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We have received this eyewitness account of the debate from GV Swart.
The Americans are learned, and obviously very adept and experienced at this type of debate. They are unphased by inferior arguments, especially when such arguments are completely unsustainable, undefendable and ridiculous. Their knowledge of the Word and the power which it has in Truth, puts them into a different league on the floor, naturally. Praise His Omnipotence.
The single most remarkable feature of the entire evening was the utter disregard for Scripture, God and all things Christian portrayed by the local Profs. Foundational to their entire approach is radical atheism, or as Prof. Craig put it, an a-theism (Spangenberg) and pantheism (Wolmarans). The combination of their arguments, however, did not make for sensible debate, on the contrary, it made no sense in the context of the subject. Based on their denial of the Trinity and their almost total rejection of Biblical writings, it was simply like comparing apples to nuclear technology. A few incomprehensible and extremely deluded points against the simplicity of Gods Word.
The Americans, (Prof. Licona, ironically, degreed at University of Pretoria, so he was at his home base!), picked up on the extreme fallibility of the opposing arguments with immediacy. The audience realised the same and the applause for the Theology Dept Profs very quickly went from light to muted to muffled to inaudible with each passing point they made. The final statements and answers by Spangenberg and Wolmarans, during the Q & A at the end of the program, were greeted by a deafening silence from the obviously overwhelmingly Christian audience. Embarrassing on their behalf, but so is their philosophy. I knew that particularly Spangenberg’s position was off-colour beforehand, but I never realised that it was so unashamedly evil. It stands to absolute reason that our local minor theologians are so very far off the narrow path, they are certainly in grave danger from the outset.
Two points ferociously made by Spangenberg: the Bible is not the inspired Word of God and the Gospels (Matthew through Luke) are fake writings and fake accounts of the actual events. I will relate a whole plethora of other incredulous one’s later. The Resurrection of Jesus was not a point they cared to address, but rather the fact that He was not a deity, not part of the Godhead and not the Son of God or the Son of Man. Therefore the debate had no particular winner on stage, resulting from the fact that they weren’t interested (or rather denied) the existence or possibility of existence of the subject!
A point by Wolmarans was that the minimal support from the audience for their viewpoint was not indicative of their position not being the truth. A reversal of the “narrow gate with few entering” to support his deceptive, but quietly measured utterances.
The point of highest value during the debate was made by Prof. Licona, when he urged the Christians in the audience to give no heed to the opposing viewpoints, to hold to their Faith and the Truth, because the opposing viewpoints were utterly unsupported by anything other than the speaker’s deluded position. Rapturous applause.
Attendance far exceeded the organisers estimates. The auditorium seated approx 600 and there were probably another 200 – 300 seated out in the cold with a two dimensional representation of the proceedings.
The winners: Jesus Christ and His Christians.