In a recent post Mitch LeBlanc accuses me of blundering and misunderstanding apologetics. I consider these extremely strong claims coming from someone who argues as inconsistently regarding apologetics as Mitch does.
Mitch LeBlanc has been writing comments on my posts regarding apologetic methodology in which he attempts to actually defend the method even though as far as I know he claims to be an atheist and rejects the traditional arguments for the existence of God. Mitch often ranges well beyond the scope of a topic in responding to it; that this is the case may be seen in his presentation of numerous contradictory views in his responses to me concerning the Problem of Induction and in his introduction of a version of the Ontological argument wherein he attempted to show that the traditional apologist can affirm that God cannot lie (even though he subsequently admitted that he did not accept the argument anyway) while trying to show that in the presuppositionalist view God might lie. Such irrelevant points are not productive when it comes to arguing one’s position. Mitch might counter that the nature of his own website is to more or less teach philosophy. That is all well and good, but when writing a response to someone on a particular topic it is necessary to stick to that topic. Further, his most recent irrelevant response to my post on Craig was in the comments section of this site and not on his own. Rather than dealing with the argument presented there, he wrote a comment wherein he tried to summarize some of J.P. Morelands arguments against presuppositionalism.
“I recently responded to a post by Chris Bolt in which he criticized the apologetic method of William Lane Craig.”
The post Mitch links to here is actually the one in which I responded to Mitch’s comment on my post where I criticized the method of William Lane Craig. Mitch never actually addressed the argument in the original post.
“The criticism is one that is native to presuppositionalism and establishes its superiority over both Classical and Evidentialist approaches to apologetics.”
Rather, I pointed out that the theology Craig attempts to prove is inconsistent with the methodology he utilizes.
“ In some manifestations, it becomes so bold as to make the claim that any other apologetic system is sinful!”
Denying the Lordship of Christ is sinful.
“I am not one to defend Christian apologists, as you can imagine, they and I disagree on many things.”
Actually Mitch is one to defend them and has been doing so for the last month or so. Look back through the comments on this site for copious examples. Mitch’s statement is simply false; he is lying.
“However, I am a firm defender of philosophy and philosophical discourse.”
Notice again the inconsistency. Mitch is defending non-presuppositional schools of apologetics and I am defending presuppositional apologetics, both of us launching attacks upon the other school, yet he sees himself as defending philosophical discourse in his efforts while I am apparently not. Where is the difference? Is Mitch implying that if someone argues against his philosophical monstrosities that one is no longer engaging in philosophical discourse?
“My defense of Classical/Evidentialist apologetics is a defense of coherent philosophical approaches…”
Either Mitch accepts Classical and Evidentialist apologetics as philosophically coherent or he does not. His statement here would indicate that he does accept them as philosophically coherent, but then why is he not a Christian Theist? His actual position, so far as I understand it, is atheism which would entail the rejection of these apologetic arguments. If he rejects Classical and Evidentialist apologetics then he surely does so because they are not philosophically coherent. This inconsistency plagues Mitch’s responses. The truth is that neither he nor I accept the arguments as philosophically coherent, and he is making a mess of himself by trying to pretend that he does.
“…in the face of those, like presuppositionalism, which do nothing but belittle reasoned discourse in favor of a type of Fideism.”
Presuppositionalism itself cannot actually “do” anything, so I am assuming that Mitch means to say that presuppositionalists, or those using the presuppositional method, “do nothing but belittle reasoned discourse in favor of a type of Fideism”. Well, a nifty assertion indeed, but one which is made without any reason for accepting it. Where have I, for example, belittled reasoned discourse? Mitch may not like that we have constantly pointed out inconsistencies in his reasoning, but this is not the same thing as saying that we have belittled reasoned discourse. Again Mitch appears to imply that disagreeing with or arguing against him entails that one is not engaging in philosophy or reasoned discourse. Interestingly enough, this is itself mere rhetoric and not philosophical argument. How exactly is Mitch in a position to lecture to me about philosophy anyway?
“…in favor of a type of Fideism”
This brings us to yet another contradiction in what Mitch has written. He claims that pressuppositionalists belittle reasoned discourse and favor instead a type of Fideism. For one, this is an amazing assertion coming from someone who claims to have been studying the presuppositional method. This aside, Mitch has elsewhere written, “All matters of demonstrating God’s existence are in the realm of Philosophy. Even for the presuppositionalist, it is merely a philosophical defense of God…”, which directly contradicts his claim that presuppositionalism is fideistic. Further, what exactly has the recent obsession with “refuting presuppositionalism” over on Mitch’s site been about anyway? There he has presented three different articles explicitly setting out as per their titles to refute presuppositionalism. There is simply no material or need to do this with truly fideistic systems. Mitch is yet again exhibiting inconsistency.
“It is my continued desire that the Philosophy of Religion play host to reasoned discussion between both believers and non-believers that can be conducive to the formulation of coherent positions.”
