As a law student, I’m fairly used to debating my peers on a whole host of issues legal, political, moral, and spiritual. And it’s always frustrating when my opponent refuses to engage my position for what it is, and feels he must score cheap shots to an audience who largely sympathizes with him, by refuting a straw man, a caricature which is so obviously fallacious as to be indefensible. And so it is with Mr. Tim Dunkin’s latest attempt at early Christian revisionism. There’s actually quite a bit of common ground between Dunkin and myself, though one wouldn’t know it by reading his piece, which completely misstates the positions I articulated in my rebuttal to his earlier article. I never claimed that the early Church subscribed precisely to the doctrine of transubstantiation – a term which Mr. Dunkin and other Fundamentalist polemicists take delight in fetishizing, evoking in the minds of their sola scriptura co-religionists all sorts of fantasies rooted in conspiracy theories of an ignorant Christian flock goaded by Machiavellian, pagan-sympathizing pastors “straying further and further away from Biblical truths, as the centuries went by.” This is precisely the narrative put forward by Dan Brown, Michael Baigent, and the folks at the Jesus Seminar, except that they at least take this mythology to its logical conclusion, assuming that the Apostles themselves were the first to suffer from a sort of “Great Apostasy,” forgetting and then manipulating the true teachings of the historical Jesus. When Protestant apologists set out to refute these historical narratives, they are pulling the weeds they themselves have sowed for half a millennium.