It didn’t take long. Dr. Hamblin will not accept our challenge. His reasons were, quite simply, without merit. They were: 1) we set the time and place [of course: we are paying for the facilities, and we have to fly a minimum of two, possibly three, people to Utah to do the work it takes to video and audio tape the debate], 2) we pick the moderator [of course, Jason Wallace is the pastor of the church that puts out the funds to advertise the debate, and pays for the rental of the facility; moderators do little outside of announcing the topics and keeping the time…and trying to look impartial!] 3) we pick the topic [the topic of the priesthood is part and parcel of Dr. Hamblin’s own response to my temples tract, linked below; since he declined to debate the temple issue this time (and we are debating the topic in a few weeks against someone else), the only other element of the response that we have not debated before is the excellent and important topic of the priesthood] 4) we pick the format [we did not discuss the format: if he didn’t like the format we have used before, we would be open to a discussion of how he might wish to change the time allotments, order of speaking, etc.] 5) we sell the proceedings to further our anti-Mormon campaign [evidently Dr. Hamblin didn’t read our challenge very closely: we offered to make the audio available for FREE, and to make the recorded media, CD or DVD, available AT COST; we truly wonder why FARMS sells their books for MONEY?] 6) we presented a “grossly distorted version” of our correspondence on the blog rather than citing the actual materials [The URL Dr. Hamblin then said we should have cited is THE EXACT ONE LINKED BELOW: evidently he didn’t notice it, but has no problems making false accusations anyway] and 7) we wouldn’t answer whether we would do the Internet debate [which, as anyone can see, we did, at the bottom of the debate challenge]. So, Dr. Hamblin has declined the challenge without
providing a single substantive reason as to why. We believe we know why: he knows he cannot defend his statements in public debate. In a written forum he can obtain help from others; one on one he has to know the material himself. I do not believe Dr. Hamblin can handle the text of the New Testament with sufficient capacity to survive a scholarly debate. His non-responsive response seems to prove just that point. 

N.B.: After I posted this, Dr. Hamblin pointed out that he thought I should have linked to a slightly different link; if you go to the one we gave, click on our name, the one he says would have avoided a “gross distortion” is immediately displayed. We are really lousy at this “gross distortion” stuff. 🙂 Fact remains, the challenge has been offered, and declined. Whether I wish to take on Dr. Hamblin and his associates in an Internet debate is an issue I’ll consider after our trip to Salt Lake, and after I get a better idea of my publication duties for the rest of the year.

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