It is not unusual for Peter Ruckman to stretch the limits of credulity in the many questionable claims he makes in his writings and audio teachings. On this occasion, we have selected four examples for your consideration.
Impossible claim #1. Driving over a bridge with two wheels suspended in the air while being threatened by the KKK.
This assertion comes from one of his Bible commentaries, of all places:
I was driving around, and the KKK was threatening me because they figured I must be sort of a white Martin Luther king [sic] or something; but I wasn’t … Well, I came down a dirt road at about 35 miles an hour and suddenly was confronted with a single track [sic] wooden bridge. It was about twenty feet long and had no railing. As I got to within twenty feet of it and started to cross it a carload of drunk Afro-Americans (that is not the “plenary, verbally inspired original” but it will do!) came tearing around a corner opposite the bridge at about 45 miles an hour. I was too close to turn or brake, and there was room on the bridge for only one car, so I gunned it so that my car would swing out to the right and lean as much as possible in crossing. The other guy braked (much too late) and took the inside. Those cars must have gone by each other on that bridge with both sets of outside wheels in the air; the cars never scraped. I parked my car fifty yards down the road after the “near miss” and went back to look at that bridge and measure it. There was no way that two cars could pass on that bridge with all of both cars on the bridge at the same time. No way in the world. Even with the wheels hanging over, they couldn’t have passed without scraping together unless the wheels were something like two feet beyond the edges of the bridge when they went past. (Ruckman, Peter. The Book of Hebrews. Pensacola, FL: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1986, p. 29)
That Ruckman would claim the KKK was ever threatening him is laughable in light of his racist views (which are nothing to laugh about). See Examples of racism in Ruckman’s writings. Ruckman does not state outright that he was being chased by the KKK at this very moment, but by leading the story with being threatened by them provides that impression. It seems that if the KKK ever chased him down, it would have been to pat him on the back and congratulate him for his racist writings. The KKK would congratulate him for referring to blacks with the N word, for believing in “Shemitic supremacy,” for portraying them as “eating dog food,” as well as clay, for complaining about “trying to mix races in washrooms,” and for having made positive remarks at times about slavery. The KKK threat element of the story sounds more impossible than driving through a bridge with two wheels suspended in the air!
Impossible claim #2. Leading a man to Christ while Ruckman was in one car and the man in another while preaching over a mobile loudspeaker and giving an invitation while driving 60 MPH at night.
I led a man to Christ one time with me in one car and him in the other and both of us driving about 60 m.p.h. at night (I used a PA system on top of my car to give him the invitation.) (Ruckman, Peter. The Local Church, p. 118)
Perhaps we should not label this one as impossible, as God works in mysterious ways—however, if anything remotely close to this happened, the details sound highly embellished. Preaching at night while driving 60 MPH makes no sense, and even less sense not to pull over together if a person in another vehicle was indeed so interested in the Gospel.
Impossible claim #3. Claiming to have been a Bible believer when he showed up on the campus at Bob Jones University when he still hadn’t shaken off his belief in evolution.
Observe this first:
…I came out of BJU as a Bible believer—that was what I was when I came on the campus… (Ruckman, Peter. The Scholarship Only Controversy. 1996, p. 380)
Now notice this:
…I did not completely shake off my belief in evolution until October of 1949. I had been attending Bob Jones University about four months. (Ruckman, Peter. The Books of Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther. Pensacola, FL: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 2004, p. 13)
New Christians who grew up being taught evolution could face some struggles that a newborn Christian who grew up in church could not understand. But in an unguarded moment, Ruckman admits he “hadn’t shaken off his belief in evolution” for several months while at other times portraying himself as such a strong Bible believer the entire time that he was challenging his own teachers within two years:
In 1951, I used verses 1-2 [Prov. 18:1-2] to shake up the graduate faculty of the Seminary at Bob Jones University so badly they never got over it—literally. (Ruckman Reference Bible, First edition, p. 882)
Impossible claim #4. Claiming that a man literally moved a mountain.
If possible, every Christian in the Laodicean church (1900-1990) should read the life of Billy Bray—especially about the time he literally moved a mountain and the time he gave away his last cent… (Ruckman, Peter. History of the New Testament Church Vol. 2, 1984, p. 69)
Ruckman’s assertion that someone literally moved a mountain caught our attention. We traced the footnote he provided, and it led to a book title with no page number listed. We read through the entire book, and did not find a statement or story of Billy Bray moving a mountain. The only anecdote that even came remotely close was the following which we reproduce here for the benefit of our readers:
Mr. Gilbert says he has heard that in coming home from the mine on one occasion, soon after his conversion, Billy was thinking of several recent accidents, which had proved fatal to some of his acquaintances. On getting near a "shaft" where one or two persons had been killed, Billy's mind became possessed with the thought (he was not altogether free from the superstitions which still linger among persons of his class) that they would appear to him from the invisible world. His fears were greatly excited, and though, like many other troubles, quite imaginary, they were none the less terrible to endure. But he passed the place in safety, and of course saw nothing. On coming near another "shaft," he thought of one or two persons who had been killed there, and he trembled with the thought that he should see them. But he kept on his way, struggling with his emotions as best he could. In passing this second "shaft," he had to cross a bridge. Just as he was about to step on it, it came into his mind that the "devil himself" would meet him on the bridge. This thought thoroughly aroused him, and he exclaimed, "The devil! who is he? what can he do? The devil is a fallen angel!…" (Bourne, F. W. The King's son: or, A memoir of Billy Bray. London: Bible Christian Book-Room, 1887, p. 77)
That Ruckman would make such an outstanding claim of someone and not even bother to list a page number for his source is unthinkable. He has an earned doctorate, so he knows better. We were not able to locate the exact edition of the book listed in the footnote, but not being a lengthy book, we proceeded to read an older edition of the same book in its entirety. We find it highly doubtful or impossible that if such a miracle were to be attributed to the subject of a biography that it would be entirely missing in an older edition of the same book.
As we have documented throughout this website, Ruckman is not a reliable source to read after. To those who defend him and object to our conclusions of his untrustworthiness, our response shall be to simply continue to add to the mounting evidence that his writings and teachings cannot be trusted.