Argue at the Worldview Level

Russell Moore reminds us of what’s behind the cultural divide over transgender issues in “The Transgender Revolution and the Rubble of Empty Promises”:

Ultimately, the transgender question is about more than just sex. It’s about what it means to be human. Poet Wendell Berry responded to techno-utopian scientism with the observation that civilization must decide whether we see persons as creatures or as machines. If we are creatures, then we have purpose and meaning, but also limits. But if we see ourselves—and the world around us—as machines, then we believe the Faustian myth of our own limitless power to recreate ourselves.

This, it seems to me, is the question at the heart of the transgender controversy. Are we created, as both the Hebrew Scriptures and Jesus put it, “male and female” from the beginning, or are these categories arbitrary and self-willed? Do our bodies, and our sexes, represent something of who we were designed to be—and thus impose limits on our ability to recreate ourselves?

It’s tempting to focus our arguments entirely on worldview symptoms rather than the worldviews themselves. After all, controversial topics like transgender issues, marriage, and abortion are immediate issues our culture is dealing with. But if we don’t address the worldview causes at the root of all these issues, new symptoms will just continue to pop up faster than we can address them. We need to be patient and take a long-term view; let’s be intentional about moving the arguments back to the worldview level (read more about how to do that here and here). What does it mean to be human? What are we? Where did we come from?

As it happens, if we seek to make disciples of Christ by arguing for the truth of Christianity, we will dramatically affect the future—not only in the most important way (by bringing people to Christ), but also through the eventual rise of countless other worldview symptoms as people’s worldviews begin to conform to the reality of God’s world. This is not to say we should never argue about the symptoms themselves; those arguments need to continue in the public square. It’s merely to encourage you to bring your discussions with family and friends back to the worldview level as much as possible. The real and lasting change to our culture will ultimately happen over the long term, one person at a time, as they come to know and follow Christ.

Amy K. Hall

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