I'll be brief,
since this is silly.
1) I did not
make an issue out of "brouhaha," I simply played off the
title and wondered why Akin is so easily caused to think
there's a fight going on when all I did was respond to what
he said about me.
Akin's language is filled with condescension and insults: I
tried to over-look it in the hopes of making the process
easier. Do I think it is possibly his intention to
dodge yet another debate challenge by muddying up the waters
with unnecessary vituperative material like he is currently
producing? Yes, that seems a possibility. No
3) My "facts"
were just fine, it is Akin who is ignoring the context in
which they were stated. Jimmy Akin is not on staff
with Catholic Answers, and is not an apologist?
Odd, I've heard him described that way on their radio
program all the time. There was never a time when Karl
Keating, Patrick Madrid, and James Akin were all on staff
with Catholic Answers at the same time? I
wonder why they were all at the debate with Gerry Matatics
in Denver in 1993? And wasn't that Jimmy Akin putting
tracts and materials on chairs at the debate with Madrid
later that same year? Sure seemed so. I didn't
say Catholic Answers Live existed when Madrid left,
but I did say Akin took over some of Madrid's duties when he
left (is Akin saying Madrid had nothing to do with This
Rock, and that Akin's role did not increase
proportionately with Madrid's leaving?). Akin does not
do The Father's Know Best materials?
4) I have
never claimed to hold any degrees I do not hold. Akin
has never inquired as to the work required for any of the
degrees that have ever been listed as having been received.
To say he is not attacking me is utterly hollow and I think
the fair-minded person can see this. I invite anyone
to take Akin's work, such as his The Salvation
Controversy (Catholic Answers, 2001), and compare it
with The God Who Justifies (Bethany House, 2001).
Especially compare the treatment of James 2 and the issues
it raises. In fact, take The God Who Justifies
and compare it with any D.Min. work you may wish to obtain
from the sources from which such material is available
(indeed, how many ever read anything produced in such
programs?), and ask a simple question: what determines
scholarship? The process, or the results? Was
scholarship possible prior to government involvement in
Christian education and before the advent of organizations
dedicated to the employment of those who hold the M.L.S.
degree? Alexander the Coppersmith has joined Akin's
fan club (does that surprise anyone?), but neither of these
men have the foggiest idea what resources I obtained
and used in my course work over the years in which I
worked. And let's face it: they don't care.
Without the stamp of approval of the same organizations that
approve of the work done by the Jesus Seminar scholars, it
matters not. Just wait till those same organizations
tell Akin's favorite schools that they can no longer speak
the truth about homosexuality or abortion: we will see how
long the "stamp of approval" theory lasts. Till then,
I repeat what I've said before: the proof is in the pudding.
If the best you can do is, "Hey, he makes scholarship
understandable!" then maybe it is you who needs to
rethink your paradigm of Christian education.
Finally, I find it ironic that Mr. Akin thinks himself
competent to sit in judgment upon my work when he is the one
we are still waiting upon to defend his "inceptive aorist"
arguments which we have fully refuted in the past.
Perhaps Mr. Akin would like to join us on The Dividing
Line to discuss his assertions on that subject,
and all of the above, person to person?
description of fine men like Chris Arnzen as "shills or
proxies" is offensive and absurd on its face. Mr. Akin
well knew who his debate opponent was to be. Twice he
agreed, once calling to pull out with very little time left
prior to the debate.
I would like to
challenge Mr. Akin to arrange a Friday night/Saturday night
debate in San Diego. I will gladly defend the Reformed
doctrine of salvation against the Roman Catholic
perspective, and would love to focus upon exegetical issues,
such as John 6, with plenty of time for cross-examination
based upon the original languages. Failing this, I
would gladly defend the thesis, "A Christian Stands Clothed
in the Imputed Righteousness of Christ and Hence Does Not
Require Post-mortem Purification to Enter Into the Presence
of God." And I would also challenge Mr. Akin to debate
the Marian Dogmas as an example of Roman authority. We
have had these debate challenges posted for quite some time.
Since he says he is willing, then let's do it. Put
aside your acid-filled pen, Mr. Akin. Stop with the
personal stuff, the ad-hominem, the character
assassination and the like, the throwing of literary dust,
and let's let the people decide the issues, shall we?
replied to the above, and the "conversation" has degenerated
to the level of "oh yeah?" Skipping the irrelevant
verbiage and ever-present ad-hominems, the only
meaningful issues to add to this reply are:
1) Akin has
no concept of mentoring, distance education, and no interest
in the work one does at CES (and depends on the Mormons for
his second-hand information in the process: remember, "the
enemy of my enemy is my friend"). Akin has no idea
what work I did, and, of course, could care less. This
has been established fully now. One thing is for
certain: I will put my students at CES up against anyone Mr.
Akin wishes to present on the level of the difficulty of
their course of study and their resultant work.
2) I did not
even suggest his book was related to mine. I was
providing a comparison of scholarship and approach.
Much excess, meaningless verbiage provided on the basis of
3) I'm sure
Chris Arnzen will find Akin's continuing use of the term
"shill" of him most pleasant. The fact of the matter
remains that Akin backed out twice from doing debates
on Long Island after saying he would do so. Playing
semantic games about who called him on the phone is simply
beneath utilizing much in the way of bandwidth to refute.
4) Akin is a
smart guy: he knows it is impossible for a Roman Catholic to
defend Rome's dogmas on Mary. In essence, you have to
believe Rome's authority first: there is no way to
Scripturally, or historically, defend such beliefs. A
review of past attempts substantiate his conclusions.
Hence we are back to the standard Catholic Answers
debate issue: sola scriptura. Of course, it
would be far better to have Mr. Akin defend the Roman
position positively: "The Bible Teaches the Necessity of the
5) I reject
Mr. Akin's insinuation that I would not stay on one topic.
Three dozen moderated, public debates with Roman Catholics
exist showing Akin has no ground for such an insinuation.
If anyone has reason to worry about someone staying on
subject and not throwing all sorts of irrelevancies into the
debate, it is I. When the time comes to begin
considering where and when (I am already scheduled into the
summer of 2005), my colleagues will be in touch.