Though people I like and respect tend to like and respect Douglas Wilson, I have not particularly done either.
Almost like forcing myself to try to read Jonathan Edwards because of his reputation, I've kept Wilson's blog on my list of favorites — but I've seldom read one through. I just don't get him. The one time he linked to one of my own posts, I didn't even get what his point was.
I've generally assumed that this was my problem.
Well, maybe it was, and maybe I'm coming 'round. Because (thanks, I think, to Frank) I made myself read his debate (at "Christianity" "Today," of all places) with Christopher Hitchens. Goodness, but it's simply deft and brilliant. (Go HERE to start; it has links to the other three parts.)
Hitchens, who is a very articulate and intelligent burbling fool, is an atheist who (like virtually all atheists) insists on groundlessly labeling things and people "evil" and "good." He asserted his position recently in a book. He prides himself, it seems, on being offensive in his attacks on people who are well-regarded by others, and/or recently deceased.
As you will see, Wilson simply shreds Hitchens' position. He leaves Hitchens with nothing except his very emotional and baseless assertions, which Hitchens keeps repeating as if repetition = proof. Wilson does this so well and so skillfully that, like a razor-blade's cut, I'm not even sure that Hitchens even now suspects the real depth and extent of the damage Wilson has done. But Wilson has laid Hitchen's position waste, and left only smoking ruins.
The challenge for Wilson and all presuppositionists. I'm told that Wilson is a presuppositionist. So far, he is true to that mold: they are without peer in demolishing their opponents' cases. Where I've never seen them strong is in establishing their own position. Van Til was always very critical of evidentialists because the latter do not leave unbelievers "without excuse." Yet I never read van Til himself making a positive case that had this effect. His "Why I Believe In God" was, I thought, very disappointing.
Similarly, in Bahnsen's debate with atheist Gordon Stein (get it and a lot more HERE), I thought the same pattern played out — or I misheard. I thought by the end of the debate, there was a blackened crater where Stein's assertions used to be. But Bahnsen did not establish his position.
So will Wilson do what he has shown that Hitchens cannot do? Or will he do as most presuppositionists seem to do: pulverize the opposing position, maybe make some Gospel assertions, but not provide what they demand from the other?
(As a reformed presuppositionist, I've tried to do what I challenge presupp's to do HERE. I've invited presupposionist interaction with that essay again and again, but never received any.)