Friday, March 16, 2018

Shocking news concerning a son of the controversial KJV only advocate Dr. Peter S. Ruckman

Earlier today, I learned of the tragic murder-suicide event involving a son and grandsons of the controversial KJV only advocate Dr. Peter S. Ruckman, via David Cloud's, Friday Church News Notes (link).

I became aware of Dr. Ruckman (link) when I began my studies into Biblical textual criticism in the early 1980s. He was the author of dozens of books (Amazon; Bible Baptist Bookstore), many of which focused on textual criticism and the 'Kings James Only' movement (link).

Dr. Ruckman became one the most controversial figures in the textual criticism debate. Though I believe that some of his conclusions concerning textual criticism are flawed, I also maintain that a number are valid. Unfortunately, most critics of Dr. Ruckman are unable to separate his style of writing—non-academic, ostentatious—from its core content; and their critiques are often filled with ad hominem attacks.

Anyway, this post is not intended to be an in depth presentation of my views on Biblical textual criticism; but rather, it is meant inform folk of the sad event related by Dr. Cloud.

Grace and peace,


1 comment:

Rory said...

Dave hey.

Dr. Ruckman loomed pretty big in my life for a while. One thing which I took from him that I think was valuable was the idea of expository preaching. I don't know if you recall, but by the time you and I met, I am sure I was already preaching through a book of the Bible. It was such a blessed relief to not have to think up a sermon topic.

I think expository preaching is a good way for Protestant ministers to avoid riding a "hobby horse" in their sermons. It makes for a more balanced spiritual diet. When I became Catholic, I came to learn that the problem of the hobby horse is solved for Catholics because the Church assigns the readings for every Mass. Even better. Truly Dave, in my first years, the hardest part about every week was figuring out what to preach about.

I am sorry to hear about Dr. Ruckman's son. I had never heard much about his children. I knew of his divorces and presumed "re-marriages". You knew that he took instruction from a Catholic priest before he went to Bob Jones University? It was in New Orleans in the late 40's or early 50's I think. He was a curious guy. He had studied Zen Buddhism or something like that when he was in the Army...Korean War era I think. He said he achieved "Nirvana" doing that. He could indeed be very crude, but he could be irreverently hilarious. I will always have a soft spot for least in this mortal life. I hope he is somehow okay.

Who is David Cloud? On his sidebar was an advertisement for a book about Jack Hyles who founded the Bible school I attended. I bet I have never really talked about Hyles to you. He seems like an obscure subject now, but had a lot of influence, mostly negative if you ask me now. I got caught up in that web too. Ruckman didn't dislike Hyles because Hyles went KJV only. But he criticised him for being a "motivational speaker". Hyles screamed a lot in a traditional southern style of preaching. Hyles went for the emotions. Ruckman believed more in teaching/preaching from the Bible. Coming out of Hyles school, I was taught to look for catchy phrases in Scripture that could be used to preach a truth. The trouble as far as I was concerned, was that catchy phrases are found in newspapers, secular books, and magazines (no internet yet). Catchy phrases didn't seem like an appropriate way to use God's Word. It was a long time ago, but my recollection says that this was the reason I turned away from Hyles, and towards Ruckman in the mid to late 80's.