Wineskins Archive

January 23, 2014

AfterGlow: Wright Brothers, Beatles and Bathtubs (May 1992)

Filed under: — @ 3:57 pm and

by Phillip Morrison
May, 1992

You have reached the end of the first issue of Wineskins with, we hope, a good taste and a thirst for more. Wherever we have told the Wineskins story, people have been wonderfully enthusiastic and encouraging. It is obvious that there is both a need and demand for this kind of Christian journalism.

Wineskins is about change – bold and responsible change. Historically, we have responded to change either by refusing to acknowledge the need for change or by accepting uncritically whatever change someone proposed. One reaction produces slavery to form and tradition while the other produces slavery to one’s own wishes and desires. Neither is acceptable.

Simon Newcomb, who died in 1909, six years after the Wright brothers flew 820 feet in 12 seconds, asserted that “Flight by machines heavier than air is unpractical and insignificant … utterly impossible.” In 1962, the Decca Recording Company refused to record a group: “We don’t like their sound. Groups of guitars are on their way out.” The gorup? The Beatles. The point? Change is not easily tolerated.

The first bathtub in the United States was installed in Cincinnati in 1842 by Adam Thompson. Newspaper editors predicted the bathtub would undermine the national ideals of democratic cimplicity. Doctors warned of rehumatism and penumonia. Clergymen talked about the vanity and sinfulness of daily baths. Philadelphia prohibited the use of bathtubs between November 1 and March 15; Boston required a doctor’s certificate of need; Virginia sought to discourage their use by taxing bathtubs $30 per year.

We have not always taken kindly to change, yet change has continued to come. Rather than fight change, Wineskins seeks to direct it in biblical channels.

We are not so naive as to think everyone will like Wineskins. When criticisms come we will try to bear them gracefully and gratefully, for we can learn from everyone.

We welcome letters to the editor, but we will not have a Letters to the Editor column.

We welcome submissions of articles, photographs, and other materials to be considered for publication. We cannot be responsible for the safe keeping or the return of unsolicited materials.

Wineskins is a non-profit enterprise qualifying for tax deductible contributions. We subscribe to the code of ethics established by the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. And we will share complete financial information with any reader or contribtor on request.

As editors, Mike Cope, Rubel Shelly and I approach our task with no expectation of reward except a “Well done” from the Father.

We share the sentiments of John R. Sizoo: “Let it never be forgotten that glamour is not greatness; applause is not fame; prominence is not eminence. The man of the hour is not apt to be the man of the ages. A stone may sparkle, but that does not make it a diamond; a man may have money but that does not make him a success ….”

We have just one purpose: to honor God the Father and to glorify the blessed name of Jesus Christ.

Phillip Morrison was, for many years, managing editor of Wineskins Magazine and wrote the column “AfterGlow” opposite its inside back cover. He was also the former managing editor for Upreach magazine, and worked as a fund-raising consultant and conducted study tours to Bible lands.

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