of body organs (including even cross-species transplants), artificial insemination, in vitro
fertilization, surrogate motherhood, genetic mapping, gene splicing--these are all technolo-
gies that were developed after the Bible was written, so what is the "correct" moral position
to take on these issues? Through processes of in vitro fertilization and embryo transplanta-
tions, a woman in South Dakota gave birth to her own grandchildren. Was it morally right
for her to do this? What does the Bible say? Well, of course, the Bible doesn't say any-
thing about this or any of the other technological procedures. If we asked a hundred theol-
ogians to take their Bibles and resolve the moral dilemmas posed by these technologies, we
would find ourselves hopelessly trapped in a maze of confusion when all of their answers
Last summer, when the story about the Lakeberg twins first appeared in the news-
papers, the article was clipped and mailed to several fundamentalist preachers known to
believe in absolute morality. An accompanying letter asked them to explain what the Bible
had to say about the dilemma that the parents of those twins were facing. The twins were
joined at the chest and shared a common heart. Surgery would mean that one of the twins
would have to die, and eventually this was the decision that the parents made. The absolute
moralists who received that letter were asked to state what their god of absolute morality
has revealed to us in this matter.
Not a one of these preachers has yet answered that letter. Their silence shouts the
inconsistency of their position. The Bible gives us a guide to absolute morality, so they say,
yet they cannot tell us what absolute morality has to say about the difficult moral dilemmas
that we must confront in our modern society.
Elsewhere in this issue, a debate on biblical morality begins. Before it is over,
maybe Lindell Mitchell, the spokesman for the fundamentalist position, will try to explain
to us how the Bible can be an absolute moral guide in problems that didn't even exist in
biblical times. If he doesn't attempt to explain it, some of us just may suspect that he isn't
nearly as sure of his position as he would like us to believe.
If you enjoy the articles published in The Skeptical Review, you will be
delighted to know that a paperback reprint of Is It God's Word? by Joseph
Wheless is now available. Published originally by Alfred A. Knopf in 1926, this
book thoroughly exposes textual inconsistencies, contradictions, discrepan-
cies, anachronisms, and mythical content in the Bible. The 500-page reprint
can be obtained from H. H. Waldo, Bookseller, P. O. Box 350, Rockton, IL
61072, for $33 plus $2 for postage.
Although $35 may seem like a lot of money to pay for a paperback book,
I personally consider it a bargain. In my opinion, this is one of the best works
of its kind that I have ever read. When I am asked to recommend books that
discuss biblical discrepancies, this one is always put at the top of the list.
After securing it through interlibrary loan, I made inquiries at several
rare-book outlets trying to find a copy to buy. When these efforts proved
unsuccessful, I requested it again through interlibrary loan and made myself
a xerographic copy at 5 cents a page and was delighted to have even this. At
two outlets, I paid search fees for the book and listed $100 as the price I was
willing to pay for a copy in at least fair condition.
If you want excellent material to use in debunking the Bible when door-
to-door missionaries come knocking, this book will give it to you.
Losing Faith in Faith
With this issue, we welcome Dan Barker as a contributor to our efforts
to debunk the myth of Bible inerrancy. Dan is the public relations director of
the Freedom From Religion Foundation and needs no introduction to most of
our readers. An ad for his book Losing Faith in Faith appears at the end of
his article on page 9.
We highly recommend this book to our readers. In addition to exposing
many flaws in the Bible inerrancy doctrine, it has an interesting story line in
the parts that tell of Dan's transition from fundamentalist preacher to
Norman L. Geisler, a prominent evangelical spokesman for biblical
inerrancy, has tentatively agreed to debate TSR editor Farrell Till on March
29, 1994, at Columbus College in Columbus, Georgia.
The issue will be the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.
In addition to video tapes of the Hovind-Till debate on the Genesis
flood, subscribers to TSR may still borrow tapes of the Dobbs-Till Debate on
the issue of prophecy fulfillment.
To obtain the tapes for a two-week loan period, send $2 to cover the cost
of packing and mailing. As stated on page 10, the Hovind-Till tape can be
rented for $1. Readers who are involved in local access TV, may find them
suitable for showing.
A New Column
With the Fall 1993 issue of the Secular Humanist Bulletin Farrell Till began a regular column. Entitled
"Journeys into the Twilight Zone," each article will discuss some aspect of the Bible that only a "Twilight-Zone"
mentality could believe. The columns will feature the type of materials published in The Skeptical Review.
SHB is a 16-page quarterly bulletin published by CODESH (Council for Democratic and Secular
Humanism), the humanist organization that publishes Free Inquiry magazine. The bulletin is sent to all mem-
bers of CODESH. The annual membership fee is $15 (individual) and $25 (family).
If you wish to submit articles to TSR, please remember that they must
in some way address the issue of Bible inerrancy. We also require careful
analysis of the inerrancy problems addressed in the articles. We try to pub-
lish materials that our subscribers will be able to use in their discussions with