Front Page: summer 1992
INCREASING THE ADVANTAGE
In all issues of TSR, we have offered the opposition equal space to rebut
our lead articles. Although we have asked many inerrancy defenders to write
rebuttal articles, only a few have accepted the offer. Two issues were pub-
lished without rebuttals, because we could find no one to represent the iner-
rancy position. Inerrantists insist that our view of the Bible is wrong, yet
they are unwilling to show us we are wrong. That's a strange attitude to take
in a matter as important as fundamentalists say that Bible inerrancy is.
Recently, we have had a few subscribers who believe in Bible inerrancy
tell us that they think our editorial policy is unfair, because we always give
ourselves the final word through rejoinders added to the rebuttal articles.
Apparently those who have made this complaint can't see the decided advan-
tage that the inerrancy defenders would have if we didn't add these rejoin-
ders. We write our articles first and send them to inerrancy spokesmen whom
we invite to write responses for simultaneous publication. We offer the invi-
tation without knowing what they will say in their rebuttal articles, but, of
course, they know what we have said before they begin writing. So if anyone
has the advantage, it would clearly be the rebutters.
We seriously wonder about the sincerity of this complaint. As Ralph Niel-
sen said in his letter to Wayne Jackson on page 14 of this issue, if TSR is
"propagating error," inerrantists should jump at the chance we offer them to
propagate truth. If their position is as right as they seem to think it is, they
shouldn't be deterred by the thought of editorial rejoinders being published
at the end of their articles. What does truth have to fear in editorial rejoin-
ders? We can assure all fundamentalist editors who receive TSR that they
dare not offer us the opportunity to rebut any articles that they publish in
their papers, for if they do, we will react with immediate acceptance and not
worry a bit about whether rejoinders will follow our rebuttals. We are that
confident that truth is on our side, and as we just said, what does truth
have to fear in editorial rejoinders?
To test the sincerity of inerrancy believers who, because of some per-
ceived unfairness in our editorial policy, have refused our offer of equal
space to present their views, we have decided to increase the advantage they
already have. Beginning with this issue, we will no longer publish rejoinders
to rebuttal articles. If we see anything in a rebuttal article that deserves
comment, we will save it until the next issue and simultaneously publish the
rebutter's reaction to it if he cares to submit one. This way the inerrancy
position will always have the advantage of the final word. That is about as
fair as any editorial policy could be.
Confidence in our position is the reason why we are willing to make this
change. As the letters in the "Reader Reaction" section of this issue (pp. 14-
15) indicate, our readers are sophisticated enough to see through the flimsy
explanations that bibliolaters resort to in their frantic attempts to preserve
the inerrancy doctrine. Readers like these don't need editors to point out
fallacies in fundamentalist logic.
In this issue, we are publishing a rebuttal article written by Bill Lock-
wood, a Church-of-Christ preacher from Marlow, Oklahoma. In fairness to
him, we want our readers to know that he agreed to write this article before
we had announced our new policy. Primarily an ad hominem attack, it fails
to rebut the major points in our lead article, but we may do a follow-up
exchange in the next issue.
We at least commend Mr. Lockwood for showing the courage of his convic-
tions, and we hope our new policy will encourage other inerrantists to follow
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