Authors by the dozen

"Authors by the dozen" Continued...

Issue: "Summer Books 2002," July 7, 2002

Q: You mention that many today seek a God who is nonthreatening, nonhierarchal, and nonpatriarchal. How do you respond?
A: First, by making clear what Scripture teaches: that God is holy (and therefore can be threatening), that He is supremely authoritative as the Lord, and that He is the Father from whom every fatherhood is named (Ephesians 3:15). Second, by showing that if God is not truly supreme in authority we have no basis for determining what is true or right.

Q: How does one's understanding of God affect one's understanding of the outside world?
A: God created everything by His eternal plan. So the most important part of understanding anything in the world is understanding how that thing is related to God. If we don't understand the world in relation to God, the world becomes a chaos, without value or meaning.

Phillip E. Johnson recharged the Darwin debate with his landmark book, Darwin on Trial (InterVarsity). He is Jefferson E. Peyser Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley. His new work, The Right Questions: Truth, Meaning & Public Debate (InterVarsity) is set for release later this year.

Q: What got you interested in origins? Did you expect that your work would create so much controversy?
A: Darwinism is the culturally dominant creation myth. It is the basis of the power of the liberal elites, and it thrives on the mystique of "science." Yes, I planned for a cultural struggle.

Q: Is Darwinism so dominant because many scientists see it as the core of biology-or because it can be used to explain away God's existence?
A: The latter. The whole point of Darwinism is to show that there is no need for a supernatural creator, because nature can do the creating by itself.

Q: Scientific American recently ran a feature, "15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense." It boasted that "methodological naturalism can push back ignorance" and that creationism "adds nothing of intellectual value to the effort." How do you respond to a claim like this?
A: The important question is whether Darwinism is true, and materialists like the editors of Scientific American employ evasions to avoid confronting that question.

Q: You've written that in the wake of 9/11, Christians were seen by some in the media as "fundamentalist" scapegoats, notably by Richard Dawkins. Is this sort of broad-brush smear a serious problem and how should believers respond to it?
A: Dawkins and his ilk believe that all religions are the same (evil fantasies), so they imagine that Christians and the Taliban are much the same. Our media and our educators contribute to these grotesque misunderstandings because they are so poorly informed about religion.

David Horowitz once was a prominent leftist activist and magazine editor. He has since spent years attacking the hypocrisies of his former allies, notably as the president of the Center for the Study of Popular Culture. His latest book is the upcoming How to Beat the Democrats and Other Subversive Ideas (Spence).

Q: Why do you think leftists who extol free speech and free thought try to take both away from their opponents?
A: Because leftists do not believe in principles like free speech, whatever they may say. They believe in revolution. Whatever serves the revolution, they're for. What they regard as inimical to the revolutionary interest, they oppose. Thus when they're in opposition they support free speech-for them. When they have power, they oppose free speech-for others. They have no interest in free speech as such. Of course, in a democracy like ours, leftists are not controlled by a central power. Some leftists therefore do take free speech seriously and that brings them into collision with other leftists.

Q: Do you think conservatives should still pursue mainstream academic careers, considering that so few are represented on faculties? Why or why not?
A: A career is a very individual choice; everyone must decide for himself whether it's too hard or not. But I don't think conservatives should give up, or leave an inch of the political terrain uncontested.

Q: Do you believe the old counterculture of the late 60s/early 70s has become the common culture of America today?
A: I think the left won the battle, won the culture wars. Of course, there are no won causes or lost causes. The war continues. But for now, the left surely dominates the culture.

Os Guinness is senior fellow at the Trinity Forum. For three decades, he has written more than a dozen books on culture, values, and Christian worldview, including The Dust Of Death (Crossway) No Good But God (Moody) and Time for Truth (Baker)


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