Wednesday 14 June 2006
Brian Knowles steps down
Brian Knowles, a Plain Truth editor in the distant past, has announced his decision to step down as a regular columnist for The Journal. In an article that appears on Ken Westby's site (and I guess will be published in the next issue of The Journal) Brian writes:
"In my quest for truth, I’m simply one of many Pod people trying to find his way amidst the smoke and confusion of ecclesiastical chaos. The Journal’s pages are full of assertive statements made by those who believe they understand the truth. My voice is just one more in the cacophony of confusion. There’s no reason for anyone to pay any more attention to my words than to anyone else’s.
"Many years ago, in the 60’s, Art Craig gave a sermonette at the feast in Squaw Valley about “spitting into the wind.” I now believe that that’s exactly what I’ve been doing in writing my column for The Journal. It’s time to withdraw and relinquish the space to someone else."
Lord knows I've never agreed with Brian's right-wing politics, but I've always respected his good sense and balance when it comes to offering thoughtful commentary and pastoral advice to the WCG diaspora. I liked his articles way back in my own WCG days (a voice of calm amidst the shrieking and braying of "the leading ministers") and I especially valued the articles he wrote for CGI's Twentieth Century Watch in the first, optimistic months of that organization - before reality hit home with a vengeance. I've even managed to keep the May-June 1980 issue in my files (it was color magazine format in those days) mainly because of Brian's article "What is a Christian?" Although my personal understanding of that question has moved on since (as perhaps has Brian's) it was an enormous source of reassurance in those dark days when every semblance of security seemed to be crumbling on every side. So maybe now is a good time to say "thanks, Brian."
The Journal will be a poorer publication for Brian Knowles' absence. Along with Dave Havir's offerings, his columns have provided a counterpoint to the blinkered dogmatism that appears on so many other pages. As COGdom continues to dry up, the small pond becomes a puddle, and whatever breadth and generosity of spirit that once existed in the larger community seems to evaporate.
Good luck Brian. You'll be missed.