On previous Crosstalk programs, listeners were informed about the New York Times editorial that appeared March 27th of this year by Katherine Stewart that carried the headline: ‘The Religious Right’s Hostility to Science is Crippling Our Coronavirus Response.’
The Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation was targeted in this piece and joining Jim from that organization was Dr. E. Calvin Beisner.
Dr. Beisner is the founder and national spokesman for the alliance, which is a network of over 60 Christian theologians, natural scientists, economists, and other scholars educating for biblical earth stewardship, economic development for the poor, and the proclamation and defense of the good news of salvation by God’s grace, received through faith in Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection. He’s the author of a dozen books, edited over 30 books and has contributed to another 35. In 2014 the Heritage Foundation honored Dr. Beisner with the Outstanding Spokesman for Faith, Science, and Stewardship Award at the Ninth International Conference on Climate Change.
Jim and Dr. Beisner led off the discussion with the question concerning the qualifications of Katherine Stewart and therefore why anyone should take her criticisms seriously.
According to Dr. Beisner, Stewart does claim to be a journalist and did write a book in 2013. It tried to warn readers that Christians are attempting to turn public schools into, ‘propaganda devices for the Christian faith and force all public school students to become Christians.’
Early this year she published a new book called, ‘The Power Worshippers.’ This book accuses Christians of ‘exalting and worshiping fossil fuels and the power that we get from them.’
Dr. Beisner finds it strange that Stewart accuses The Cornwall Alliance of being anti-science because neither in the notes concerning her in her 2 books nor in her Wikipedia entry is there any indication that she has any scientific education.
Had she taken the time to visit The Cornwall Alliance website, she would have seen that the alliance’s network of scholars is quite large, with about one-third of them being natural scientists, all with PhD’s, including some of the world’s top climate scientists.
In the end, Dr. Beisner sees her article as a ‘hit piece’ as she tries to condemn the alliance through the deception of logical fallacies such as the ‘straw man’ tactic, guilt by association and caricature.
On the issue of alleged ‘science denial,’ Dr. Beisner communicated that the alliance practices science, the root of which is expressed in the apostle Paul’s instruction from 1 Thessalonians 5:21 to test all things and hold fast what is good.
As this broadcast continued, Dr. Beisner responded to the accusation that the Trump administration has no capable scientists guiding its coronavirus response, former President Obama’s comments connecting climate change with the coronavirus pandemic, balancing medical concerns with economic concerns during the outbreak, and much more.