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Second Opinions

Dear Editors,

We're so excited about Antithesis! Thank you for the great honor of the dedication. One feels that perhaps one ought to die before meeting someone, lest they discover how undue the praise was. But thank you.

We are so pleased. May the Sovereign Almighty God bless and bless your labors.

Steve & Jeanne Schlissel

Brooklyn, New York

Dear Editors,

My day was made when I received your first copy of Antithesis in the mail. With the decline of Christianity Today and the demise of Eternity you are filling a real void. My prayers for your success.

Bill Crouse

Richardson, Texas

Dear Editors,

Congratulations on the inaugural edition of Antithesis! It is something many of us have been desiring for a long time.

Steve Wilkins

Monroe, Louisiana

Dear Editors,

BRAVO! I'm not even past the first few pages of the Jan/Feb 1990 Antithesis and already am thinking that "Christianity come into its own" finally has a voice in my generation. Thank you for plunging into this arduous task.

John Owen Butler

Lawton, Oklahoma

Dear Editors,

I am so glad that you all have done this because there is a serious dearth of Christian intellectuals out there who can adequately defend the gospel from more than just an emotional or unreasonable viewpoint.

I have been so deathly tired of Christian-bashing that has gone on by liberals who think they have read a few books and all of a sudden they're expert exegetes in revealing the oh-so-many fallacies of the Bible. But most Christians can't show how pathetic their arguments are! So, I thank you for using the minds God gave all of you and getting out a publication that can show some of these liberals (or interested Christians) the untenability of most of their viewpoints.

Neil Uchatel

Los Angeles, California

Dear Editors,

I'm encouraged to see the production of a Reformed periodical devoted to consideration of serious issues and applying the Reformed faith to current national and international situations.

Anthony Dallison

Jacksonville, Florida

Dear Editors,

I want to commend all of those involved in the production of the first issue of Antithesis. It is destined to be one of the finest Evangelical journals. Of all the journal subscriptions I have (which number more than five) Antithesis will be read before any other.

The article by Greg Bahnsen ("At War With the Word" Jan/Feb 1990) was excellent. His understanding of Dr. Van Til was right on. Van Til's book Toward a Reformed Apologetics should be read by every seminary student in America. Anything other than a presuppositional approach to apologetics surrenders the Word of God to man's authority, and as Bahnsen pointed out -- man sits in judgment of God.

Kraig Blair

Louisville, Kentucky

Dear Editors,

Antithesis is a delight.

Michael Bray

Bowie, Maryland

Dear Editors,

Thank you very much for my complimentary copy of the first issue of Antithesis. I found the articles in this first issue very stimulating.

May God richly bless you as you seek to uphold the Lord Christ and stimulate your readers toward a more Christ-like way of thinking and living.

David Goodrum

Marietta, Georgia

Dear Editors,

My congratulations to you and your cohorts on your excellent new magazine, Antithesis. Praise God. Thanks for doing this journal.

Jay Grimstead

Mountain View, California

Dear Editors,

Ebenezer! That's what I thought after reading through your first issue. Proficient in subject matter and application of Biblical thought to the issues of our day. And to such a degree that one is guided to self-examination and enabled to engage fellow believers in similar discussions. We must bring every thought captive to Christ that King, and this you exemplify in your Antithesis.

Janis Jacobsen

Eugene, Oregon

Dear Editors,

Roger Wagner's "Vietnam: Biblical Reflections on National Messianism" (Jan/Feb 1990) in your first issue was insightful, especially his section on Hollywood's ideological blindness in its depiction of the war. One scene in "Platoon" serves graphically to reveal the double standard under which Hollywood operates.

During a takeover of a village, two soldiers, portrayed as street-wise nihilistic punks, attempt to openly rape a Vietnamese girl. Before they can complete their heinous travesty, the intellectual, leftist "hero" steps in to prevent these lascivious, high school drop-outs from violating this innocent. One of the inarticulate fornicators, in the heat of this rather crude and impassioned moment, asks the somewhat rhetorical question of our soldier-hero, "What are you, a homosexual or somethin'?" Keep in mind that this is circa 1965. Where is Hollywood's realism now?

