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Brent Metcalfe

Yes, Will, I Accept Your Offer

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Your demands do seem a little onerous given the subject matter at hand. I can see why one would wonder...

Wait a minute there, JL. Metcalfe has never published anything on the KEP. What he has proposed is that he be allowed to spend his time playing defense, while Schryver plays offense. Metcalfe needs to step up to the plate and take public positions in a format that can then be challenged . . . as Schryver has done and has committed to continue doing until his findings and conclusions are submitted in full. The Bears didn't get to play only defense when Butkus was running people down and notifying next of kin. If they did, they'd've won every game. Bobby Douglas sometimes had to take the field, where he'd do nothing but suck up the place, throwing picks, and knocking down receivers with uncatchable balls thrown at 120 mph.

Metcalfe has to play both offense and defense if this is to be a fair contest.

He can claim all he wants that him pretending to be the Butkus of the internet, knocking down other folks' passes and stuffing the run, but he's got to show that he's not Bobby Douglas, too, if his argument is to be credited.

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Metcalfe has never published anything on the KEP.

Not entirely true. At his Mormon Scripture Studies website he has e-published a brief essay titled "Nibley's Illusory Variants". He has also e-published a sample of his work on the critical text project. Years ago he co-authored with Dan Vogel an essay titled "Joseph Smith's Scriptural Cosmology" that contained some material on the KEP. That can be read in Signature Books's The Word of God collection. And finally, he has also presented on the KEP at the Ex-Mormon Conference. The audio and handout for that presentation are still available online. So while his publication record on the KEP is spotty and far from comprehensive, I'm not sure it's fair to say he has never published anything on the subject-- especially if we're counting William's presentation as a publication.

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Not entirely true. At his Mormon Scripture Studies website he has e-published a brief essay titled "Nibley's Illusory Variants". He has also e-published a sample of his work on the critical text project. Years ago he co-authored with Dan Vogel an essay titled "Joseph Smith's Scriptural Cosmology" that contained some material on the KEP. That can be read in Signature Books's The Word of God collection. And finally, he has also presented on the KEP at the Ex-Mormon Conference. The audio and handout for that presentation are still available online. So while his publication record on the KEP is spotty and far from comprehensive, I'm not sure it's fair to say he has never published anything on the subject-- especially if we're counting William's presentation as a publication.

Of course, I am aware of all these items. And, conscious of the content of each of them, I will state again, with emphasis, that Metcalfe has yet to commit to anything even approaching a coherent position as to the meaning and purpose of the Kirtland Egyptian Papers! Furthermore, his presentation at the Exmormon Conference in 2006 (where I was in attendance) was virtually devoid of any substantive information whatsoever (unless you count his veiled insinuation that Hugh Nibley was a child molester as "substantive information.")

I invite everyone interested to review each link posted above and assess for themselves the validity of my observations.

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Not entirely true. At his Mormon Scripture Studies website he has e-published a brief essay titled "Nibley's Illusory Variants". He has also e-published a sample of his work on the critical text project. Years ago he co-authored with Dan Vogel an essay titled "Joseph Smith's Scriptural Cosmology" that contained some material on the KEP. That can be read in Signature Books's The Word of God collection. And finally, he has also presented on the KEP at the Ex-Mormon Conference. The audio and handout for that presentation are still available online. So while his publication record on the KEP is spotty and far from comprehensive, I'm not sure it's fair to say he has never published anything on the subject-- especially if we're counting William's presentation as a publication.

My apologies, and thanks for running this down, Chris. In your opinion, do these offerings constitute together an expression of his comprehensive findings and conclusions regarding the KEP?

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Brent Metcalfe has never formally committed himself to any set of arguments concerning the meaning and purpose of the Kirtland Egyptian Papers. I obviously have. In order to "debate," there must necessarily be two established positions to be debated.

A cynic is but a critic without either principle or something to defend. A couple interesting quotes on the matter:

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Hi folks,

Okay, enough with the fawning... over me. You're all just too kind. :P

Will, you may be on to something...

... Since most netizens couldn't care less about two autodidacts wrangling over recondite text-critical nuances, I suggest we add the requirement that we both MUST complete a PhD program in Textual Studies at the university of our choice in a reasonably short period of time (I choose the UW because I can see it from my house).

