I have to laugh whenever someone (such as a recent reader of this blog) says something along the lines of, “I would agree with your assertion if only you would adopt a different tone.” Such sophistry is funny, if you think about it for a moment. But as an assertion, it is logically false. Tone and truth have nothing to do with each other.
The statement above is the same as someone asserting, “I would accept your conclusion that one plus one equals two if you changed your tone.” That claim is nonsensical, or worse. The validity of one plus one equals two stands true regardless of the tone or presentation. Truth is truth.
When I first became aware of Gary North (link on the left sidebar), I googled him. I quickly found folks making claims such as, “I would have been a Christian if it wasn’t for North.” So much for the inherent truths of the Bible. But does anyone really believe that these writers are being honest in their claims?
Either the Bible is God’s word or its not. And Gary North’s tone has nothing to do with the fact that the Bible is God's word -- North's tone can neither validate nor invalidate that truth.
In essence, the writers are claiming that they admit biblical truths (by implication that such truths exist absent North), only to refute those very same truths based on something as superfluous as North’s tone. Are these writers misguided? Or are they employing sophisms for some other purpose? Hmmm.
When folks state that they hinge their acceptance of fact on the presentation layer, they are not being forthright. They are simply trying to move the discussion toward that which they believe true – they are employing techniques of manipulation, etc. They are really asking you to modify your beliefs so that your beliefs do not conflict with theirs. Recasting the claim above, we end up with this, “I would have been a Christian if being a Christian did not mean having to live according the biblical truths noted by North.”
When you read claims about truth and tone, do not believe the writers. They are being dishonest at best.