Sunday, 20 April 2014

Good News Blues

I know, I shouldn't have done it.

But, you know how it is, the devil hops up on your shoulder and says "why not?"

So in a moment of premature dementia I opened up a copy of the latest Good News magazine.

You know, The Good News, published by the not-so aptly named United Church of God.

As usual it's a slick little number; nice design, layout, artwork. Other churches could learn a lot from the lads who produce this loud and glossy bi-monthly.

Content? Well, that's another matter.

For example, in this issue there's an article entitled "Do Prophecies About Jesus Prove He Was the Messiah?" I got mildly excited. Could it be that they were going to finally dump the rear-vision proof-texting argument?

The first thing I noticed when I flicked through to page 11 was the teaser.
"The birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ fulfilled hundreds of prophecies. Every one came to pass with incredible accuracy. Such fulfilled prophecy serves as proof that the Bible is true - and that God's plan for your future will come to pass."
Well, that answers that question straight away. No need to read further.

Then there's the crass "Current Events & Trends" section for all those dutiful types trying to read their newspapers (or more likely World Net Daily) in the light of their wide-margin NKJV. "Symptoms of America's Cultural Darkness", "A World in Turmoil", "Israel: A Nation in Dire Peril".

Don't expect an item headed "Palestine: A Nation in Dire Peril" any time soon.

Another article asks "Christianity or Capitalism: Do They Go Together?" That's in response to a statement by Pope Francis on the matter. The result is, as with everything else in the mag, totally predictable.

But it was all worth the wading through the verbiage by Bill Bradford, Noel Hornor, Mario Seiglie et al to finally reach the back cover and find the illustration tying the Bible together with Easter. Be sure to read verse 2.

Well done blokes, all is forgiven.


  1. Sure enough, the back page as advertised (and presented), giving new meaning to proof texting.

    You didn't mention the article, "Are you ready to change?". Herbert Armstrong said it best, "Show us we are wrong and we will change".

    Apparently not.

    Same old British Israelism key to prophecy rubbish littering the magazine in abstract given substance by the articles on the future which are never going to come to pass in all but a scant few million alternative universes, if that branch of quantum physics bears out.

  2. Hmm, yes, this issue has the article, "Are You Ready to Change?" It tells us about metamorphosis which instantly reminds me of the Franz Kafka novel, The Metamorphosis about a traveling salesman waking up to being transformed into a large insect like creature. Great fun. You have to understand Franz Kafka's sense of humor (he'd bring in a chapter to work and he and his coworkers would laugh and laugh).

    If I were a betting man, I be willing to wager that Franz Kafka would find The Good News hilarious.

    And you are right. You shouldn't have.

    Thanks for doing it anyway.

  3. My assumption, without looking at the article on capitalism, is that it is rejected as viable economic philosophy by Armstrongites. It is based on what HWA called the "way of get." It is based on competition. And capitalism is in the economic sphere what evolution is in the biological sphere. Ancient Israel ran a "Great Society" funded by tithes (a theocratic tax) that supported the fatherless, widow and Levite. Charity in the New Testament does confounds the "supply equals demand" ideology. Armstrongites would have to reject the "invisible hand" to remain consistent with these ideals. To support pure and unmanaged capitalism is to jump in bed with the strange ideas held by many of the evangelical Christian denominations where you find peopleirrationally trying to support love and competition at the same time.

    -- Neo

  4. For a "free" magazine there are a lot of pleas for donations starting on page 2. The one on page 6 is audacious concluding with
    "..The United Church of God, in accordance
    with responsible financial stewardship, is audited
    annually by an independent accounting firm."
    "Independent accounting firm"?, that means nothing, HWA used to pull that one.

  5. The birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ fulfilled hundreds of prophecies. Every one came to pass with incredible accuracy. Such fulfilled prophecy serves as proof that the Bible is true

    Either that OR that the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus was entirely made up, invented, by using passages from the Septuagint to do so. I suspect that Jesus himself is also part of the invention from 'scripture'.