Many Christians today shy away from using the Bible to defend their positions when interacting in the political realm or other spots in the public arena. ChristianGovernance maintains that the Bible must be central as a source for argumentation when engaging with others in the public square. Pastor Doug Wilson provides a very clear rationale for this position in a recent article/interview recorded in the pages of the magazine Reformed Perspective, so we draw your attention to these comments as reflective of our position.
Excerpt from “A conversation with Douglas Wilson, pastor, apologist and movie star,” by Sarah Chase (Reformed Perspective, June 2010).
This article is largely an interview between Sarah Chase and Doug Wilson on the “behind-the-scenes action of the movie [Collision, which follows Doug Wilson and atheist Christopher Hitchens around and records their interaction and debates], as well as his thoughts on talking to atheists.”
Chase: You quoted scripture arguing with Hitchens. Is this approach – quoting scripture to an atheist – one you’d recommend?
Wilson: I belong to a school of apologetics called presuppositionalists, and what that means is that we want to reason from the Bible, not reason to the Bible – we want to assume that the Bible is the revelation of God, and reason from that. So I treat the Bible as the foundation of truth – the fundamental truth. I argue that, without the Bible, I lose my ability to argue rationally. I can’t claim a basis for morals without the Bible. I would press Christopher on this: that if there is no God, and He hasn’t revealed Himself in the Bible, then what is truth? And who cares? If we are just matter in motion, bits of protoplasm, then what do you mean by “truth”?
Not to say that I would be willing to do this, but suppose I were a mugger, robbing people. And I walked up behind somebody, and stuck a gun in his back, and said, “Your money, or your life.” And he laughed, shrugged his shoulders, and said, “You can’t do that, I don’t believe in guns.” Now, if I respond, “Oh, sorry,” and put my gun away, that means I’m an idiot. Ok? The fact that he doesn’t believe in guns does not mean that the gun’s not there. The issue is not whether he believes in the gun, but whether I do.
Now when Christopher Hitchens says, “I don’t believe in the Bible,” and I put it away, I’m not putting it away because he doesn’t believe in it, but because I don’t believe in it. If the Bible is the Sword of the Spirit, and the Word of God, why would I put it away because he doesn’t believe in it?
Chase: Christopher Hitchens said several times in Collision that you were a debater different from any other Christian he’s argued with. I think most viewers will sense that difference too. What makes you different?
Wilson: One of the differences, that I mentioned earlier, is the presuppositional method I employ. Most evangelical Christians are evidentialists, those reasoning to the Bible. I’m a presuppositionalist – that puts me in the minority. This means that people haven’t encountered that before.
But Hitchens said in the movie that I was different because I really appear to believe the Bible. What I’ve done for many years is, I have resolved to not apologize for anything in the Bible. Now, this is Christopher’s assessment. I’m not saying that the other Christian’s he’s debated are inferior. But part of the reason that I think Christopher drew that assessment about me is because I won’t back away from anything in the Bible, and I won’t say I’m sorry for it. …