Tuesday, August 12, 2003
Anton Hein on "Fair and Balanced" Reporting
Writing on Apologetics Index, "co-publisher" Anton Hein states the following about your friendly neighborhood Blogger -- me:
"I did not claim that Mr. Kellner ignored the Local Church's cultic behavior, but said "it appears you fail to acknowledge and/or understand" that behavior:
"Mark Kellner's failure to acknowledge and/or understand
"a) the Local Church's lengthy record of legal threats,
"b) and its status as - theologically - a cult of Christianity, and
"c) its record of cultic behavior
has been addressed on the AR-lists before. I feel no need to enter into a discussion with him on these issues.
"That said, if Mr. Kellner wishes to support the Local Church in its theology and behavior, Christian apologists and countercult professionals should take note of this.
"If he merely wants to report on the issues, it is my hope and prayer that he familiarizes himself a) with sound theology, and b) with the history of the conflicts he chooses to write about.
"Source: AR-forum, msg by Anton Hein, Aug. 10, 2003
"Mark Kellner's news article about the Local Church's legal action against Harvest House, John Ankerberg and John Weldon lacks sufficient balance. Mark's opinion on the issue is evident from the details he leaves out."
Let's look at the facts:
1) Mr. Hein seems to believe that the only way to report a set of facts is if that report agrees with his thinking. So much for the concept of two sides to every story.
2) Mr. Hein says my CT article "lacks sufficient balance." Well, I quote several people who oppose the Local Church, cite the Ankerberg/Weldon book's main complaints about the group, and made repeated attempts to get a comment from Ankerberg or Harvest House, the publisher. Neither Ankerberg nor Harvest House responded with substantive comments to these requests; Harvest House -- in a friendly way, I must say -- just said "no comment." That's their privilege, but I can't put words in Harvest House's mouth.
3) Mr. Hein has settled on the matter for himself, and so it appears that, for him, there can be no other opinion. I am willing to be persuaded, however it has to be on facts, not emotion. It should also be on current information, not decades-old materials. And it should follow the old Christian dictum (attributed to Augustine), "In Essentials, Unity; in Non-essentials, Liberty; in All Things, Charity."