"...but try the spirits whether they are of God..." (1 Jno. 4:1)
|Volume Four, Number Four||Winter 1996|
Letter #508 from JM Continues from Last Month (Part cc)
[Point # 19 in our pamphlet was: Surely you don't believe Eccle 1:9 in the RSV which says, 'What has been is what will be, and what has been done, is what will be done; there is nothing new under the sun'? How many cities had an atomic bomb dropped on them prior to 1945, and how many people walked on the moon before 1969?ED]
JM's Defense is: It is really embarrassing to have to respond to objections such as this. If this is the best he has to offer, he should just quit. Mr. McKinsey did not allow for the context. The writer is not saying that nothing new will happen. He points out that people are vain. (v.2) People work to make a profit. (v.3) One generation dies and another takes its place. (v.4) The sun rises and the sun sets. (v.5) The wind blows to the south and to the north. (v.6) The rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not filled up. (v.7) Everything is full of labor. The eye is not satisfied with what it sees, nor the ear with what it hears. (v.8) This simply shows the regularity of life. Man is on a cycle which ends and begins over and over again....
Editor's Response to Letter #508 (Part cc)
The scholarship of apologists such as yourself never ceases to amaze me, JM. Like so many of your compatriots, if you don't like the script you either rewrite, reinterpret, or ignore it. What does the text say? THERE IS NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN. Could the author have been more clear? I don't see how. Yet, you not only allege the author is 'not saying that nothing new will ever happen, 'which he most assuredly is claiming, but try to defend your pathetic position by listing a series of acts that are decidedly repetitious by your own admission. How does your listing of a series of monotonous and repetitive acts prove that there is, in fact, something new under the sun? By referring to the 'regularity of life' and the repetitive cycle in which man is involved, you are only substantiating the position of the author who said that there is nothing new under the sun. In effect, you are agreeing with his observation. Yet, you earlier stated he was not saying there is nothing new under the sun. I quoted an author as saying one thing, while you said he meant the opposite. You then to proceed to provide evidence that proves he meant what I said. [sic] As I have said before, your 'logic' is a sight to behold. Your explanation is nothing more than a rambling stream of pseudothought. If this is the best you have to offer, the bowling leagues have some vacancies you might want to consider. I'm still awaiting an answer to my original question. How many cities endured atomic attack prior to 1945 and how many people visited the moon prior to 1969? By failing to provide an adequate response, you have only helped to prove that new and unique events do arise. There is something new under the sun after all.
Letter #508 from JM Continues from Last Month (Part dd)
[Point #20 in our pamphlet was: If the Bible is our moral guide, then how can it make pornographic statements such as: '...they may eat their own dung and drink their own piss with you' (2 Kings 18:27)? Is that what you want your children reading in Sunday School?ED.]
JM's Defense is: Mr. McKinsey labors hard to find something wrong with the Bible because he has already made up his mind that it is not inspired. Here we have the results of a long and drawn out war in which the remaining soldiers are scraping the bottom of the barrel (so to speak) just to stay alive and continue the fight. They eat and drink their own waste because the supplies have run out and this is all there is left to keep them alive.
If Mr. McKinsey thinks this is pornographic, I wonder what he thinks about the PG13, R and X rated movies that are being pushed off on the public by allowing them to be rented in video stores every day? Will he say that these are pornographic and should not be rented? What about the movies on T.V., where language is often worse than these words? Is this pornographic? I am sure that Mr. McKinsey would find very little wrong with these. Why, then, does he consider the Bible pornographic? Because he has to find an argument against it, and he is at the point that any old thing will do.
Editor's Response to Letter #508 (Part dd)
To begin with, JM, I really wish you and your allies would stop alleging that I have to 'labor hard' to find things wrong with the Bible. I assure you that few comments are further from the truth. Finding problems within Scripture is easy, almost to the point of being ridiculous. Second, my mind was not made up 'prior to' the analysis; my mind was made up by the analysis. Anyone who has objectively studied the evidence without any preconceptions or indoctrinations could come to only one conclusion. Third, if I am scraping the bottom of the barrel, it's only because that is where one must go in order to discuss the Bible. Fourth, I notice you said, 'They eat and drink their own waste...' What's wrong? Can't stand the Bible's terminology. [sic] Are you choking on the Bible's fourletter words? We both know the Bible doesn't say 'waste.' Fifth, who cares why they are eating the stuff, that's irrelevant. We are talking about terminology; don't try to shift our focus to another topic. Sixth, you state, "If Mr. McKinsey thinks this is pornographic....' What do you mean, 'if." [sic] You mean you have doubts? 'Piss' is not filthy language. [sic] Where did you grow up? If it isn't filthy language, then why did you choose the word 'waste,' instead? Seventh, what do you mean by saying that I am 'at the point that any old thing will do'? Apparently a 50,000 watt radio station in Atlanta, Georgia doesn't think it is 'any old thing.' I was promptly censored when I used the word 'piss' on the air and all I was doing was quoting the 'good book.' Eighth, don't try to put me on the defensive by putting me in the position of defending movie ratings and content. Your statement that, 'I am sure that Mr. McKinsey would find very little wrong with these' is wholly inaccurate. I am disturbed by any situation in which labels must be put on movies before you can know if they are reasonably appropriate for viewing and I'm also bothered by the tremendous amount of trash and violence currently circulating in abundance and masquerading under the rubric of artistic freedom and creativity. But my views aren't the issue; your book's profanity is. So let's stay with the issue. Ninth, don't try to implicitly excuse, justify, or minimize the Bible's contents because the content of movies and television is reprehensible. And lastly, you need not engage in hyperbole by saying, 'Why, then, does he consider the Bible pornographic?' Where have I ever said the Bible is pornographic? There are undoubtedly pornographic statements contained therein, but that doesn't mean the entire book is pornographic.
Letter #508 from JM Continues (Part ee)
Would I want my child reading this on Sunday? Yes! Providing that he is taught why these words were used, it would be perfectly acceptable. They are not used in a pornographic way; they were used to speak of bodily functions and the last extremities of a prolonged siege. I have even quoted this language from the pulpit. The Bible uses the word 'ass' to speak of the donkey; men, today, make it dirty and filthy. The Bible speaks of 'hell' to refer to either the grave, the realm of the unseen for the wicked, or eternal punishment for the wicked. Men, today, use it as a slang and dirty word. The problem is not with the Bible, it is with our attitude in how we use certain words. If one finds these words offensive, another translation can be used.' [sic]
Editor's Response to Letter #508 (Part ee)
All you are doing, JM, is resorting to the old 'you are taking it out of context' defense. Do you realize how many novelist, writers, poets, musicians, painters, playwrites, composers, sculptors, photographers, and artists could make the same argument when their works are attacked as pornographic by others? I can only conclude that you would have no objection to your children reading, viewing, and hearing their works as well. After all, you have already admitted that you don't mind your child reading the word 'piss' in Sunday School as long has it is viewed in the context and 'providing that he is taught why these words were used.' Shouldn't those works you and your compatriots attack be accorded the same opportunity to explain and justify their product? [Dennis' address is Biblical Errancy, 3158 Sherwood Park Drive, Springfield, OH 45505]
CHALLENGE is published quarterly by Challenge Publications.
Jerry D. McDonald, Editor; Michael P. Hughes, Associate Editor.