Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
Monday Morning Quarterbacks
06/28/2006 - James WhiteYou've seen the phrase before. It refers to those who through the omniscience of hindsight can tell you exactly what Brett Favre or (let's date ourselves a bit) Roger Staubach should have done on that last drive of the big game. When we say "hindsight is 20/20" we are simply acknowledging that we are time-bound creatures, and we cannot see the future. Speculation about "what might have been" can either result in really cool science fiction or in the sad spectre of a person who cannot come to grips with what really did take place in the past. But in either case, as time-bound creatures, we simply cannot do anything about "what might have beens."
I appreciate all who have been writing in and expressing their opinion on the "to continue/not to continue" topic. As I have said, I am reading the e-mails, and am thankful that the vast majority are supportive, even those who are saying, "Don't do it." But what I do not understand is the Monday morning quarter-backing that is going on in some instances. Since there seems to be plenty of blame flying around, let me make a few comments.
First, don't shoot any of it Tom Ascol's way. He graciously agreed to get involved when Ergun Caner rather unilaterally demanded a two-on-two debate. But he said from the start that apologetics and debating is not his "thing," so he would follow my lead and let me take point. Which I did. So if you are one of those who feel that despite bending over backwards to treat the Caners as brothers that "our side" has erred in even trying to reason with these men, aim your guns my direction.
Next, I am uncertain how anyone could have known, unless you work at Liberty, I guess, that Ergun Caner would behave in the fashion he has behaved. It is one thing to arrange debates with unbelievers or rank heretics. This challenge grew out of repeated statements by Ergun Caner in the context of the Southern Baptist Convention. He has been open about his anti-Calvinism in many contexts, and that long before he and his brother showed up on the Founder's blog. But it has been my desire, from the start, to arrange this debate not as some prize fight with handlers and agents and the like, but as a discussion between fellow believers on vital and important theological issues. As such, I did not see any reason to be impersonal or to even avoid honest discussion of key issues from the start. And if my overtures of brotherhood had been accepted and returned, none of this would have happened. But they were not. If you wish to blame me for that, please feel free. Like I said, hindsight is 20/20, and if you wish to live looking backwards, I can't stop you. Just be careful. Those who are always looking backwards tend to end up running smack dab into the future.