The besetting sin of Christian worldview education is the genetic fallacy, defined as an irrational error made by appealing to something’s origin (or “temporal order”) to explain away its truth-claims (or “logical order”). Here’s an example of how someone using the genetic fallacy (GF) might respond to various arguments:
A: “Politics is downstream from culture.”
GF: “Andrew Breitbart said that, and he was a right-wing troll, so you’re obviously wrong.”
B: “The unanimous testimony of Scripture is that homosexual acts are sinful.”
GF: “That’s exactly what Westboro Baptist Church says. Do we really want to be like them?”
C: “How well or poorly policies and systems treat minorities matters to God.”
GF: “Progressive Democrats talk about systemic injustice all the time. This is just code for abortion/socialism.”
Notice that in each example of the genetic fallacy, the retort is factually true. Andrew Breitbart DID say that politics was downstream from culture, and he DID popularize a belligerent style of journalism. Westboro Baptist Church DOES preach against homosexuality, and they ARE a horribly cruel cult. Progressives DO talk a lot about systemic injustice, and they often DO mean abortion and socialism as part of the solution. The retorts are true, or at least believable.
So if the retorts are true, why are these answers fallacious? Because they do not answer the actual question. Statements A, B, C make independent claims that stand alone. By invoking a suspect source and then critiquing it, the responses are actually responding to a claim—about the worthiness of the source—that’s not being made. In other words, the retorts don’t actually tell us anything about the validity of the claim, only the validity of people who make similar claims.