues. In this, he is dead wrong. This article will explain why.
Before explaining why Walsh is wrong, let me first lay out his arguments. Walsh argues that it is not necessary to use the Bible to convince the atheist or the skeptic that abortion is wrong, for example, or that a man in a dress is not a woman. Instead, Walsh argues that you can simply use the scientific evidence to argue that abortion is wrong or there are two separate genders. While technically he is correct, there are significant problems with this approach.
In his article, Walsh quotes a gentleman named Sy Ten Bruggencate who attempts to make a similar point I will make in this article and condescends to give him the title Christian apologist in quotes, almost as if because he disagrees with Walsh, he isn’t a Christian. Given that, from what little I know of Bruggencate, he is more orthodox than Walsh, perhaps Walsh should be careful who he mocks. At any rate, Walsh makes a revealing statement part way through the article which I believe illustrates the core problem. “I believe that the Bible is an authority.” Stop right there Mr. Walsh. AN Authority? What about THE Authority? There is the problem right there with Walsh’s ideas. If the Bible is not the ultimate authority, if it is simply an authority, then the other authorities that exist, whatever they might be, can overrule the Bible. This produces the issue where it is possible God’s Word might be overruled by something written by man.
However, mere evidence, does not always work to convince people of their error. I’ve written extensively about worldviews on these pages in the past. It is a person’s worldview that strongly influences his opinion on social issues like abortion and transgenderism. Because the atheist and I do not come at things from the same worldview, we essentially have different foundations. I build my arguments based on the Bible. They build their arguments based on whatever their foundation is, be it evolution or some other form of naturalism.
When you start from different starting points, the only way to have a conversation is to meet in the middle. However, that requires one person to throw out their starting point. Walsh’s argument is you can throw out the Bible and go and argue with the secularist based on their foundation. Since their foundation is faulty, this makes any argument based on this foundation weak by nature and able to be dodged, or dismantled. While it may be obvious to Walsh that a man in a dress is not a woman, to someone indoctrinated into the secular worldview may not grasp that. At this point, mere evidence will not convince them. It needs to be demonstrated how insane their worldview is.
In order to demonstrate how absurd and self-defeating the secular worldview is, you need to perform what Dr. Jason Lisle calls an internal worldview critique. To do this, you need to point out that you do not accept the atheist worldview, but, if you did, there are issues with this. Generally, you do this by asking them questions. I’ve gotten an atheist to admit that it is impossible to know anything simply by asking questions. Once you get them to that point, then you can start moving them towards Christ, which is the ultimate goal.
Of course, Walsh doesn’t once mention pointing people to Christ, which is the ultimate goal. His only goal seems to be winning the argument. But winning arguments is not enough. I can convince an atheist to agree with me on every social issue and he will still go to hell when he dies. Agreement on social issues does not save a person. However, agreement with the Bible on social issues will grow naturally out of heart that is saved and wants to serve God. That ought to be the goal, changing hearts, not minds.