It was only fitting that the liberal editorialists at the New York Times saw fit on Holy Thursday to blame Christianity for the rise of fake news. In a column by Molly Worthen titled “The Evangelical Roots of Our Post-Truth Society”, Worthen relies on former Christian turned Episcopalian Rachel Held Evans to attack Bible believing Christians.
Conservative evangelicals are not the only ones who think that an authority trusted by the other side is probably lying. But they believe that their own authority — the inerrant Bible — is both supernatural and scientifically sound, and this conviction gives that natural human aversion to unwelcome facts a special power on the right. This religious tradition of fact denial long predates the rise of the culture wars, social media or President Trump, but it has provoked deep conflict among evangelicals themselves.
Worthen characterizes Christians as anti-science and hostile to facts and reason. She disparages the idea of a Christian world view as close minded. But what is so interesting is that she believes Christians must accept scientific theories that are subject to change as fact, but distorts both what science and facts are to make that point.
Interestingly, what Worthen is really doing is claiming that her liberal, secular world view is the only world view of merit and anyone who holds to Biblical inerrancy cannot claim truth, fact, or science and so therefore should not be respected.
While she touches on Van Til, she only touches on him, choosing instead to let Rachel Held Evans, who is openly hostile to a Biblical world view, explain it instead of Van Til, who embraces a Biblical world view and is actually very highly regarded. As theologian Denny Burk noted on Twitter, “It’s not a good sign when Rachel Held Evans gets more attention than Van Til in explaining a Christian Worldview.”
It is very telling that a liberal, secular professor like Worthen cannot actually even engage facts and accuracy truthfully as she makes her case that Christians are to blame for the “post-truth” era.