When Hollywood produces an impressively wrong mise-en-scène Biblical story, Christian commentators are quick to point out where the filmmakers went awry. When a news media source publishes an article misrepresenting Christianity’s beliefs, history, and practices, Christian commentators are quick to dispel the mistakes. One thinks of the recent Noah and Moses movies, as well as Newsweeks’ recent “screed of post-Christian invective,” as Al Mohler put it.
Such correcting replies and rebukes are helpful and needed, yet there is another issue at play. Representing one’s opponent accurately and dealing fairly with their arguments are not important if one’s opponent is a fairy tale. Why should Hollywood – which specializes in the make-believe – be expected to present an “accurate” Bible “story” if they’re just mythical tales of the supernatural through the interpretive perspective of an ancient, pre-Enlightenment, superstitious people? Why should Christians be upset when Newsweek publishes an article misrepresenting Christianity when Christianity itself is a misrepresentation?
Furthermore, the tactic is to present a radical example so extreme that lesser variations are made more palatable in its light. It is a sort of radical feminism that makes lesser forms of feminism acceptable to society. It is a radical egalitarianism or environmentalism or communism or liberalism that makes milder forms appear harmless and tolerable, reasonable in their light.
The point is to discredit, mock, and deride an already outmoded, disproven fairy tale in such a way that might appear extreme, but will leave on-lookers to follow, if mildly, in its wake.
This is the underlying worldview assumption that must be answered. The answer is that Christianity is the total truth, without which there would be no intelligibility to critique it.