Whatever Calvin’s theological errors and personal failures, he was very often correct in his interpretation of Scripture. That’s because his theological system was based on diligent study of the Word of God in the original languages. No theologian is perfect. Every theologian has an area of blindness, an area of ignorance, an area of bias, of prejudice, of weakness.
In light of Jim Crooks’s wholesale rejection of “anything John Calvin wrote,” I will extend the principle of imperfection to the human authors of Scripture. Should I entirely reject the Torah, which contains the commandment “You shall not commit murder” because its human author was guilty of first-degree murder? Should I reject the psalms of David because David was a liar, a coward, an adulterer, a murderer, and a polygamist? Should I reject Peter’s command to practice unhypocritical love because Peter practiced hypocrisy at Antioch? Should I reject Paul’s polemic against legalism because Paul practiced legalism in Acts 21 after he had already written his polemic against legalism? Certainly not, on all accounts. All Scripture is God-breathed. The fact that the Bible openly records the sins and failures of its human authors is a testimonial to its veracity.
I am in complete agreement with Mr. Crooks when he writes, “There are several passages of Scripture that bear on any given topic and we should strive to understand each verse as it conforms to every other verse.” The comparison of Scripture with Scripture is a sound principle of biblical interpretation. Anyone who continues on this course will continue to increase in the understanding of the Word of God.
I am also in complete agreement with Mr. Crooks that “to blindly claim that a biblical passage does not really mean what it plainly says is a bit dishonest.” Regrettably, the dishonesty of blind claims is often the result of ignorance of what a passage plainly says. What is often explicit and dogmatic in the Greek and Hebrew often becomes obscure or diluted in English translations. I believe that everyone who is called by God to teach His Word must become thoroughly acquainted with the original languages of Scripture in order to teach the Bible with accuracy.
The truth of the Word of God must not be forced to conform to any particular system of theology. Any true system of theology must continually conform itself to the Word of God. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with all of you.
Don’t Sneer At Us
The Reader’s recent commentary entitled “Anatomy of a Hollywood Press Junket” (Feature Story, August 12) upholds the idea that disgruntled employees make poor journalists. In violation of confidentiality agreements, with obvious contempt for those he worked with, and shortly after being terminated for reasons unrelated to these issues, the author chose to pointlessly skewer a recent press event. As the owner and operator of Midnight Express — the company hired to handle transportation for the event — I am disappointed that our clients and partners were portrayed in such a snide fashion. Moreover, I am disappointed that an unverified commentary on a private hospitality event qualified as journalism in this publication.
For more than 15 years, I have owned and operated Midnight Express in Southern California. As a transportation provider for the Academy Awards, Emmy Awards, Super Bowl, U.S. Open, and many other high-profile local events over the years, we would neither offer public commentary on a private function nor lampoon the very industry to which we — and more than 150,000 others in San Diego — owe our livelihoods.
As the third-largest source of employment in San Diego, the hospitality and tourism industry is a $7 billion cornerstone of our city’s vitality (dollar figure courtesy San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau). While the country’s unemployment rates hover around 10 percent (Bureau of Labor Statistics, August 2010), we should be thankful that our idyllic climate and countless attractions drew almost 30 million visitors to our city last year. It takes little more than a glance at the Detroit Free Press or Times-Picayune to see that San Diego’s economic circumstances are fortunate by comparison. Can you imagine if one of our city’s main industries had been drenched with 4.9 million barrels of oil?
I believe a publication such as the Reader should elevate the community it supports through fruitful dialogue and by challenging the status quo when needed. By contrast, this article carried the tone and substance of two teenagers snickering at the rear of a classroom. While many organizations and individuals work to bring new business and maintain the prosperity of our industry, this piece needlessly (and illegally) mocks it.
Ultimately, I want to apologize to the individuals portrayed negatively in this article and emphasize that Midnight Express prides itself on hiring courteous chauffeurs and delivering the best transportation services in Southern California. We recognize that publicists and their teams work tirelessly to plan first-rate events, and we remain excited to play a role in successfully executing each one. Press events such as the one held for Marmaduke are terrific for San Diego in every way, and on behalf of the other 149,999 people in this industry, I eagerly await the next one.
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