I’ve made it clear right here on this blog that I don’t debate any more… No! I’m done with that, period!
Yet just because I’m done with, doesn’t mean that plenty of others don’t still play the game, and it is to you who like to engage in debates that I appeal to today. Oh, don’t worry, I won’t try to talk you out of it; nope, I’m not going to come out of “retirement” to debate about debates. Instead, I’ll try to do a little coaching here…
In a formal debate, the subject of the debate is set in concrete; it’s a Proposition that you are either in favor of or against, “pro or con.” In a free flow debate, like I see many of you engaging in with your blogging, there is no set “proposition” so you are free to frame the debate in any way you choose. The way the debate is framed will usually determine the winner… so why would you want to frame your persuasion to favor the other side? Consider some subjects that have been publicly debated in the political realm, and I think you’ll get the idea…
Remember the great National debate on abortion? Yes, I know, who ca forget! Those who favored abortion on demand won a big victory, and even though some will still argue against it, I can assure you that nothing is going to change in this generation, the debate in politics is over for now. (Please don’t leave comments wanting to debate that last point!) Now, here’s what’s important for us to learn: The reason that the pro abortion crowd won that debate is because they framed the nature and scope of the debate! They were pro abortion, but they framed their position as “pro-choice.” The whole scam was that the mother has a sacred consitutional right to choose… it became a debate over freedom versus oppression, and the anti-abortion argument spent the next 20 years playing defense. Want another example?
In the late 90’s and early 2000’s “defense of Marriage” laws were passed in many states, and even in Congress, related provisions were added to a variety of measures. The argument was that marriage, as the basis for family was under attack. The debate was framed as protecting families and children… a proven winner. Then, in the mid 2000’s the debate shifted and became about freedom and fairness. It simply isn’t fair that gay couples can’t have equal rights, and the battle turned, and quite frankly the rout is on… now Christians debate each other over this issue, and it looks to me like the issue is as good as over. You see, the real issue is seldom the one that is debated. In both the abortion issue and the gay marriage issue, the debate ended up being about freedom, but freedom wasn’t the actual issue that was decided, was it… No, it was abortion on demand and same-sex marriage.
OK, now to the “issue” that prompted me to write this:
Science vs. the Bible
If you are a Christian who values the Word of God, can you give me one reason that you would engage in this debate? Hello….! It is a loser for you!!! That isn’t even what is under discussion! What is under discussion is whether or not the Bible is reliable and valuable, not the Bible against Science. “Science vs. the Bible” is how those who wish to demean the Word of God in general and the Christian faith in particular frame the debate. People, it is a trap, for it means you will play the entire game on defense!
Here’s why: “Science vs. the Bible” is based on a false premise, that there is a conflict at all. There is no conflict at all between the Bible and Science, unless they talk about the same things… and they don’t! Well, not unless they start telling us that the purpose of Science is to reveal Jesus Christ to Mankind. You see, that’s what the purpose of the Bible is; to reveal Jesus Christ. It isn’t a science book.
Unless you like losing debates, don’t accept the premise; it is false.
Both science and theology have theories in them. Sometimes these theories turn out to be correct, and sometimes they turn out to be false. In both disciplines, theories are useful for testing ideas against evidence, and sometimes that evidence may take a very long time to accumulate. Both science and theology have a tendency to assume a theory to be correct before it’s demonstrated to be true, but assumptions aren’t always facts, so they can be attacked when the debate is framed correctly. In science vs. the Bible, the assumptions of science are placed on offense, and your assumptions about the Bible on defense: You Loose.
Rather than accept the premise that science is the opponent of the Bible, why not embrace science as a wonderful journey of discovery into how God’s creation works? Why not turn the tables, and speak of how they go together to give God glory? When the other guy aggressively attacks you, then he is set up for you to suggest his “hate-speech” is out of order and guess what? You’ll win.
Why not stop wasting time in phony debates, and just live to glorify God!