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Peering through the Dung

by Dr. James Bruggeman

KJV 1 Samuel 2:8 He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: …

I love reading science journals and magazines (unless they get too technical). Over the years, I have noticed in many and varied examples how what they thought was truth last week or last year or last century has now been overthrown by new data and new studies. …which I am not complaining about, that is what science is supposed to be about. Seen from the proper and Biblical perspective, science is man’s ongoing attempt to discover the amazing wonders of God’s creation, which naturally leads to man paying homage and worship to the Creator, not to the created things. My most recent issue of New Scientist magazine had several articles which caught my eye.

If you have become familiar with this ministry or with Dr. Stephen Jones and his God’s Kingdom Ministries, and/or with the work of Ron Oja (pronounced Oh’-juh), then you have noted that we do not shy away from the shall-we-say, the less than beautiful things written about in the Bible. For example, did you know that the Bible has a lot to say about dung? Dung symbolizes idols in the heart. And the flip side is that dung is also necessary as natural fertilizer in order for plants and trees to bring forth good fruit. We have all discussed this from a spiritual perspective: Steve wrote a book called The Ministry of Wormwood and Dung, which you can find at Steve’s website: We still carry a pair of CDs by Ron Oja entitled The Ministry of Dung ($10 ppd) from our offices.

As for my own connection, well, my roots are deep in dung (chuckle, grin). For any of you in farming, you might be familiar with the New Idea brand of farm equipment? Yes? Well, it was founded by my great uncle back in my home town area of Coldwater, Ohio. (I call Columbus my home town as well, because I grew up there from my teen years onward.) Anyhow, my great uncle Ben invented the manure spreader ca. 1903 and that was the beginning of the New Idea Corporation. I know that online you will not see him mentioned in the company history, but that is because he had no money to bring it to market, but his father-in-law did, and so my great uncle got no credit—ah, life’s just not fair, is it? And isn’t that a good example of how people “dung” you? So that is my claim to fame in the dung department. I know it’s not pretty, but hey, look at it as fertilizer. (And until I find those nifty little emoticons with the smiley faces and winks, etc., I shall have to inform those of you who do not know me personally that even though all the above is true, I am writing it grinning ear to ear.)

So anyhow, what does dung have to do with New Scientist? Just this: One of the cover articles is entitled: Beetle vision: Night-sight secrets of the humble dung diners. It seems that a scientist in Australia began studying the dung beetles in 1985 and never looked back. Now his discoveries of how the little cow patty critters can see while immersed in a pile of dung are being developed by Toyota to one day allow our automobiles to have full-color night vision camera capability. And to me, it is just marvelous to learn how God created these insects with such phenomenal vision faculties. Praise God for his wondrous works! Here is a link to the article online.

Manure Spreader

Farmer Jack and Son with their New Idea Manure Spreader

In response to my announcing my familial connection with the dung business, one farmer friend sent us this photograph of him and his son standing proudly in front of their New Idea dung spreader. He wrote: “Brother James, We have five New Idea manure spreaders: one horse drawn, one 12A and one No. 213 tractor drawn and two tandem axle with slop gates, so your folks at Coldwater, Ohio kept our farm fertile. Bill Crabtree [now deceased], our farm implement salesman always warranted the equipment he sold, but he said he ‘would not stand behind those New Idea spreaders.’” I italicized the words there so you readers would “get it” quicker than I did. It wasn’t until I was asking Jack on the phone for permission to post this photo and I asked him why Mr. Crabtree would not warrant New Idea equipment, and Jack replied, “Oh, he warranted all the New Idea equipment, including the manure spreaders. He just was letting me know that he would not stand behind the spreaders, otherwise he would get sprayed in the face!”


James Bruggeman, Ron Oja, Stephen Jones
James Bruggeman, Ron Oja and Stephen Jones at the pulpit of First Covenant Church at the Dallas Conference in December 2009.


Dallas Bible Conference - 2009
DVD or CD album from the Dallas/Irving Conference now available. Click here.