[ref001] Increasing the Advantage [ref002] Increasing the Advantage In all issues of TSR,
Increasing the Advantage
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 published without rebuttals, because we could find no one to
represent the inerrancy 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 advantage that the inerrancy defenders would have if we didn't add
these rejoinders. We write our articles first and send them to inerrancy
spokesmen whom we invite to write responses for simultaneous publication.
We offer the invitation 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
We seriously wonder about the sincerity of this complaint. As Ralph
Nielsen 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 rejoinders? 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
perceived 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
Lockwood, 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
convictions, and we hope our new policy will encourage other inerrantists
to follow his example.
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