There's an important distinction to be made, though, between the often undeniably crazy essays and ads, reflecting little more than the bizarre obsessions of the individuals who submit them, and the excellent standard of news reporting that editor Dixon Cartwright brings together for each issue. Of course there are genuinely worthwhile religiously-oriented contributions that appear from time to time, but they tend to be buried under the avalanche of slack-jawed dilettantism that strings together nonsense parading as insight. Mercifully the restrained and accurate reporting on actual events within the movement is unsurpassed. For that reason alone I remain a dedicated reader.
The latest issue however is bound to attract a lot of comment, and perhaps a few cancelled subscriptions. Editor Cartwright, who usually stays well out of the doctrinal fray, has written a keynote article on the problem of the canon.
I think he's hit the nail directly on the head. Here we all are - or have been - idolizing the sixty-six book canon, barely aware that it is a product of early Catholicism, mediated through emerging Rabbinical Judaism (in the creation of the current Old Testament canon) and the Reformers. That's why, despite differing translation preferences, the various Churches of God share the same collection of documents with the Presbyterians, Methodists, the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Southern Baptists.
The early church however regarded the Septuagint (LXX) as scripture. Paul and other New Testament writers quote Greek renditions of the First Covenant, not Hebrew. Most modern Christians regard the LXX as inferior, with illegitimate apocryphal additions, but hey, if it was good enough for Paul...
And then there are those squawking cuckoos in the New Testament nest. Despite attributions to the contrary Paul didn't write 1 or 2 Timothy. He didn't write Titus. He probably didn't write Ephesians, Colossians or 2 Thessalonians either. Peter most certainly didn't write 2 Peter. And that's only to mention the most obvious frauds.
Dixon comes at this from his own angle, but he's asking some very pertinent questions.
"Although the Bible depicts God as Deity who loves and blesses us as His offspring, it also depicts Him as capricious, irritable and even tyrannical. Can God really be that way? ... There are ways to be a Bible-reading Christian that accept the canon for what it is: a list of recommended writings compiled and edited by humans for not only religious reasons but political reasons... The canon—which didn’t exist in its present form until A.D. 376—ultimately was conceived and built as a system of control."
I can't think of any other writer still within the COG tradition who has had the intestinal fortitude to address this issue without falling all over their apologetic shoe laces. Hopefully the full article will appear on the Journal website before too much longer.
Update: As you can read at the top of the comments section, Dixon has provided online access to the entire issue as a PDF file, including his article.