Answering Missionaries

May 25, 2006


Filed under: Debate reviews,James White,Shabir Ally vs James White — answeringmissionaries @ 6:44 pm


Shabir Ally

May 24, 2006

Recently James White has expressed some concern as to whether or not I am still in “debate mode.” I can appreciate the concern. I myself would much prefer to leave the debate alone for others to analyze, and move on to other matters which I have had to leave aside for the moment while I deal with questions arising out of this debate. Actually, I had the impression that it was James who intended to add to the debate. Soon after the debate he had posted a blog giving his views on it. Following that, he discussed the matter more extensively on Dividing Line a couple of days after the debate. I indicated to him that I had listened to that broadcast. Then, in the next edition of Dividing Line he continued his discussion of the contents of our debate. In that episode he greeted me directly in case I was listening.

Naturally, I am returning the greeting. I do not see why this should be surprising. Moreover, James had been speaking of me on Dividing Line, and he had materials on his website criticizing me long before we even entered into an agreement to debate each other. Such material has remained largely one-sided, aching for my response as a balancing factor.

Hence it is not my intention to be contentious. I simply want to clarify the issues which are important and which remain outstanding, awaiting my response. I may not get around to all of the issues. Other pressing matters may pull me away from this discussion. It is already clear to me that I will not have the time to keep listening to Dividing Line. In response to two of my written pieces James invited me to listen to the program in which he discussed the matter yesterday. I did listen, 1 heard another personal greeting from him, and I will soon offer my written response to the main issues which James raised. For the moment, although Dividing Line is an interesting program, I would like to request James to offer his future comments in writing if he intends them for my hearing.

Like James, I too would like to leave the debate behind. Continuing the discussion in this way may soon result in the sort of feeling one gets from the handshake in which one party seems to hold on forever. At first it is warm and pleasurable, but it soon feels sweaty and uncomfortable. The debate with James was cordial. Prolonging it could rob us of some of the pleasant memories of the encounter. I know that time will not permit me to hold on to my side of this discussion forever. As soon as I clarify a few important points I’ll be done. Meanwhile, I can hardly be blamed for returning James’ greeting. I just hope it does not turn into one of those never-ending handshakes. I expect, however, that James and I will meet again to shake hands briefly before and after many debates. He has challenged me to debate him in Glasgow. I want to get working on that possibility soon.


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