Yesterday, I said that if anyone had any specific questions from Hall’s post-debate data-dump, I would consider and address them. Someone has asked about Jordan’s claim that I told him on stage that the debate did not go well for me. Here is what Jordan states in the eBook:
[B]efore we even left the stage, McDurmon noted to me that the debate did not go well for him, and expressed the same sentiment on the phone several days afterward. In that second admission, McDurmon asked me to engage in ongoing back-and-forths on our websites, giving points and counterpoints and “continuing the dialogue.”
This is a particularly egregious example of the problem of Jordan Hall versus the facts: Not a single bit of this is true. I said no such thing. These claims dot the “i” in the word “delusion.”
Hot Mic (!)
In someone’s wise providence, that on-stage discussion immediately after the debate was recorded on a hot mic. Not only did I say no such thing as Jordan alleges, I did not say anything remotely close to it. Here is the audio of that discussion. You can listen for yourself:
There are some interesting admissions in this audio, however, just not from me. You will hear Jordan say we should have another debate on Christian Reconstructionism—just not the role of the law itself or eschatology. You will hear him say that he spoke with Westminster California professors (Dr. Barker and [inaudible—Horton???]) prior to the debate and that they said they refused to debate theonomists only because they do not want to give us a platform to speak. You will hear him throw out a random boogeyman quote from Rushdoony—“there is a place for coercion”—that suspiciously happens to feature in that terrible anti-Theonomy book by McGlasson, which Jordan then proceeds to call “garbage” and say he “threw out.”
Consequently, that very quotation—“there is a place for coercion”—has already been addressed in the 27-page context package I put together specifically for that book. It’s number 4 on page 2. (I also caught Jordan using material from that book again in a Facebook argument after the debate.)
All that good stuff is in there, but there is nary a hint of any admission on my part that I thought the debate didn’t go well for me.
Again, this claim is utterly false.
The Phone Call
Jordan further claims I said the same thing in a phone call a few days later as well as asking him “to engage in ongoing back-and-forths on our websites.”
Well, I have that phone call recorded, too, and I can tell you exactly what was said. After a 12-minute discussion negotiating our then-to-come “Joint Statement,” Hall mentioned his friend Brannon Howse’s name. Howse, as you know, has treated Theonomy and Christian Reconstruction about as poorly as Hall has done (see here, here, here, here). I recalled this little (and fairly recent) history at that moment and lamented to myself the fact that it is so difficult to get these guys to be accurate in representing our position. I told Jordan again I would like to sit down with them, open the actual books, and go through the issues more slowly. At that point, I said,
I honestly in retrospect think that a debate was the wrong way to do this. Not that I am, you know, upset about it or anything; I just think that you guys are so way off of what we teach and I think a lot of that could be remedied. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m wrong.
Did you get out of that anything like, “Gee, this debate sure did not go well for me”? No. In fact, I said I was not upset about the debate. I just would just prefer a type of interaction in which these guys could be held more directly accountable in person for such random quotations and representations of our position. That is difficult to do in formal debate in regard to the books and random quotations, but could certainly be done in an open-book discussion setting.
I also said nothing in that call about any “ongoing back-and-forths on our websites.” Nothing. I do have a couple emails from around that time that could possibly have been misconstrued that way, but it would take some work to do so. There was one in which I suggested continuing private emails with him to discuss errors. There was another in which I told him my intention to post the many remaining Debate Q&A questions that never got answered, and that if I did so I would give him the first opportunity to answer the ones addressed to him. He was not interested in doing so.
So, these claims about our phone call are unwarranted as well. Nowhere did I say I thought the debate did not go well for me, nor did I ask Hall for ongoing discussions on our websites.
And keep in mind, all of this on my part was an attempt to reach out to discuss these things in private first so they would not misrepresent us and we could have avoided exposing their errors over and over in public. All of these offers on my part were meant to give courtesies to them. Hall is not interested, and Howse has never contacted me at all.
You can judge for yourself by reading and listening for yourself. My view is that, at best, someone has a problem with self-centered listening, but perhaps also with delusion, and perhaps even with just telling the truth. And the same person probably has a sore arm, too.
But as far as my post-debate admissions of defeat? Yeah, that never happened.