But all this sounds rather silly doesn't it, Will.

Note my language: I mentioned a <<discussion>>, not the epic <<debate>> that you evidently fancy. I envision a candid, civil exchange of ideas

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Hi, Dan. It was good to see you the other day.

Dan Peterson and I debated on TV, and neither of us had a clue what the other would say.

We had a discussion on television, hosted by Rod Decker. He posed the questions, and we didn't address each other directly much, if at all. I wouldn't consider it a debate. Besides, you've published more than enough for me to know what your position was.

For years I have given papers at Sunstone Symposiums, Mormon History Association Meetings, John Whitmer Historical Association Meetings, and not once did I know what my respondent was going to say. And most often it was an apologist like Dan Peterson, Blake Ostler, or Mike Quinn.

Academic presentations with responses don't constitute a debate. Certainly not in any formal sense.

On another occasion I sat and debated with Van Hale on his radio show and took callers

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You're the one who raised the prospect of an exchange. I'm confident that I can convey my ideas and sources clearly via a podcast (or any other venue, for that matter)... are you?

Actually the prospect of a "debate" was raised, refer back to the original post in which you quoted Will as saying he would "debate" the matter.

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Hi Blair,

Call it what you will (no pun intended).

I'm confident that I grasp the relevant sources. I'm equally confident

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Don't know how I missed this gem...

Will accuses me of <<insinuat[ing] that Hugh Nibley was a child molester>>.

Let me be clear: I've never intimated that Hugh <<was a child molester>>

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Metcalfe:

I mentioned a <<discussion>>, not the epic <<debate>> that you evidently fancy. I envision a candid, civil exchange of ideas

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*sigh!*

Hi Will,

Evidently in your imaginary world not only did I implicate Hugh in child molestation, but I also conspired with folks at the Exmormon Foundation to permanently eradicate the evidence...

Your evidence for this scurrilous claim?... I can only assume email messages and phone records that are no longer extant

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From the bleachers:

As cute and adorable as the back and forth sniggering is, I hope that those whom hold to a preference of a no-holds-bar/surprise debate between Will and Brent can see why it would be fruitless, if not worse. The fact of the matter is that the material is technical, nuanced, and is difficult to digest. Without pre-written stances and responses, such a theatrical farce would only beg utter confusion. Imagine if our justice system disregarded complaints and answers and went straight to direct and cross-examinations. What a nightmare.

-PacMan

P.S. At least decide which referencing system is going to be used. If I recall, Nibley created one and Brent has used his own. For the papers and debate, pick one. And if you can't agree, then flip a coin. But streamline the process. I'm really hoping that the discussion will be one for the ages.

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Hi Pac,

You're mistaken.

I've addressed extraordinarily complex issues in radio and phone interviews.

In the venue I proposed, Will has the advantage (as I've noted). There's no conspiracy, Pac.

If someone will (again, no pun intended) fly me and my children to UT, I'll "discuss," "debate," or whatever you'd like to call it, on any weekend I'm available.

Will is a gifted snake oil purveyor, nothing more.

My best,

</brent>

http://mormonscripturestudies.com

(

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Hi Pac,

You're mistaken.

I've addressed extraordinarily complex issues in radio and phone interviews.

In the venue I proposed, Will has the advantage (as I've noted). There's no conspiracy, Pac.

If someone will (again, no pun intended) fly me and my children to UT, I'll "discuss," "debate," or whatever you'd like to call it, on any weekend I'm available.

Will is a gifted snake oil purveyor, nothing more.

My best,

</brent>

Brent,

I can only conclude that you confused my post with that of someone else. If you read mine again, it should be clear that I am simply advocating position papers relevant to the agreed upon topics for debate, with responses prior to a debate/discussion/etc.. And let me say, it's for purely selfish reasons. Whatever it is, it will necessarily be technical. Assuming the purpose is to create a discussion that will be useful to the academics, a streamlined and digestible context seems necessary. 'Addresses and interviews of extraordinarily complex issues' means nothing if the explanation are incomprehensible. In other words, I want to able to weigh the arguments for myself and discern whether a presenter "draweth out the thread of his verbosity finer than the staple of his argument.

