My Clarification and An Apology From Joel and Greg Gwin

by Bill Reeves

October 15, 2003

Brother Reeves' article, "My Clarification And No Apology By Joel and Greg Gwin"

   Brother Pat Donahue on 09-16-01 emailed to “Tim and/or Bill” and copied to Greg and Joel Gwin the following:

   “Do you have an agreement that says ‘They also were to be read in the first speech of each contestant each night.’ If so, I would like to see it.” He was contesting something said in “part 25 of your review of Joel's charts.”

   Brother Greg on the 17th wrote the following to Pat, Tim, and Bill, and copied to Joel and to another son:

   “As Joel's moderator, I'm writing to let you (and others) know that you are correct when you say that we were completely unaware of any expectation or agreement about how the written questions were to be used in the public debate. To our knowledge (and this was our HONEST understanding), they were to be used as each debater saw fit. If brother Reeves can produce any hint of an agreement about this that demonstrates that we failed to honor a commitment, we will certainly apologize. It is unfortunate, to say that least, that an HONEST misunderstanding is being used by brothers Reeves and Haile in this way. - Greg”

   On the same day I replied:

   “Dear Greg: You are certainly correct in that stating that such and such was your HONEST understanding. No one failed to honor a commitment; there is no call for any apology. Pat is blowing this all out of proportion, based on technicalities.

   "But there is more than a 'hint of an agreement about this' and it is in the correspondence that Joel and I had. I twice mentioned the reading of the questions and answers in our first speeches, and repeatedly I requested that Joel tell me just what number of questions and answers to agree upon. In fact, my last email correspondence to him requested that he agree upon a number for the questions to be asked. Because of other pressures at the time, or maybe simple forgetfulness, he failed to address those two particular requests. BUT as to the number of questions he DID send 5 for each night. So, I find it difficult to understand how he would know to use that number and not to read the questions and answers in the first speech. Based on the correspondence between us, that was my HONEST understanding, and that is all that I am saying. I might add, that my moderator, Tim, who had a copy of the correspondence between Joel and me, during Joel’s first speech he (Tim) kept waiting for Joel to read and answer the corresponding questions for the night. That was his understanding, based on the correspondence. Yet he and I had not talked about that detail.

   "Because we are brethren, and because you told me at the table that you and Joel did not so understand the matter, I acquiesced to your statement, did I not? Nothing more was said about it, right? You have a right to your understanding of a matter, but do I also? Greg, I am not using your 'HONEST misunderstanding' in any way at all. I am using MY understanding in the way that I do. There is no more to it than that. Let me repeat: no one failed to honor a commitment; there is no call for any apology.

   "Thanks for writing me. Your brother in the Lord, Bill Reeves"

   On the same day, brethren Joel and Greg wrote the following to Bill, Tim, and copy to Pat, regarding use of written question in debate.

   "Because this has become an issue, we have reviewed the email correspondence that preceded the debate and found this reference to the written questions in a message from brother Reeves to Joel: "As is customary in public debate, we need to agree upon having a number (say, up to 5) of questions for the opponent to answer in his first speech of the evening . . . These questions are usually answered right after one defines his proposition, but each one is free to answer them when he judges best, but during the first speech, so that the other might have time to reply to the answers given. Is the number (the limit; that is, up to 5) agreeable to you?" (3/30/03) While we certainly did agree to the number of questions, it is unclear as to our agreement about how they would be used. We simply failed to remember this aspect of brother Reeves’ correspondence about the written questions. However, we accept that brother Reeves believed that they would be used as he suggested in this message, and therefore we apologize for not answering the questions in the first speech each night as brother Reeves expected. This was an honest misunderstanding on our part, and we hope this apology will be accepted. - Joel Gwin, Greg Gwin"

   I replied the same day:

   “Dear Greg: Although no apology was requested nor even expected, and from my perspective not even due, I appreciate the proof of your sincerity in the matter by offering a genuine apology (by you and Joel). I, too, figured that Joel had simply forgotten the part of the correspondence on the detail of presenting the questions and answers in the first speeches. By the gentle reminder that I gave publicly that he was to do so, thus jogging his memory, I thought that sometime thereafter he would do so during the debate. But, if he totally had forgotten about the part of the correspondence on that, I can see how he would not take any further action during the debate. Thanks for your understanding in the matter, and I know that you appreciate mine.”

Bill Reeves

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