Front Page: autumn 1990
A YEAR IN REVIEW
With this issue we complete our first year of publication. The results
have been mixed. We have received compliments, and we have received
denunciations. Admittedly, the denunciations have exceeded the compliments,
but we expected this. We knew when we decided to begin publication that we
would be swimming against a headstrong tide of tradition based on uncritical
thinking, and we were not mistaken. The entrenchment of the inerrancy
belief was indicated to us over and over again in the copies of TSR that came
back marked REFUSED and the letters from angry recipients asking that their
names be removed from our mailing list. None of these, incidentally, ever
attempted to show that our position was wrong.
This intolerant attitude was more than compensated for by the reactions
we received from open-minded readers. An early subscriber wrote just recent-
ly to say, "I have escaped the religious scene and am now attempting to enjoy
life to the full in a moral way." We hope that this person's testimony will not
escape the notice of those who believe that the rejection of religious faith
leads to unhappiness and moral degradation. There is almost universal
agreement among those who have abandoned religious superstition that they
are happier and better adjusted living as agnostics or atheists. Religious
fundamentalists will find this hard to believe; nevertheless, it is true. Our
advice to them is simple: Try it; you might like it. Countless ones who have
tried it unhesitatingly declare that they do like it.
We began publication with an open-door editorial policy through which
we intended to offer our readers the opportunity to read competently written
responses to our main articles, but in this issue we have no rebuttal materi-
als. This does not mean that we have abandoned our policy; it means only
that we could find no one willing to respond to our lead article. Altogether,
we sent copies of the article ("What About Scientific Foreknowledge in the
Bible?"), which begins on page 2, to six different fundamentalist writers and
invited each to prepare a response, but none of them accepted the invitation.
In fact, we are late going to press because we waited beyond our deadline to
give a late contact to whom we had faxed the article an opportunity to write a
rebuttal. He later called to tell us he would not write it.
Some of these writers we contacted are involved in their own publication
projects, so it isn't as if writing the response we wanted would have been a
new venture for them. They simply refused the chance to have their re-
sponse published alongside our article in a format that would have provided
our readers the chance to consider both sides of this issue. We have to
wonder why, especially since the very nature of a rebuttal gives a last-word
advantage to the rebutter.
In a monthly publication that he edits, Wayne Jackson, one of the
writers who declined our invitation, quoted a section of the article that he
thought he could handle and then proceeded to give his readers a one-sided
response to it, yet he was unwilling to let his prepared response to every-
thing in it be seen alongside our entire article.
No head-in-the-sand tactics like these will be pursued in TSR. We will
continue to invite and publish responses, and we challenge our fundamental-
ist adversaries to do the same in their publications.
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