Focus On Faith, Summer 1983

Debate On Water Baptism Confirmed

In the last issue of this paper we announced that a religious debate would be held here in Evansville during the first week of October. Although a few changes have been made, it appears that all things are set.

Gerald Smith, a Missionary Baptist preacher from Lexington, Kentucky, has agreed to meet me in a public discussion. Mr. Smith has requested a change in the dates for the debate. We now plan to debate on October 10, 11, 13 and 14, 1983.

According to Mr. Smith, the Emmanuel Baptist Church in Evansville, Indiana will be endorsing him during the debate. This simply means that they agree with his doctrine, and hold the same position on salvation as he does. The Emmanuel Baptist Church will be providing an auditorium for the last two nights of the debate.

The first two nights of the debate will be held on the campus of the University of Evansville. We plan on printing maps to help people find both buildings.

We do not want people to misunderstand the purpose of this debate. Our mutual aim is to examine the Scriptures and find God's plan of salvation.

I am not mad at Mr. Smith. We harbor no hatred toward each other. Both of us consider the other to be a teacher of error. We both plan to maintain an inoffensive spirit throughout the debate. We will hammer away at each others arguments with seriousness and vigor.

Brother L. A. Stauffer penned the following words several years ago: "Religious debating until recent years was a standard and popular medium of study. Gospel, preachers, Baptists, Catholics, Jehovah's Witnesses, Methodists, Mormons, Presbyterians and infidels have all mounted the platform to defend their views: regarding the Bible and its teachings. Huge crowds, often numbering in the thousands, assembled to examine the arguments of the participants. The conduct of the debaters was sometimes gentlemanly and respectful, and at other times rude and abusive. Unfortunately, the abuse of a good thing is usually remembered long after the good has been forgotten. So it is with debating which, as an avenue of learning, has not fallen into disuse. Few religious organizations today even permit their adherents to defend publicly their positions in the presence of opposition."

We hope to see you at this debate. Please make your plans to attend now.

Focus On Faith (Issue #21; Summer 1983)
The bulletin of the Northwest Church of Christ in Evansville, Indiana

For further study

View other articles on this debate or download Charts from the Padfield–Smith Debate. Over 100 overhead charts used by Padfield in this debate. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader in order to view the charts. You are free to print the charts and use them in sermons and Bible classes (PDF file size: 10.3MB).