I’m sure there are about 1000 other/better ‘blogs’ who have already weighed in on this subject. But I don’t really read a ton of other blogs and so I’m putting in my two cents anyway.
Doug Wilson and Chris Hitchens debated recently at Westmin PHILLY. I was quite excited to hear the debate as I recently finished Doug’s polemic in print (God Is) contra Hitchens. The book was great.
The debate, on the other hand, was not. You can find the link on Westmin’s media page, or here:
I must guard my heart and words. Rev. Wilson is a man of great intelligence, but there is no doubt in my mind that Chris not only had him on the defensive, but was allowed a habitual allowance or redefinition, irrationality, and question avoidance. As Doug has previously stated, Chris does NOT answer him in regards to the question of ‘accounting’ for knowledge, that is, providing a basis for the preconditions of intellegibility. That was clearly the case on a cold night in PA.
Although Oliphint was in attendance, and DW is a self-styled Van Tillian, there was not much ‘pushing of the antithesis’ to be found. A part of me strangely longed for Dr. Bahnsen to rise from the grave and make an appearance. I assure you, even without prep, the outcome would have been different.
Thus, the main beef is not DW’s lack of vocab, nor his erudite ability to put it on paper (stick to writing), not even his minimal oratory abilities (not to be harsh, but you do notice a stutter and an um in a debate, especially when you opponent is a extemporaneous wordsmithing guru), but his inability to shut the mouth of his opponent when given ample opportunity. If Hitchens cannot account for science, he cannot use it, same with morality and the like. Rather than push these points, Hitchens is given an open mic for his tirade against Christian theism. He is a bright man. So is Wilson. Sadly, the debate ended in Wilson’s defeat (save a few funny remarks, which Hitchens eventually rebukes). Where is the debater of this age? Next time, I want to see Paul Manata up there with bells on, a definitive debate strategy, and some gusto in his repose.