Thursday, March 18, 2004
Coming Soon: Anton Hein Tells All (About Kellner's article, that is...)
For the third time in less than three weeks, Anton Hein of Apologetics Index has refused to answer my challenge concerning his accusations against me. Mr. Hein claims that my article in Liberty magazine "falsely accuses the brethren" and contains "gross misrepresentations."
I've asked -- three times now -- for examples. So far, Mr. Hein's contribution has been ZERO.
But don't worry, sports fans, Mr. Hein may yet change his ways and actually substantiate his claims. Note the following post from AR-Forum:
>From: Mark A. Kellner [mailto:email@example.com]
>Sent: Thursday, March 18, 2004 11:49 AM
>Subject: Re: [AR-forum] Hein's "engagement" of Kellner's facts and data
>I'll repeat: If Mr. Hein cannot document his charges, he
>should have the decency to withdraw them.
Mr. Kellner, thou protests [sic] too much. As I have already indicated, your material will be dealt with in time. I will show it to be in error, full of logical fallacies and wrong conclusions, an example of shoddy apologetics, and an attack on Christians. You'll just have to exhibit some patience and self-control.
For now, your approach is well-covered in this Apologetics Index entry:
For reasons explained there, I will not respond in this forum to further communication from you on this matter. Again, please give it a rest and allow these forums to be used for the purpose they are intended for.
Anton and Janet Hein-Hudson
Research resources on religions, cults, sects, doctrines, and related issues:
http://www.religionnewsblog.com (News and news archives)
http://www.apologeticsindex.org (Other research resources)
I anxiously await Mr. Hein's response. It should make for interesting reading.
Meanwhile, however, other apologists and interested observers will not be able to offer their comments on Mr. Hein's posted positions, or mine. Co-moderator Steve Hogel has "called" discussion on the topic.
Therefore, an offer to anyone who reads these words. Send me an e-mail, in confidence, and I'll consider your comments -- pro-Kellner or anti-Kellner -- for publication and response.
Is that fair enough?
Tuesday, March 16, 2004
Good News: Mr. Hein updates and expands his quote from my article on his "Seventh-day Adventism" Web Page
Anyone who has followed some of my backing-and-forthing with Anton Hein, owner/publisher of Apologetics Index, know that I have long been distressed that he had quoted PART of my Sept. 2000 Christianity Today magazine article on the Seventh-day Adventist Church, but not the relevant countervailing quote. He had quoted my report of a General Conference Session 2000 resolution about the ministry of Ellen G. White, but neglected to quote the then-newly-elected president of the Adventist Church in North America, Pastor Don Schneider, as saying the Adventist Church did -- and does -- put the Bible first and foremost.
Mr. Hein has now changed his mind, apparently, and I appreciate the way he quotes me now:
Seventh-day Adventism - Apologetics research resources on religious cults and sects: "Even Seventh-day Adventists themselves understand that certain things set them apart from historical Christianity:
In a move almost certain to invite the scrutiny of evangelical apologists, the 57th General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church voted July 2 ''to intensify efforts to inform all church members, especially young members, about the gift of prophecy through the ministry of Ellen G. White.''
White, who was one of the leading figures in the founding of the church, has remained a controversial figure in Adventism since her death in 1915. While describing her own writings as ''the lesser light'' leading to the ''greater light'' of the Bible, the promotion of her writings by the church has stirred charges of cultism against the group.
According to a report by the Adventist News Network, several delegates registered discomfort with the resolution: 'Is there any resolution with similar wording that deals with the Bible?' asked Jurrien den Hollander, an Adventist pastor from the Netherlands. Hollander's motion for such a resolution was voted and referred to committee.
And, said Don C. Schneider, a 57-year-old Adventist leader from Berrien Springs, Mich., who was just elected to head the church's North American Division, while some outside the group may question the resolution's meaning, Adventist church leaders line up behind the Bible as their source of doctrine.
'There's a very clear understanding here that Seventh-day Adventists believe in the Bible, and our faith comes out of the Bible,' Schneider told CT in an interview. 'There's no question among the group here.'
Schneider, who had been in charge of one of church activities in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and WiscWisconsin, added that he would gladly explain the group's position to any apologists or others who have questions.
"I'd be most pleased to tell anyone about my priorities of the Bible ahead of anyone else," he said.
Mark Kellner, "Adventist Church Reaffirms 'Gift of Prophecy' , Christianity Today, July 7, 2000 (Author is a Seventh-day Adventist)
(NOTE: Mark Kellner - who authored the above-quoted article some 30 months before he became the assistant director for news and information for the SDA's General Conference Communications Department - wants to make sure people read his entire article at the URL provided. He has been made aware of the fact that - as a matter of policy - Apologetics Index is specifically designed to encourage indepth research.)"
I do wish Mr. Hein would take a kinder view of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and I most certainly wish he'd have a few more "pro" Internet links to balance the "contra" ones which seem to support his arguments. But his willingness to take even this step is appreciated by this writer, even if I have been critical of some of his comments in times past.
Thank you, Mr. Hein, for doing this.
