"...but try the spirits whether they are of God..." (1 Jno. 4:1)
|Volume One, Number One||Winter 1991|
About a year ago, a new publication was sent out to the reading public. The name of this publication was The Skeptical Review and was (and still is being) published by a former preacher of the church of Christ named Farrell Till. Twenty five years ago, Mr. Till left the church to embrace the doctrine of agnosticism. When he sent out his first issue of The Skeptical Review one thing was painfully evident. That is, this publication had one goal. Destroy the credibility of the Bible and the Christian faith. Though he said that if anyone, "...should seriously advocate that Bibles be collected and burned, we would raise our voices in opposition to the proposal as loudly as any inerrancy advocate." (The Skeptical Review Spring 1990 issue, p. 1 ) We doubt whether he would really care. As part of his propaganda, that his position is the correct one and that it cannot be defeated, he labors hard to make us believe that his publication is the only one that will give a fair hearing to both sides. He brags about his editorial policy of allowing the opposition to write competent articles for their side of the issue, being the only one of its kind. He brags that his editorial policy gives a fair hearing to the opposition. It will be our intention to show that he is wrong on both points
1. Mr. Till brags about his paper being the only of its kind, but he is wrong. There have been two other publications that we know of, in the part of the brotherhood with which we are affiliated. They were [A] The Debater which was published back in the 50's and 60's, and [B] Thrust magazine, edited by Jerry Moffitt, which ran for several years. Both publications were used to allow the opposition the opportunity to speak in defense of their position. Although these were basically used to publish debates, the opposition had the chance. Now, Challenge takes up where these left off in allowing the opposition to defend their position For instance, in this issue we are publishing an article written by Farrell Till in response to our article on "The Circle of the Earth."
From the afore mentioned information we can clearly see that there is nothing unique about Mr. Till giving the opposition a chance to respond. Brethren have been doing this for years. While it is admitted that most journals, on our side of the issue, do not have this editorial policy, it must also be admitted that most on Mr. Till's side do not have this policy either. Is there any great crime in that? Not by any means.
2. Mr. Till brags about his giving a fair hearing to the opposition. This we call into question! In the Autumn 1990 issue of his publication, Mr. Till complained about not being able to find anyone who would answer his article: "What About Scientific Foreknowledge In The Bible?" He says that he sent this article to six fundamentalist writers and none of them responded. Our guess is, he sent this to (at least some) people that he knew would not respond. One thing is for certain, he did not invite this writer, Bill Jackson or Jerry Moffitt to respond. We feel that if he really wanted a response, he could have gotten one. After all Challenge is running Bill Jackson's reply to Till's article, in its entirety in this issue.
He says, concerning this article, "We have to wonder why, especially since the very nature of a rebuttal gives a last-word advantage to the rebutter." (p. 1 ) Is that right? We wonder what happened to that glorious idea when I responded to Adrian Swindler's article: "The Flat Earth Belief Of Bible Writers."? Now come on Farrell, be honest. Did you give us the last word advantage? He knows he did nothing of the sort. He allowed Adrian to respond to our rebuttal and now I must write another response (to which we are sure that Adrian will be allowed to answer) to his response. What about my answer to your challenge on the so called difficulty between 2 Kings 10:30 and Hosea 1:4? Do we get the last word advantage on this one? He knows we do not. because he has already informed me that he will be writing a rejoinder to it. We have a feeling that those, who did not respond to this article, did not respond because they know that he does not follow his own editorial policy. Farrell Till says he will give us the last word advantage, but as Windell Winkler says, "I don't believe that anymore than I can fly!"
In setting forth the editorial policy of Challenge, no promises will be made that the rebutter will be allowed the last word advantage. However, those of the atheistic and agnostic faiths are cordially invited to defend their positions and try (if they can) to destroy the inerrancy doctrine. We invite them to try and answer the arguments for the inspiration of the Bible.
One of the purposes of Challenge will be to combat the doctrine of Bible "errancy". It will be the policy of this publication to respond to arguments and objections that men like Mr. Till bring up in publications like The Skeptical Review, in which they try to show that there are errors in the Bible. However, this will not be the only purpose of this publication.
There are many issues which need to be addressed. Issues such as the plan of Salvation, the origin of the church of Christ, the Resurrection of Christ, instrumental music. We will also be dealing with the so called New Hermeneutics in future issues of this publication. For instance, if everything goes as planned, this writer's debate with Bob Ross on Baptism will be run in the next three issues of Challenge. We will be asking other brethren to have short written debates on various issues which will be run in this publication.
Issues that we would like to see debated are issues on abortion the inspiration of the Book of Mormon and the Holy Quran. We would like to see more debates on the inspiration of the Bible. Debates will also be encouraged on the issues previously mentioned. We may even bring a couple of debates back in print with this publication. These debates need to be short so we can fit them into the allotted space. Challenge throws down the gauntlet to all those who oppose the truth.
CHALLENGE is published quarterly by Challenge Publications.
Jerry D. McDonald, Editor; Michael P. Hughes, Associate Editor.