Last year I bought a product from Catholic Answers, and since then I’ve been bombarded with e-mail support requests. Here is the latest:
From: Patrick Coffin
Subject: Front row seat to a high-powered debate
The Bible Answer Man Debate: Imagine having a front-row seat to a high-powered debate between a Fundamentalist Bible teacher and a Catholic apologist. Donate to our Spring 2010 Radio Club Drive by May 3, 2010, with a pledge of just $18 or more per month, or a one-time gift of $200, and you’ll receive The Bible Answer Man Debate between James White, director of Alpha and Omega Ministries, and Catholic Answers’ own Senior Apologist Jimmy Akin.
This unique debate happened on Protestant turf, with radio host Hank Hanegraaff (“The Bible Answer Man”) serving as moderator. In this three-CD set, Jimmy Akin and James White- as Hanegraaf admits, without rancor or ad hominem attacks- get down to the nitty-gritty on what still divides Catholics and Protestants, and how Catholics can best approach objections to the Catholic faith, whether the issue is Mary, justification by faith alone, points of Church history, or interpretation of Scripture.
The Bible Answer Man Debate is informative for Catholics and a real eye-opener for other Christians- a must-have for any apologetics library! A $29.99 value, it’s our gift to you when you join by May 3, 2010 . . . our way of saying “Thank you” for partnering with us!
There are a few interesting things about this e-mail. First, Dr. White is described as a “Fundamentalist Bible teacher.” Now, while Dr. White holds to the fundamentals of the Christian faith, “Fundamentalist Bible teacher” means something quite different these days. Dr. White is a Reformed apologist, the author of more than twenty books, a professor, an accomplished debater, and an elder of the Phoenix Reformed Baptist Church.” Fundamentalist Bible teacher” refers to those that Karl Keating’s books (Catholicism and Fundamentalism) are written against: typically independent Arminian evangelicals.
The second thing to note is the debate advertised is from 1995. It’s fifteen years old. Has Catholic Answers not done anything more current worthy to gain support? Well, Alpha & Omega also offers that debate for far free. Dr. White also did an in-depth review of the debate.
The third thing to note is that one of the top apologists at Catholic Answers did recently debate James White. Dr. White debated Tim Staples back in January on Purgatory and 1 Corinthians 3. How frequently does Catholic Answers advertise this recent debate? Never. I’ve yet to find any mention of it either in a support letter or on Catholic Answers Live. It’s like the debate that never was in the reality of Catholic Answers. So why does Catholic Answers continually use a 15 year old debate to gain support? Listen to Dr. White’s in-depth review to find out.
That Catholic Answers continues to call this discussion a debate is humorous and hypocritical. The discussion ran 3 hours. During the second hour, Jimmy Akin was given much more time. During the entire broadcast, Dr. White wasn’t even given a chance to respond to many of the claims being put forth. It appears Catholic Answers would rather offer a product in which an opponent is not given a fair chance to respond, rather than the recent timed debate with Tim Staples. I can’t read the hearts of those in charge of Catholic Answers, but their tactics in providing “answers” via the materials they promote are highly questionable. Recall what Solomon stated long ago, “The Lord abhors dishonest scales, but accurate weights are his delight” (Proverbs 11:1).