You Can Talk – But You Can’t Hide
On the July 18 2013 edition of his Line of Fire radio show Dr. Brown explains to his listeners why it is that he is not responding to my critique of his work. At the same time he addresses my policy of refusing to debate him in a public setting with the question: “what do you have to hide?” In order to give Christianity a veneer of honesty and love for truth he holds up his willingness to debate any rabbi in a public setting. And in order to give Judaism an appearance of dishonesty and falsehood he speaks of our refusal to engage in the spectacle of a public debate. He makes the claim: “Let us recognize that it is not I that is running from dialogue”.
This whole discussion is really a smokescreen.
You have the arguments themselves and you have the people that are arguing. Dr. Brown himself introduces his five volume series with the words: “The real question is, What do the Hebrew scriptures teach? Which Jewish expression follows the Bible? That must be the rule of Jewish faith and practice.”
In this radio show instead of directing the attention of his audience towards the “real question” he tries to get his audience to focus on the image of Dr. Brown as a fearless defender of the “truth” who has “nothing to hide”.
Sadly, I have indeed interacted with many people who rely on their perception of Dr. Brown’s scholarship and integrity. When presented with challenges to belief in Jesus instead of seeking answers themselves they have told me that they are sure that Dr. Brown has already answered these questions.
On the other hand I have met real truth seekers who have decided to seek the truth for themselves. These people have made brave and courageous life-changing decisions when they chose to follow the truth with no one holding their hand but God Himself. These people have found that the Jewish community has provided clear and concise answers to every question that Dr. Brown has presented against the Jewish belief system. These people have also realized that 2000 years of the Christian effort to justify their own belief system has not provided answers to basic questions that a Jewish child can ask. And these people have abandoned their faith in Dr. Brown and have put their faith in the God of Israel.
I have found that people who are truly seeking for the truth generally do not expect to find it in the setting of a public debate. These people want to take the time to study and examine the issues without the distractions of the flash and noise of a public debate. Those who seek the truth down this path will find the answers of the Jewish community and will be confronted by the non-response of the Christian missionary that hides behind smokescreens like the one thrown up by Dr. Brown.
But there may be some people who are persuaded to believe that the truth can be found in the venue of a public debate. For the sake of these people I have offered to debate Dr. Brown in the following manner. He will speak on his radio show while I will respond in writing on my blog. In keeping with his pattern of failing to respond to me he has yet to take me up on this offer as well.
As things stand now, I am satisfied that the Jewish community has provided the truth seeker with the tools to be able to see through the missionary arguments. Should Dr. Brown or any other missionary come up with a substantial argument that has not yet been addressed by the Jewish community, it will be incumbent upon us to fill that gap. But as long as Dr. Brown is not adding any new substance to the argument but is instead busying himself with smokescreens we will continue to attempt to bring clarity to the world without his help.
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Yisroel C. Blumenthal