Saturday, 11 July 2015

Journal - 174th issue

The June 30 edition of The Journal: News of the Churches of God is now out and downloadable.

For those not so familiar with the publication, it is an independent newspaper that covers news and opinions of those who have past and present associations with the former Worldwide Church of God and derivative bodies.

So what's covered this time. Here's my selection.

A further reprise by the editor of events in the 1990s that saw the WCG attempt to move into the evangelical mainstream aided by a motley bunch that included Hank Hanegraaff.

Ian Boyne promoting the work of his Church of God International operation in Jamaica. The Jamaican CGI seems to revolve around the larger-than-life Mr Boyne, who has a prominent media profile on the island nation, and has recently brought across members of a non-holy day keeping COG to the cause. Boyne, according to his own press release, has been hitting the books, and even cites this writer in the process.
I have critically examined the doctrines of justification by faith, Calvinism, Molinism, replacement theology and heaven-going, drawing on the latest scholarship, including the work of N. T. Wright ...
I myself continue to read widely in theology and philosophy and to keep abreast of what our critics are saying on the anti-Church of God (anti-"Armstrongism") blogs.
As a pastor, I listen keenly to prolific critics of our movement like Byker Bob and Gavin Rumney, both of which I find particularly perceptive and insightful.
I think I'm flattered, even if my days as a "prolific critic" largely expired when I pulled the plug on Ambassador Watch. As for Bob, he is indeed a perceptive and insightful commentator, and moreover preserves a sense of fairness and balance which are, alas, all too rare in most COG discourse - whether pro or anti.

Sub-orbital loopiness?
On a different note altogether there's the Connections section which features an ad written by Pallant Ramsundar. He claims to have solved "the mystery of Joshua's long day and Hezekiah's sundial going back ten degrees". The "abstract" states:
An orbital sub-loop of the earth can produce Joshua's Long Day without any deleterious effects to earth's environment. Such an event will be hardly noticeable to earth's inhabitants except for the increased length of the day to some, and the night to others.
And yes, be still my beating heart, there's a cool diagram! (Credible? Well, I believe the last time Earth entered a sub-orbital loop was as recently as the late 1970s when I heard Gerald Waterhouse preach. I'm sure time passed a lot more slowly than usual on that occasion.) In any case Ramsundar has some kind of doctorate and is "a graduate of the University of Cambridge in Rapid Manufacturing". Rapid Manufacturing? He has also authored something called The Harmonized Gospel Apocalyptic Version and has "a Church of God background". Hmm.

Then there's a full page ad complete with an amazing headline. Here's the PDF screenshot. Note the harmonious use of colour.

Pretty classy, huh. This subtle and considered piece of advertising copy comes from the Omak, Washington Obedient Church of God. Dyspepsia in print. It ends:
Burn in hell with your ratchet jaw sinister as a disobedient BRAT. For all "UN"believers of God's Bible Words go to the Lake of Fire. This is Life and Death. Do "NOT" ignore God's 7 Bible Commands. Tell your minister to OBEY.
So, there you have it. Just thought you'd like to know.


  1. Well, so much for leaving an invisible footprint. But, at least it is good to be mentioned in such great company. Gavin does all the hard work providing the rest of us with thought-provoking topics, and a venue on which we can offer comment. I'm not going to pretend. This is somewhat of a day-brightener.


  2. That's an amazing coincidence:
    After analyzing the world's religions and philosophies, GTA had the Truth after all!
    What are the odds?

  3. CGI founder, GTA - "America's Playboy Preacher" - also claimed he independently examined the validity of his dad's racist White-Israel theory and - what do you know - it turned out to be "correct"! Mr Boyne knows he too must accept this theory, no matter how offensive it may be to Jamaican slave descendants, or, as Walter Martin would say, "You're Out"

  4. Hilarious. Great timing too — I was just researching Christian apologetics related to Joshua's Long Day over the weekend for an article I'm working on.

  5. I always appreciate Dixon's efforts in preparing The Journal. Although its content is becoming increasingly less relevant to me. It's been so long.

    I was an original subscriber, back in 1995 when everything was in turmoil and flux. It wasn't The Journal yet - it was called In Transition back then. Come to think of it, the 20th anniversary must be this year!

  6. Thank you, The Skeptic. The Journal's 20th anniversary will be February 2017. We began in February 1997. We were never called In Transition, although that newspaper (published for two years -- 22 issues -- 1995-97) inspired the startup of The Journal. John Robinson was always sensitive about people confusing us for him and was not all that happy that we were starting a newspaper similar to his. He shut down In Transition. I didn't want it to shut down but could not talk him out of it, so I started The Journal. Two separate publications. --Dixon Cartwright

  7. Gavin, thanks for clarifying. I guess after 18-20 years, my memory merged the two publications. I guess John Robinson was right to be sensitive about people confusing the two - that's just what I did, and I sure others have also!