Redacto Ad 'Footnoteum,' or Anton Hein on "Mark Kellner - religious cults, sects, and related issues"
I appreciate Anton Hein's work on many levels. It's just that I don't agree with some of his views, and, as it should be apparent to readers here, with his views on how religious liberty should be granted and/or withheld. Mr. Hein, in the item below (a new footnote on his page about yours truly), makes what I'd consider a snide comment: that I "waited" more or less seven months to note a discrepancy. He also says he "in no way" had "meant" to "slight" Christianity Today magazine by saying their giving me a small honor in 1996 was "probably a mistake" since I am (since 1999) a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
While I am grateful for Mr. Hein's correction and explanation, he still misses some key points. Claiming, as he previously did, that a magazine with a large editorial staff and a five-decade tradition of accuracy had "probably" not verified in 1996 which church I was a member of, is a slam against the magazine. At least I, as a former senior editor, news editor and editor-in-chief of technology trade magazines, would view it as such.
Mr. Hein also doesn't like some of my words, or perhaps my tone. I'll try to do better, but surely Mr. Hein's experience in Amsterdam with all sorts of "cultists" and members of world religions should have toughened him against a few verbal barbs. I don't believe I have engaged in personal insult against Mr. Hein; I have been a critic of some of his views and statements, but not of him personally.
I hope I'm misreading Mr. Hein's last comment as shown below. He made a mistake. I called him on it. He corrected it, and I'm grateful. But that doesn't alter my opinion that his initial comment was unfair to CT. (By the way, had he e-mailed CT, they might well have provided him with a suitable answer. Then again, had he e-mailed me, I would have happily answered him as well.)
Mark Kellner - religious cults, sects, and related issues: "Footnotes --- Note 1: Previously - from the initial publication of this page on Aug. 11, 2003 until the Mar. 8, 2004 update - the statement read as follows: 'In 1996, Christianity Today named Kellner as one of '50 Leading Evangelicals Under 40.' This was probably a mistake, given the fact that he is a Seventh-day Adventist....'
Though that statement was first posted on Aug. 11, 2003, Mark Kellner waited until Mar. 8, 2004 to note that this was incorrect. He did so on the AR-talk list, where he suggested I should have 'recalled' that he joined that list in 1999, after he had joined the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
True to form, on his web log, Mr. Kellner describes the 'ERROR' (which he also refers to as 'a shot of bile') as follows: Along with attempting to slime me, Mr. Hein takes a pot shot at Christianity Today magazine.
For the record, the statement was in no way meant as a slight on Christianity Today, which we consider to be a fine publication.
The publishers of Apologetics Index thank Mr. Kellner for illustrating by way of his online behavior the need for this page. "
Monday, March 08, 2004
Hein to correct error re Kellner
In a follow-up post to AR-Talk, Mr. Hein writes the following:
"The 'ERROR,' posted on Aug. 11, 2003, will be corrected later tonight (CET)."
I am grateful that Mr. Hein will undertake this and look forward to seeing the result online.
Mr. Hein's "Index" on Kellner: Correcting an Error
Anton Hein, who claims "29+ years" in apologetics and counter-cult ministry (which means, given that he was born in 1957, he had been doing this since about the age of 17), has added a shot of bile to his Apologetics Index entry on "Mark Kellner," which is available online at http://www.apologeticsindex.org/k04.html.
He writes: "In 1996, Christianity Today named Kellner as one of '50 Leading Evangelicals Under 40.' This was probably a mistake, given the fact that he is a Seventh-day Adventist (Kellner is the assistant director for news and information for the SDA's General Conference Communications Department)."
Unfortunately, as I pointed out on AR-Talk, Mr. Hein is wrong in this statement, and he should know it. In 1996 (and, indeed, from July 1982 through April of 1999), I was a lay church member of The Salvation Army, or the "Leger des Heils," as it is known in Mr. Hein's homeland of the Netherlands. The Salvation Army is almost universally recognized as an evangelical church, hence, the kind designation CT gave me was thoroughly in order.
Mr. Hein should have known this because he should recall that my activity on the AR-lists began in 1999, after I had joined the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Mr. Hein, among others, considers the Seventh-day Adventist Church to be a (his term) "cult of Christianity." Other apologetics leaders, including the late Dr. Walter R. Martin and the current Chrisitan Research Institute, do not.
Along with attempting to slime me, Mr. Hein takes a pot shot at Christianity Today magazine. It's sad that Mr. Hein can see little merit in my work, opinions or arguments, since I do see some value in his work, and even occasionally merit in some of his arguments. It's truly sad that he has to throw mud on an exemplary Christian magazine in the process.
Post Scriptum: Mr. Hein, on the AR-lists, objected to my using the word "Psychic" below to describe my opinion of his apparent ability to divine my views as expressed in Liberty magazine -- without his having read the article. For any reader who is unclear, my use of the word was not to suggest that Mr. Hein engages in ANY occult practice. Rather, it's a cynical comment that could be taken as satirical. Both forms of expression, particularly about a public person as Mr. Hein is (and as I am), are apprently protected in the United States of America by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Oddly enough, that same amendment would appear to ban "anti-sect laws" in this country, as opposed to France, where religious freedom for more than the odd Scientologist or Jehovah's Witness is under legislative attack.