Winning the Debate
I wrote recently about Jennifer Knapp, a professing Christian musical artist who has come out as a lesbian—but who wants to still claim the name of Jesus. Now, Trevin Wax has posted an excellent piece on why, when we evangelicals debate this subject, we almost always seem to lose, not because the truth isn’t on our side—it is, so long as our source of truth is the Word of God—but because we are arguing on the wrong playing field. Ms. Knapp appeared, apparently, on Larry King Live recently, debating a Christian pastor, and she skillfully “defended” her position because he apparently played to her hand.
And the larger point is almost always true: when we cede the playing field, we will lose the debate in the public arena. This is why, for instance, when we are asked, “should gays be allowed to get married”, the answer is, “of course!” This is not, of course, what they want; they want to redefine the entire subject of marriage, but we aren’t against equal rights when it comes to marriage; we are against giving away the right to define the entire institution in a way contrary to the overwhelming majority of human history and against the disapproval not only of Christian faith, but every major faith. Don’t cede the playing field!