Fallacious History

from Mar 27, 2012 Category: Tabletalk Magazine

One of the most pressing but invisible threats to Christian thinking at the present time is that of fallacious history. Like carbon monoxide, it can kill; you just do not notice it is happening until it is too late. Fallacious history comes in numerous forms. The most obvious and influential are those pushed by popular culture. Movies are the primary culprits here. So powerful are the aesthetics of modern cinema that the stories the movies tell can be compelling for no other reason than that they seem so real. Thus, if there is a movie in which Americans crack the Enigma code in the Second World War, then the common assumption is, well, the Americans cracked the Enigma Code. (It was actually the British who did so.)

Books, too, have an influence, especially those that are combined with a glossy movie. Take The Da Vinci Code, for example. Dan Brown tells us therein that the church only agreed to affirm Christ’s deity by the narrowest of margins and as a result of powerful political pressure. The truth is more prosaic: while there was certainly a political component to the Trinitarian debates of the fourth century, the case was ultimately won by arguments and by a huge majority.

Continue reading Fallacious History, Carl Trueman’s contribution to the March issue of Tabletalk.