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Front Page: summer 1990 NO TAKERS Our second issue brought another wave of angry reaction. Some wrote REFUSED on their copies and had them returned to us, others sent us terse notes calling our publication "junk" or "trash" and asked to have their names removed from our mailing list, and still others wrote us long letters express- ing concerns ranging from dismay over our "apostasy" to warnings of eternal damnation. What none of the letter-writers did, however, was to explain away any of the Bible discrepancies and inconsistencies discussed in our last issue. A short article on the backside of that issue presented a discrepancy between II Kings 9; 10:1-30 and Hosea 1:4 concerning Jehu's role in the slaughter of the royal families of Israel and Judah. One "inspired" writer praised Jehu for "executing that which is right in mine (Yahweh's) eyes"; the other condemned him for the blood he shed at Jezreel. Why? If the Bible is indeed a "perfect work of harmony," as so many fundamentalists claim, how could it contain a discrepancy as glaring as this one? Our article ended with a challenge for "some enterprising inerrantist" to explain this discrepancy, but we had no takers. Again why? If those who wrote the Bible were as obviously inspired of God as fundamentalists would have us believe, why can't they show us how that there is no discrepancy here? Gleason Archer, the chief apostle of modern day inerrantists, made a pathetic try in his Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties, but, like most "explana- tions" of "alleged Bible contradictions," his is too ridiculous to warrant seri- ous consideration. In II Kings 10:30, Yahweh unequivocally declared that Jehu had executed "that which is right in mine eyes" and had done "unto the house of Ahab according to all that was in mine heart," period, no quali- fications. No ifs, ands, or buts about it, Yahweh praised Jehu for destroying the house of Ahab at Jezreel. Archer claims that the condemnation of the house of Jehu in Hosea 1:4 was for sins that Jehu committed after executing Yahweh's will at Jezreel, but that "explanation" is about as thin as any you will find in Archer's book. It, at best, conveniently reads into the text something that was not even implied in it. The passage plainly said that in a little while Yahweh would avenge "the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu," so it was for the "blood of Jezreel" (the slaughter of the royal families of Israel and Judah) that Hosea pronounced judgment upon the house of Jehu. Let's hope somebody out there can do a better job of "explaining" this problem than Archer did. Some of our letter-writers took the time to quote to us II Timothy 3:16 and II Peter 1:20-21, as if they perhaps thought we were unaware that these passages are in the Bible. Well, we assure you that we are very familiar with these and other biblical passages that claim divine inspiration for the Bible, but we know too that the Koran and the Book of Mormon also contain claims of divine inspiration, so there is nothing unique about the Bible iner- rancy doctrine. We simply contend that there is sufficient evidence, both internal and external, to reject this doctrine, just as most of our readers would agree that there is sufficient evidence to reject the claims of inspiration made by the Koran and the Book of Mormon. We publish The Skeptical Review specifically for the purpose of allowing our readers the opportunity to consider (see NO TAKERS, page 12) evidence that disputes the Bible inerran- cy claim. In so doing, we try to give the opposition a fair hearing. In this issue, for example, we are publishing in its entirety an article that Jerry McDonald, a fundamentalist minister, wrote in response to Adrian Swindler's flat-earth article in our first issue. Do you know of any fundamentalist publi- cations that would give us the same consideration? Although we have received compliments and expressions of gratitude for 1 it, there is nothing particularly noble about our policy of publishing opposi- tion materials. Our motives are entirely self-serving. We believe our position on the inerrancy issue is a sound one and that its soundness can best be demonstrated by giving the opposition the uncensored opportunity to respond to our arguments. Each time we identify a contradiction or discrepancy in the Bible text and a competent inerrancy spokesman fails to satisfactorily "explain" it, the truth of our position should become more obvious to our readers. In other words, we think that if we give the inerrantists enough rope, they will eventually hang themselves. From our vantage point, they appear to be proving us right. ******************************** FREE SUBSCRIPTION: A free one-year subscription to The Skeptical Review can be obtained by writing to P. O. Box 617, Canton, IL 61520-0617. 2


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