Trouble with Tim

Some Briefing readers may have seen some of the Rev. Tim Costello’s recent public criti- cisms of The Briefing and of our publisher Phillip Jensen. I won’t go into the details of Tim’s gripes here, but one aspect might be worth clarifying for our readers. One of Tim’s accusations has been that we denied him any right of reply to the review of his book (that appeared in Briefing #265/6). Just to set the record straight, here’s what happened.

When Tim phoned us about making a response to the review, it is quite true that we declined to publish a full-length article from him. This is normal practice in magazines everywhere, both secular and Christian. When an author takes offence at a review of his book in a publication, the usual recourse is to write a letter to the editor. (This is in recognition of the fact that the author has already expressed his view in detail in a book, to which the book review is responding.)

As one means of Tim responding to the review, I suggested that we have an email dialogue exploring the issues, which would subsequently be published—but he was emphatically not interested in such a dialogue.

I also assured Tim that we would gladly publish a letter from him, unedited. We never received this letter, nor any other correspondence.

Tim, the offer is still open.

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