[Link to my Open Letter]
Posted on his blog, 10-14-04:
10/14/04: Quick response to Dave Armstrong’s “Open Letter.”
Dave: Regarding your suggestion that you and I spend an hour on the DL “chatting” and getting to know each other: I don’t believe that would be a proper investment of an hour of our webcast. While at times we do less than serious things for portions of the show, I don’t think “getting to know your local Roman Catholic apologist” has ever appeared on the proposed topics list (not that I generally make one anyway). My conversation on the Dividing Line to which you refer was about people who have no knowledge of my writings or my debates making absurd but deeply personal accusations based fully and completely upon ignorance. And the caller, aside from having said I was yellow-bellied, had no “history” with me that goes back for years and is less than pleasant, including, in just the past few months, illegally altered and utilized copyrighted materials. One does not simply sweep such history under the rug and “make nice.”
If you wish to come on The Dividing Line, then we shall surely seek to accommodate you. However, I would wish to discuss the issues that separate us. You say Roman Catholicism is biblical. I say it is not. Most of the material on the web just keeps repeating the same old things over and over again. Shall we address key exegetical issues, relating to justification, election, atonement, the New Covenant, etc.? This is the kind of interaction the listeners of The Dividing Line appreciate and can utilize. If you would like to do this, we can make arrangements.
Regarding a written debate (something about which you have written often on your blog), I am currently under contract for two books, wish I had time to be working on a third, and have three major articles to write before January. I am teaching a Jan term class, and have been traveling more than ever in my entire life (and more than I really would like). Over the next 18 months or so I am tentatively scheduled to visit England, Singapore, and Israel, all in a teaching capacity. Unless you could suggest a topic that would truly offer something widely useful and helpful that is not covered elsewhere, I do not see how I would be wise to invest time in such an adventure.
I will not be commenting on this any further, since I desire to "end" our often-ugly interaction on a positive note. I made what I thought was a very reasonable and constructive, positive offer. You see the response to it above.
People can, of course, comment as they wish here. I will likely not agree with everything stated below (just so James won't think my silence means consent to all opinions expressed). But I am certainly curious about the reactions of Catholics, as I also am in the reactions of James' circle of friends and admirers (though not sure where to see those in written form -- unless they are expressed here).