Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Postmortem: My Initial Impression of the Brown-Hegg Debate

First, I'll say that I'm sure Tim Hegg is a nice guy.  So I hope he won't be offended by the following:

I listened to a little bit of the radio debate between Dr. Michael Brown and Tim Hegg (LINK).  I was extremely disappointed at the following interchange (to give one example):

Dr. Michael Brown:  "Is it possible to live a life fully pleasing to G-d as a Believer and NOT keep the dietary laws?" 
Tim Hegg:  "Yes."

Here's how I would've responded to that question:
And then I might've explained by citing to the Book of Baruch which puts it rather nicely:

"4 Wisdom is the book of God's commandments, the Law that will last forever. All who hold onto her will live, but those who abandon her will die. Turn to Wisdom, people of Israel, and take hold of her. Make your way toward the splendor of her light. Do not surrender our glorious privileges to any other people. How happy we are, people of Israel; we have the advantage of knowing what is pleasing to God!" (Baruch 4:1-4) 
 The commandments are pleasing to G-d!  So if we don't keep the commandments then we are less pleasing to G-d--i.e. we are not FULLY pleasing to G-d.

And, thankfully, Yeshua abounds with grace toward us sinners and so we are forgiven our offenses.  But eventually when the New Covenant is consummated we will be able to keep all the commandments and be FULLY pleasing to G-d.

Does anyone have a different opinion?


  1. Not a differing opinion. I concur with you completely! Yeshua's grace covers a multitude of sins, HOWEVER, we should still strive for holiness. 'Be ye holy, for I am holy...' Lev. 11:44-45. In the dietary Laws.

  2. Why do you think Dr. Hegg answered that way? Or perhaps we should get this from the horse's mouth?

    My take: We are to shma. We are not privy to what is going on in the relationship of another to the Holy One. I don't know that any person could honestly claim to be fully pleasing to God. A better tactic might have been the Jewish, "answer a question with a question." Do you (Michael Brown) believe that you are currently living a life that is fully pleasing to God?

  3. The questions that Dr Brown proposed were misleading and that one is a perfect example, and if "no" was the answer, he would have been cut off and then cut down, never allowed to explain, because this was a setup. It is not a 'yes or no' answer.

    No one is perfect, thus can we still be pleasing to God in our imperfections? I hope so, or no one is pleasing to God.

    The problem with the whole situation is that Dr Brown was not asking for clarity or even trying to understand One Law belief, he was laying out misleading questions, wanting a yes and no, so that he could create a straw man to tear down, that was abundantly clear, when he would not allow Tim Hegg to clarify his points.

    I thought Tim Hegg did fairly well for a setup...

  4. Hovav Ben Avraham AvinuAugust 29, 2014 at 5:08 AM

    Michael Brown won. But he really lost in the eyes of people with a real heart to God.

  5. Won? Lol, there was no real debate, and definitely no winners. I actually think Hegg did well, given the format, and I think Dr. Brown made himself look bad.

  6. Hovav Ben Avraham AvinuAugust 29, 2014 at 9:25 AM

    Exactly what I meant : )

  7. Please listen to the whole interview to get the basis of what Tim was saying about being pleasing to G-d. Tim recouped from the set up wonderfully after being put on the spot by making it very clear that it was not a salvation issue. He made a clear distinction between someone who really does not know about kashrut and the responsibilities of a believer and being a follower of our messiah;and that of one who clearly is disobedient or knows better and continues in sin of rebellion. It is very difficult for those who have for heard an anti-Torah bias continually to wrap their heads around something so contrary to what they have swallowed{literally} and shouldn't have. I have heard the message before from Tim that when your child is learning something new and too marvelous to comprehend , a father is gentle with that child and guides him in love not by befuddling and cutting down the efforts exhibited. Our Father loves us and is pleased when we are doing all we can to please Him because we love him and desire to please him.

  8. Peter, You should really listen to the whole non- debate to be able to comment on it

  9. Shannon,

    It was a debate. A debate is an exchange of arguments for the purposes of increased understanding. An argument is simply a list of reasons supported by evidence. That's precisely what occurred here: two men exchanged arguments, citing to reasons and evidence.

    Just because Michael Brown SAYS it wasn't a debate doesn't make it a non-debate. Don't be fooled by this man.

    Dr. Brown lured Tim Hegg into this trap by saying "Don't worry, it's not a debate." Make no mistake--Dr. Brown knew what he was doing.

  10. as Ive read all the comments where is the unity of the believers here? Instead of praying for them that God give them wisdom and humility.

    1. That's such an arrogant and judgmental accusation to make against everyone. Having discussions is not a sign of disunity. Rather, it's a sign that we want to communicate and resolve any potential differences.