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Metcalfe:

Evidently in your imaginary world not only did I implicate Hugh in child molestation, but I also conspired with folks at the Exmormon Foundation to permanently eradicate the evidence...

Your evidence for this scurrilous claim?... I can only assume email messages and phone records that are no longer extant

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Something has been bothering me. Assuming sufficient clarity in the documents in BM's possession, and assuming sufficient time of possession, why did the apparent fact that the majority of the characters in the left-hand columns of the 3 grammar documents are nowhere to be found in the JS Papyri never become clear to him?

If it did become clear at some point, why did BM never come clean on the subject and deal with it in his public discourse on the subject?

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Something has been bothering me. Assuming sufficient clarity in the documents in BM's possession, and assuming sufficient time of possession, why did the apparent fact that the majority of the characters in the left-hand columns of the 3 grammar documents are nowhere to be found in the JS Papyri never become clear to him?

If it did become clear at some point, why did BM never come clean on the subject and deal with it in his public discourse on the subject?

You mean the 3 "Alphabet" documents, of course. The "Grammar" is what I have termed the later, bound volume entitled "Grammar and A[l]phabet of the Egyptian Language."

But your question is quite pertinent.

You will, in fact, if you study the history of these things as closely as I have, discover that Metcalfe has appeared to zealously restrict the dissemination of any substantive images of the Alphabet and Grammar materials. Whether this merely reflects his preoccupation with the Abraham manuscripts, or is consequent to his having sensed danger to his theories within the A&G, is an answer we may never know.

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Hi Will,

Assuming your story about the ExMo conference is true, it's entirely possible that Brent didn't mean it like that, and that the decision to excise that portion of the audio was not his own. I see no reason to assume he is lying, if he denies it.

In any event, I may be extraordinarily ignorant, but I am at least making a good-faith effort to understand and grapple with your views in a substantive way. Please do not confuse me with other citizens of MDB who have shown you less respect, and please do not lash out at me without reason.

Thanks and peace,

-Chris

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Brent,

Your confident rejoinders are somewhat flattened by your unwillingness to engage in the proposed debate, the terms of which seem entirely reasonable especially considering the nature of the subject under consideration. I would think if your confidence was backed by more solid information you would be willing (if not eager) to play your cards. You've dismissed Will as an apologetic loose canon (and heaven knows Will and I haven't seen eye to eye on certain matters), but it seems rather weak for you to engage in head wagging rather than just "put up," as they say. Do you have a better explanation as to why you think Will's terms are unreasonable? It really does make it seem like you just don't have anything solid to present yourself, but instead wish to simply attack or discredit Will's position.

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Stick to your guns, Will. If you concede, you make yourself a stationary target, committed as you are to a fully developed public position, while BM maintains freedom of movement, peripatetic, poetic and chic, able to wriggle and weasel and equivocate.

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What in the world are you talking about with my "pronounced and frequently displayed animosity"? You must have me confused with someone else. Since it is so frequent, could you trouble to give an example? I barely pay any attention to you at all.

As to moderating the event, I am pleased to give as much or as little assistance as desired by the two parties. I am happy just to facilitate the recording. I would be equally happy to do this as a joint venture with FAIR and their new podcast. I believe I have show fairness in dealing with either side, so your worry about my devilish moderation is unfounded. Besides, you are the U2 of Mormon apologists. What would you have to fear from me?

John,

I don't fear you, nor even think about you in the least, but I also don't believe your assistance will be necessary in this matter. I believe I have things well in hand, thank you. As I said before, I am not interested in engaging in a "rinky-dink" podcast, whether with you as the "host" or anyone else, for that matter. My concept of a "debate" of these things is much more formal and substantive than could possibly be realized in a podcast scenario.

Thanks, all the same, for your kind offer.

I could, but I will not, sift through your posts on MDB and then confront you with examples of your occasional outbursts of hostility towards me as expressed in the past. You know what I'm talking about, and I am not charmed by the facility for duplicity you demonstrate in your above post. I would think much more highly of you were you to acknowledge your true feelings and be content with the consequences.

Best wishes,

William Schryver

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