Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 16, 1961
NUMBER 28, PAGE 5,12c

The Louisville Debate

Harold F. Savely, Valley Station, Kentucky

A most singular victory for truth came by the Louisville Debate, A. C. Grider vs. Guy N. Woods, July 10-14, when Grider affirmed the unscripturalness of the Institutional Orphan Home set-up and denied the scripturalness of the Herald of Truth.

The debate resulted from Bardstown Road Church's putting out a circular advertising Woods' lectureship there, and falsely accusing sound churches with the modernistic epitaphs of "legalism," "empty-handed religion," and that "Christ projected his power not through his oratory or royal birth, but through his humanity." Woods' boast, bluster and challenge was met by Grider before a conservatively estimated average audience of 925.

In Grider's opening speech on the Orphan Home proposition he made the following indictments against his opponent's position, and then systematically set about to prove them: (1) Untruthful, in that Woods had grossly misrepresented correspondence preceding the debate in which he feigned that Grider would not meet him; (2) Ungrammatical, in that Woods murdered the King's grammar in order to teach his doctrine; (3) Unscriptural, in that Woods repeatedly perverted various passages of scripture; (4) Unwise, in that from the pen of Woods had gone the past warnings that such things were "sinful" and would "do very little good;" (5) Uncharitable, because of the way helpless children were railroaded off to such asylums for the purpose of personal aggrandizement; (6) Unwholesome, in that the split churches throughout the world were left in the wake of it; (7) Unnecessary, in that such robs churches of their rightful mission and glory; (8) Unchristian, in that Woods and associates stigmatize brethren as "Anti" and "Legalists," who will not bow to their behests. He then completely exposed the hypocritical boast of "Grider's not wanting to debate" by authentic correspondence proving that for three years the very opposite was true. Grider presented propositions and endorsements from thirteen other places, including Lubbock, Nashville and Memphis. Woods would not touch them, and never will he meet A. C. Grider again!

Resulting from Woods' first night claim that James 1:27 contained an independent clause to churches, as well as individuals, Grider countered the second night with an affirmative chart on James 1:27. The diagram and analysis appear on the Editorial page (this issue).

When Woods' counter was to seek to make an independent clause out of "to visit, etc.", directed to the church, Grider had only to show that he was in the same error with sectarians of Acts 2:38 and Mark 16:16, trying to separate that which was tied together by the copulative conjunction "and," thus separating the meanings and marching them off in opposite directions. Woods, feeling the force of this, tried to keep silence as much as possible about the sentence. The third night a written question was directed as to whether the sentence was correctly diagrammed and analyzed; if not, wherein was it missed; if yes, did not his whole contention fail? Woods' answer was that the sentence was no simple sentence. By repeated prodding of Grider for him to show one other subject and predicate to prove it not to be a simple sentence, Woods completely went down in silence and in failure. Grider further showed that if it took not both things, "to visit" and "to keep" to practice pure religion, then a drunk man might help a widow and be practicing undefiled religion. This is a most potent argument which will gore Guy N. Woods the rest of his days!

Grider took the scriptural position that New Testament benevolence was always to "poor saints." Woods perverted 2 Cor. 9:13 by trying to teach church benevolence to "all men." Grider showed his fallacy by showing the case to have been "the ministering to the saints" (v. 1), as a matter of "bounty" (v. 5); which caused "thanksgiving to God" (v. 11), "supplieth the want of saints" (v. 12), causing "many thanksgivings to God" (v. 12); to "glorify God" (v. 13); causing "prayer," and those to "long after you" (v. 14). Grider then showed Woods' ridiculous position as advocating God's hearing of sinner's prayers.

Woods rarely referred to Gal. 6:10, making us to believe that he did not count his old argument, that doing good to "all men," meant church assistance to the world. As if in despair, Woods flitted to Thomas Warren's old subterfuge of "component parts" equal to the whole of a "total situation." Grider showed that only one thing was lacking and that was what they had propositioned to debate; therefore, there was no outside organization incorporated in the total situation of benevolence of the church.

Throughout the three night discussion of the first proposition, Grider tried in vain to get Woods to admit what the whole proposition was about: not that benevolence was enjoined upon the church, nor the manner in which the church did it, but the organization through which it was to be done. Grider stated that it was the first time in his debating career that any opponent went through an entire three night series on any proposition refusing to admit what all the proposition was about.

As Woods came to his fourth night and in the affirmative, he and his moderator tried to save a lost cause by editing portions of the tape recording of the previous night and playing it before the debate to the audience, taking contents of it all out of context. Woods further situated his projector screen to obviously disallow Grider the privilege of seeing his slides, and of which Grider obliged by not being led off after his caricatures anyway, but kept strictly at the proposition in discussion.

Woods at one time said his middle initial "N" stood for "Napoleon," and that Grider could call him that. Friends, Napoleon met his Waterloo at Louisville! We have heard not one cheep from them since. Many learned the truth and changed, some of which were preachers, mouths have been stopped, and churches strengthened. Grider's knowledge of truth, apt penetration into and exposition of false logic, together with his ever ready natural wit, carried the victory for truth. Call him if ever need a defender.

W. L. Totty moderated for Guy N. Woods, and this writer for A. C. Grider.

Because of space, a survey of the proposition dealing with Herald of Truth will come in another installment.