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   Print Edition: 1990-2002

A Letter From ...
Gleason L. Archer

1998 / July-August

[Webmaster's note: Gleason Archer died on April 27, 2004.
He was 88 years old]

I am sorry to have been so delinquent over the recent weeks since you shared with me your nihilistic view of the meaning of life or the significance of humanity. As you have been so persistant [sic] in your attempt to prove that the Holy Scriptures of the Old Testament contain errors of the gravest sort, it behoves [sic] me to point out to you that you thereby show yourself to be absolutely meaningless, and all of life is nothing but an empty dream.

In your recent correspondence you have correctly dismissed the Arabic Qur'an as virtually valuless [sic], a judgment with which I must concur. No other religious authority, whether Sanskrit or Hindu or Ancient Egyptian religion yields a provable value for the ultimate meaning or destiny of man. No other religious book or system appears to have any real or trustworthy authority from the standpoint of sound logic, this leaves the Tenach and the Greek New Testament as the only answer to the question of humanity or life in any form.

Quite properly you have directed your polemic against me in my principal writings, the Survey of Old Testament Introduction, and my Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties. This radical rejection of the most influential scripture and the authority of the enormous impact that has spanned all five [sic] continents of the globe we live on, has left nothing for you to believe or to trust except the total negitavism [sic] which you have chosen as the only tenable position to hold.

Surely you must realize the consequence of dismissing God and facing with scornful rejection of the fulfilment [sic] of more than 600 topics of prediction set forth in 8,352 verses of the Bible. Rejection or dismissal of such an enormous body of data makes it crystal clear that the radical skeptic has no reasonable ground on which to stand.

Or else, to put it more bluntly, your sweeping dismissal of all of these evidences indicates that you are not really interested in any evidence that opposes your chosen conclusion. You have decided in defiance of the firm conviction of the rest of the human race (apart from communist atheists, of course) that there can be no creator, but only some creature who somehow created himself. As I understand from your previous correspondence, that there may be a god floating around above the universe, but completely disinterested [sic] in us, or in any form of life or geological movement that may exist on our planet.

If this is indeed the case, it means that there are no measurements of activity or conscience in which God is involved. The most degenerate terrorist stands on the same plane of meaningless that you do. Therefore there is nothing that involves [sic] that has any meaning, whether good or bad. There is no community or deity to pass judgment upon you, or to give you any kind of recognition or praise; all your activity is essentially meaningless. You do not have any concern about life or knowledge, and you do not even have to declaim against people who believe that there is a God who sees and cares. Your proclamation to all the human race is that nothing really matters; there is absolutely no yardstick for good or evil, because neither good nor evil have [sic] any real existence. Life has no meaning and death has no threat.

You may be perfectly content with your radical nihilism, but you will have to face the grim truth when you die, that you have chosen the part of a fool, and you will join the great company of those who have defied God and have found that not even Satan will be concerned with your everlasting torment--as clearly set forth in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments.

(Gleason L. Archer, Ph. D., 812 Castlewood Lane, Deerfield, IL 60015)

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