Does Mitch hold that there are such things as contradictory coherent positions? I have a difficult time making sense of this statement otherwise.
“It would also be prudent for Bolt to note that it is not uncommon in academia for non-theists to critique other non-theists work, or that they respond with defeaters to non-theistic objections to criticisms of a theistic argument.”
Again, Mitch is hardly an authority regarding “academia”, regardless of what he and his friends on his site believe. This statement is really rather irrelevant, and it is unclear what Mitch is trying to say. Perhaps it would be “prudent for [Mitch] to note” that I have acted as a Theist critiquing the arguments of other Theists. Again, he is not in a position to lecture me on these types of things.
“There is no conspiracy,”
This is not the first time Mitch has used this statement. I have no idea what he is talking about. I have never claimed that there is a “conspiracy” with regard to the discussions here.
“…good philosophers are aimed towards the truth, wherever that leads.”
Irrelevant, even if true.
“The article to which I initially responded criticized William Lane Craig’s apologetic approach on the grounds of his plea to examine claims objectively. Objectivity is something the presuppositionalist deems impossible, and they subsequently deem that Craig in asking for such is leaving Christ on the sidelines while trying to show his existence.”
The argument is this:
If the Christian worldview is true then Christ is Lord of all.
Christ is not Lord of all.
Therefore the Christian worldview is not true.
Craig affirms the premises in his apologetic methodology.
“I posted a quotation from J.P Moreland and one from Richard Howe.”
Which had nothing to do with the argument.
“Bolt has chosen to respond to my comments in an article of his own, and it is this to which I am responding.”
Which was again, failing to deal with the original post anyway.
“It would be prudent to note, firstly, that I have nowhere claimed that Bolt is an evil presuppositionalist nor have I claimed that presuppositionalism is evil.”
Mitch did not claim this and I did not state that he did. I was joking.
“I have made clear my objections to the apologetic system but I do not seek to draw conclusions about the person professing the system.”
Objections which are, as we have seen above, inconsistent with one another.
“It may very well be that Bolt is a nice person, or perhaps he is evil.”
“In any respect, I’ve not asserted one or the other.”
“As I’ve said, I made use of two quotations. Both quotations can be found in this essay. The former is attributed to J.P Moreland whereas the latter is that of Richard Howe. Bolt takes issue with the first quotation.”
With more than that, actually.
“With regard to the statement that ‘in the order of being there would have to be the city of Atlanta before there could be a map showing one how to get to Atlanta’ Bolt objects that this need not necessarily be the case. He offers an example of a map to Candyland. There are a few problems with this objection. Firstly, the existence of CandyLand as espoused by his map is presumably not representative of an actual state of affairs.”
Right, but why assume that the map to Atlanta must be?
“Similar to a map of Middle Earth, the plotted locations represent their co-ordinates in some possible world, the references need not be actualized.”
The same is true with respect to the map to Atlanta.
“In this regard, his map to CandyLand and a map of Middle Earth are not necessarily false constructs, they simply represent a non-actualized reality, that of a fictional world.”
This could be the case also with a map to Atlanta. It need not exist for there to be a map to it.
“But is it possible for someone to map something that doesn’t exist at all? I’d argue not.”
Actually, Mitch just argued that one can. What he is about to do is equivocate on what he means by “exist” in an ad hoc attempt to save Moreland’s statement.
“I could pick up a sheet of blank paper and begin to map a small town, while this town may not possess actual existence…”
Note that he writes “actual” existence. He now differentiates “actual existence” from other alleged types of “existence”. This is why, in an argument that one cannot map that which does not exist; Mitch begins by writing that he can map that which does not actually exist.
“…it possesses existence in the form of a possible state of affairs.”
As do the other examples.
“In this regard, the existence of this small town remains first in the order of being as it must be conceptualized prior to plotting, even if this world is fictional.”
Whether or not this is true is actually irrelevant. Recall what Moreland wrote:
“Take as an example the illustration of a map to Atlanta. In the order of being, there would have to be the city of Atlanta before there could be a map showing one how to get to Atlanta.”
This is allegedly analogous to:
“In the theistic argument debate, the theist certainly sees that in the order of being God is first, since, if God is the creator of all things besides Himself, then, if there was not a God, there would be nothing else at all, not even an argument for God.”
Thus Mitch is not at all on the same page as Moreland here. Moreland is speaking of the actual existence of God and the actual existence of Atlanta, and thus my true statement that Moreland’s claim is false (about there needing to be an Atlanta before there could be a map showing one how to get to Atlanta).
“As such, in regards to the actual world, the city of Atlanta holds primacy over the map showing its location in the order of being. It just so happens that Atlanta exists actually and the map corresponds so in turn. The matter of a map representing an actual or a possible state of affairs is wholly besides the point.”
Yet Mitch continues to argue about it.
“The fact is, to be plotted on a map the object/location being plotted must possess either actual or possible existence. In both respects the existence holds primacy over the plotting in the order of being.”