James Plummer

Trenton, New Jersey

Dear Editors,

Working for the government in environmental protection [New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection], I appreciated the insight in the article in the first issue of Antithesis entitled, "Media Hype and Environmental Myths." It discussed how pro-development subsidies by the Brazilian government encourage destruction of the Amazon rain forests. On the other hand, if the free market was allowed to set the direction, the forests would continue to be cultivated for rubber, timer, etc.

Now I think that the writer is on to something, and allow me to be so brave as to try to hit the nail on the head and not my thumb. The problem with environmental programs is law. Those groups with a special interest to promote their own agenda have made laws which disregard traditional Biblical law in favor of those based on utility, because of the "emergency," of course. Three major problem areas are discussed below.

The first is unlimited product liability. Prosperous companies are forced by law to pay for the messes made with their products by, irresponsible disposal firms, simply because they have to make money. For example, Company X gives its chemicals to a disposal firm to properly dispose of them. This firm assures Company X that safe and scientific disposal practices will be followed. However, to save money, the disposal firm takes waste and bribes the guard at the nearby landfill to let him dispose of it there. Now the government digs in the landfill and finds drums of waste with Company X written on them. The disposal firm and guard have no money, so the law makes the owner of the landfill and Company X pay for damages.

The second problem is called "joint and several liability." Companies which have caused only a small part of the contamination at a waste site are held legally responsible for the entire clean up, if no other parties can be found.

The third problem is that industry can be considered guilty until proven innocent. Industry is required to spend billions to control damages it has supposedly caused, of which no evidence exists except a hypothetical computer model. Consider the debate on global warming, or ozone depletion. Nancy Rader, an energy policy analyst for the Public Citizen, a Ralph Nader inspired organization, says that she hopes 1990 will have a scorching summer to convince people of global warming. She concludes: "It might not happen, but the consequences would be so great if it did that we cannot afford not to act" (Philadelphia Inquirer, 2/25/90, p. 3D).

Millions are spent on the clean up of infinitesimal amounts of chemical which pose much less risk than a dangerous roadway or for that matter, the natural chemical found in the food we eat. The law has set clean up levels unreasonably low because of the environmentalist philosophy that no exposure to suspected or known carcinogenic chemical is acceptable. Every year more chemical are added to that list because of the tests on animals using extremely high doses.

With regard to development in the Amazon, the issue which worries everyone is the claim that these forests replenish the earth's oxygen. A recent study reported in Civil Engineering Magazine (12/89, pp.54-57), stated that the amount of organic decomposition on the floor of the rain forests uses up all of the oxygen that the trees produce. There is no net oxygen from a rain forest. Development in the Amazon is inevitable, as man exercises his cultural mandate. However, sensible planning with parks, dams, reservations, and residential areas is fought tooth and nail by environmentalists.

Contrariwise, Biblical law never punishes the innocent for the sins of the guilty. The punishment is to be equal to the crime; an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Evidence of guilt is also needed from two or three sources. Now I am not opposed to environmental protection, but why have we overstepped the law to do so? If environmental laws were just, then the pocketbook of the big companies would be off-limits to the radical environmentalist. This would force lawmakers to make more realistic laws which use our limited funds much more wisely. It would also bring a new boost of health to our debt-ridden economy.

I realize, however, that in order to have Biblical law, the underlying presuppositions of our society would have to change. With regard to the environment, the Bible reveals that the creation groans under the curse of God brought on by man's sin (Gen. 8:21, 3:17-19, Rom. 8:19-22). By God's grace, technology has helped us to survive with a degree of comfort in a hostile environment.

After the bomb was perfected, Einstein and the other environmentalists of his day called for a one world government to save us from self-destruction (see NOVA television documentary on Einstein). Now I hear the same thing from the chemical environmentalists. The radical environmentalist prescription for a better world is a state run by an elite group of scientists which would force a return to some utopian, pristine, pre-industrial time. Not withstanding, the idea that autonomous man can destroy the world ignores the sovereign Christ, this philosophy is blatantly anti-technology. Such solutions solve nothing. Technology has created some real environmental problems and, given time, improvements to technology will solve them.

Michael Burlingame

Langhorne, Pennsylvania

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