Saturday, 22 December 2007
One of the more interesting ministries to spring from the decomposing corpse of the WCG is biblestudy.org, the brainchild of Alan Ruth.
Alan takes a commendably independent approach, calling on the skills of many helpful COG volunteers. Thanks to its nifty URL the site acts as a magnet for conservative Christians of all persuasions, anxious for a dollop of down-home apologetics.
While Alan is scrupulously impartial, in the sense that he doesn't endorse any specific COG group, he keeps the operation running by accepting advertising from various COG ministries including Fred Coulter, Art Mokarow, COG New World Ministries (a new splinter - at least to me - that seems to be related to CGI/ICG) and Church of God Ministries International (same background?)
Alan's website gets prominent mention in a recently published book featuring skeptical authors, including Richard Dawkins.
Everything You Know About God Is Wrong is a compendium of anti-apologetics, published as a "Disinformation Guide." And there, on page 127, biblestudy.org along with volunteer question answerers Rick and Eileen Beltz, achieve a kind of immortality.
In a section of the book by Bobbie Kirkhart (Bridging the Leap of Faith) the discussion turns to the daughters of Lot who did unto dad what no virtuous daughter would ever dream of doing. Kirkhart quotes from what might be called "the Beltz defense."
"Given the situation wouldn't you be a bit distressed and afraid of what might happen next? Lot's daughters must have thought it was the end of civilization and that they were some of the only people then living. They were obviously greatly concerned about the future of their family (and possibly the human race). This concern led them to do what they did."
Kirkhart finds their position on Lot's drunkenness even more interesting. To the question "was Lot an alcoholic?" the Beltz team replies:
"...no, he was not an alcoholic; not even close. You will find in the New Testament book of 2 Peter that Lot is considered a good man, righteous in God's eyes."
To which Kirkhart responds: "Knowledge that the two are incompatible must come as a shock to more than a few people, including George W. Bush, Ted Kennedy, and Mel Gibson."
(To which we might add Herbert W. Armstrong who, like the sodden patriarch of Sodom, even seems to have had daughter issues as well.)