“The O’Neal-Welch Debate In Book Form”

By Donnie V. Rader

Brother Harry Lewis, moderator for John Welch in the O’Neal-Welch Debate, has objected to a statement I made about him in my recent article reviewing the book form of this debate. I wrote,

On the third night when Tom gave a quote from Herman Black on how to identify a modernist, John’s moderator called a point of order, went to the platform, called for charts and proceeded to answer Tom O’Neal (pp. 55-56). Few, if any, had seen that happen in debate.

Brother Lewis has two objections: (1) He did not call for charts, but a chart. (2) He was not answering Tom O’Neal, but merely raising a point of order. I concede to his first objection and apologize to brother Lewis. He did only call for one chart. I did not intentionally misrepresent the case. To the second objection, I fail to see that I have misrepresented the case. I grant that brother Lewis was making a point of order. However, to many of us there, it seemed that he went beyond his role as a moderator to respond to what he thought was a misrepresentation Tom had made of John. For any reader who desires to see for himself, I suggest getting the video or audio tapes or either of the printed books (Tom and John both have published the debate in book form). I have not tried to misrepresent brother Lewis in any fashion.

(Editor’s Note: I have had two or three conversations with brother Lewis with respect to his feeling that he has been misrepresented. He states that what he was trying to object to was the continued use of a quotation from brother Welch in which he said that Jesus was just a man. Included in brother Lewis’ point of order were the following words: “I’m objecting to the use of the word just. We had an apology made, a retraction made. It was passed out today in the open forum.” Later in commenting on brother Welch’s statement, he said, “Here’s the ‘J’ word that we’ve been talking about. I have acknowledged from the very beginning of this controversy that my statement that Jesus was just (there’s the word) just a man was poorly worded at best.” Obviously men were disagreed about the point of order, but we have no desire to intentionally misrepresent anyone.)

Guardian of Truth XLI: 16 p. 25
August 21, 1997