July 15, 2005
Tyler Young forwarded to me last night a portion of a message you recently sent to Zack Krug, which report I was glad to get. From it I was able to get your e-mail address. I received a long, heart wrenching letter from Rhonda a couple of days ago. Doubtless, you are familiar with my “Summation” statement relative to AP (lamentably, it seems that almost everyone is). She told me how much the circulation of my statement had hurt her and the boys—and you. I have already responded to her letter, begging her forgiveness for the added grief this statement has caused your family. I need to express the same things to you, which I herein do.
Let me first assure you that I write these words under no compulsion from (or even suggestion of) others. I do so because I believe that it is simply the right thing to do. Although I had not heard from you to this effect, I assume that my statement made your burden heavier, even as it did Rhonda’s. Making a hurtful situation more painful for you and others was not something I ever meant to occur—something over which I have mourned (and do mourn) greatly, ever since learning of the completely unauthorized distribution of that document. The agony that Rhonda described was very moving, made more so to me because I have contributed—although absolutely unintentionally—to that agony. I hereby express my profound regret to you for any and all of the additional suffering my statement has caused you. As I did to Rhonda, I now humbly ask your forgiveness.
You must be thinking the very worst of me at present, and I cannot blame you for doing so. You may or may not believe what follows, and it likely will not “unhurt” any of the hurt my statement has caused, but even so, I want to assure you of a few factors involving my statement:
I put these matters in written form in order that, upon receiving inquiries (several of which I indeed received), it would be simpler to have a summary on hand. I genuinely regret that I did this—an act, which, if I were able, I would most certainly undo.
The things I wrote in the statement were the type of things that one might discuss only in a private phone conversation with family or closest friends, never intending them to go any further.
I never at any moment had it in my mind to publish, broadcast, or widely distribute my remarks in any way—and I have not done so. I was not harboring any such secret intent at the time I talked with brother Chesser. At the time he wrote me (June 17), I had sent it only to a very small number (23 individuals, to be exact). Although I did not say so in the “Summation” itself, the e-mail message carrying the attached statement that went to these few told the majority of them not to distribute it. To the rest, a mere half-dozen, whom I trusted implicitly, I cautioned them that I trusted their discretion in receiving it. Obviously, someone or ones believed they needed to pass it on, and it thus multiplied. Again, this is not an attempted excuse, but rather the simple and honest explanation of its apparent far wider distribution, totally unintended by me.
Contrary to what you may think and what you have been told (and I realize it may not matter to you at present), I have prayed many times for you, for Rhonda, and for your sons from my first knowledge of this tragic situation. Furthermore, Lavonne and I have more than once joined in prayer for all of you. We continue to do so.
As I said earlier, I rejoiced to get your response to Zack Krug because of the news it contained about your present situation and frame of mind. Please be assured that I accept the sincerity of your confessions, and I express my brotherly love for you and my encouragement for your efforts to rebuild your life. As I have told many, both in print and orally over the years (and over these past few weeks), I have profited immensely from your work, and I expect to continue to do so through your books and other materials. I pray that your unique talents in the field of apologetics may continue to be utilized.
As I wrote to Rhonda, I also say to you: If I had it in my power, I would distribute this letter as widely as my statement has been circulated. Unfortunately, I have no way of knowing the extent of the circulation. I am sending it to those who have received a copy of my “Summation” of whom I am aware, although this is a very limited number (several have contacted me who knew nothing of this document until they received brother Chesser’s mass-mailed letter to me). If you wish to supply the names and addresses of those to whom you would like me to send this letter, I will gladly send it to them. Of course, I will be pleased for you to pass this letter on to any and all others of your choice.
I am sure that Lavonne and I cannot even imagine the suffering and sorrow you have been, and are, enduring. Once more, I am very sorry my words and actions have added to them. I grieve also over the fact that the words of my statement implied hardness of heart, lack of compassion, and unwillingness to forgive. I certainly should have expressed those sentiments openly. Please know that I do indeed accept your confession(s) as sincere.
I will continue to pray for better days for you.
In brotherly love,
908 Imperial Drive
Denton, TX 76209