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.
2) Yes, 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 matter.
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?
5) Akin’s 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?
Update: Akin 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 this irrelevancy.
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 Roman Magisterium.”
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.