Marvin Olasky: Biblical objectivity in practice


MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Monday, November 11th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. It’s a common question we receive here at WORLD and it boils down to this: how can we claim to be doing objective journalism when we root our objectivity in the Bible? WORLD’s editor-in-chief Marvin Olasky has an answer.

MARVIN OLASKY, EDITOR IN CHIEF: At the top of page 2 of every issue of WORLD is our mission statement: “Biblically objective journalism that informs, educates, and inspires.” 

But wait. Isn’t an “objective” perspective one without a strong opinion? One that is neutral? 

That’s how some people use the word objectivity, but WORLD holds a traditional understanding of it. Objectivity connects to reality: Reporters who accurately describe reality are objective despite being opinionated: if they are well-grounded and well-informed. 

Back to page 2 of the magazine. The statement about “Biblically objective journalism” sits under a quotation from Psalm 24. “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof; the world and those who dwell therein.” 

This means God made everything and everyone. He knows every atom in the universe—and in us. The builder of my house in Austin, Texas, left me the blueprints. The Builder of our world left us the Bible. 

When we want to know the objective nature of our world, we study God’s blueprint in Genesis chapters 1 and 2. Then we see how sin enters the world in Genesis 3. That’s where the plot thickens.

Let me give you an example of how this sense of biblical objectivity informs our reporting. Many secular scientists assume neo-Darwinian theory reflects reality. Deviations from it are merely faith-based opinion. 

WORLD disagrees. In September I visited Jim Tour, a Rice University professor. He’s one of the world’s most-published chemists. So I asked him about macro-evolution—the idea that one kind of creature can turn into another. 

Let’s be clear. We’re not talking about a beak getting longer or shorter, or a moth getting lighter or darker: that’s micro-evolution. We’re talking about a process that requires many complex changes all at the same time: macro-evolution.

Given the prevailing orthodoxy at Rice and many other universities, it takes guts for Professor Tour to say what he told me: macro-evolution is quote “impossible to fathom chemically.” He tells Darwinian biologists, “Show me the chemistry.” None has been able to do so. 

Tour says macro-evolutionists have not shown how the requisite molecules—those lipids, proteins, nucleic acids, and carbohydrates— occurred in the states and quantities necessary for life to begin. They have not shown how the necessary DNA and RNA codes emerged. 

Tour’s depiction of Darwinian biologists reminds me of the academic solution to getting out of a pit with tall, sleek walls impossible to climb: “assume a ladder.” 

If we assume that life just emerged, without showing how that could work chemically, we are substituting faith in evolution for Biblical objectivity.

The Bible doesn’t tell us in detail everything about the world, but it lays out the big picture. God created the world and it was good. Then comes the original sin and years of misery—until the turning point we celebrate next month at Christmas.  

If you want to understand more about Biblical objectivity, you might enjoy a new book of mine: The title is Reforming Journalism. The Saturday Series on World’s website, at wng.org/Saturday has published excerpts from chapters 3 and 4.

For WORLD Radio, I’m Marvin Olasky.


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