Mitch has not shown that it need possess actual existence. It need not. Mitch has only tried to show that it need possess possible existence, but Moreland is not talking about possible existence anyway, so this has nothing to do with Moreland’s argument. Really one is left wondering why an atheist would ever go to such great lengths to try and save a bad illustration set forth in a bad argument by a Christian apologist.
“For the person who was not aware of the existence of Atlanta, in looking at the map, could at least discern that (i) Atlanta exists (ii) I either am in Atlanta, or must move to get to Atlanta (provided the person new their position on the map).”
Mitch presented an argument that Atlanta must possess possible existence but now reasserts that one can know that Atlanta actually exists if there is a map to Atlanta. He thus equivocates on “exists” and asserts something which has already been shown to be false. He cannot argue that he is speaking of merely possible existence in the above quote, as one cannot be in or move into a possible existence as it is not actual.
“But I fail to see the relevance of this objection. It is only relevant in light of his next criticism.”
Notice Mitch writes that he cannot see how an objection is relevant and in his very next sentence writes that the same objection is relevant. This is yet another example of the aforementioned inconsistency found throughout what Mitch writes.
“It is interesting to note here that Moreland does not claim that one needs a map to KNOW God, but rather needs a map to find God.”
The quote is: “But in the order of knowing, it might be the case that one would need a ‘map’ to God, i.e., a theistic argument.” My interpretation of what Moreland is stating here fits with the context of the sentence and argument since Moreland is speaking of the order of KNOWING, not the order of FINDING.
“This answers Bolt’s criticism that it blatantly contradicts scripture.”
No, it does not. Consider what one might mean by “find God”. There is no meaning to “find God” I can think of which might require a traditional theistic proof.
“Moreland is not claiming that one needs an argument to KNOW that God exists,”
Mitch has not shown this.
“…but rather that one may require an argument to FIND God, or reveal such known knowledge.”
See the above discussion. What does it mean to “reveal…known knowledge” anyway? Is not all knowledge known? If something is known, what would it mean to reveal said knowledge?
“This is not inconsistent with Christianity stating that all men have an innate knowledge of God.”
It most certainly is. God is known so clearly by all that they are without excuse. I did offer a few other considerations at this point in my post.
“The notion of equivocating the term ‘finding God’ is one where I see no problem, the map example is after all an example and similes are being drawn.”
Whether or not Mitch sees a problem with a fallacy does not change that it is, in fact, a fallacy.
“Bolt’s second and third objection have been dealt with above.”
Not so. Mitch does not even attempt to deal with the third point, which is that “the necessity of theistic arguments with respect to some people results in all sorts of absurdities regarding those who lived prior to such theistic proofs were formulated and those who are intellectually incapable of grasping such proofs”.
“The question of the epistemological priority of God is the question of presuppositionalism as a whole, of course, and cannot be dealt with here.”
Not true. The point is that Moreland did not even touch upon the claim that there is an epistemological priority of God. In this he fails to mount a valid argument against presuppositionalism.
“Just briefly, however, even the Classical/Evidentialist philosopher would agree that there is an epistemic priority of God for all existent things exist contingent upon God’s necessary existence. That is to say, not only could nothing be known without God, there would be nothing to know and nobody to not know it!”
This was already defined by Moreland as metaphysical priority. I have already commented in my post on where the classical apologist goes wrong at this point.
“I do not see where the non-presuppositionalist disagrees with this statement.”
Then Mitch did not read my post carefully enough.
“Where Moreland states: The presuppositionalist is wrong to think that if an argument leads on to a belief in the existence of God, this God could not be the God of Christianity…Bolt responds with the claim that the God in which Antony Flew believes cannot be the Christian God. It is true that Flew was led to belief in a God through argument, and that his concept of God is deistic.”
A deistic god is not the Christian God. So again, Flew was led to belief in the existence of a god through argument, but this god is deistic and hence not the Christian God. Moreland’s statement is, again, false.
“It is puzzling though, precisely how many Gods does Chris Bolt think exist?”
I think that one God exists. I do not understand why this is puzzling for Mitch. If anyone is to be puzzled it is those of us who are not Mitch. After all, he is the atheist defending the coherence of Christian apologetics systems and commenting on the site that my arguments against the soundness of traditional arguments for the existence of God have already been answered!
“If it is the case that only one God exists, and that it is the Christian God then anyone professing belief in a God as a result of argument must believe in the Christian God insofar as the presented arguments are sound.”
For the sake of clarity, let me restate what Mitch has written. If it is the case that only the Christian God exists then anyone professing belief in God as a result of sound argument must believe in the Christian God. Setting aside a possible objection that someone might have that God is already believed in prior to and apart from the argument in question, the statement appears to be true. Now, I believe that it is the case that the Christian God exists, and those who profess belief in God as a result of a sound argument to that end believe in the Christian God, but I do not believe the traditional arguments for the existence of God to be sound, at least not to the end that they prove the existence of God. Does Mitch?
Given that a traditional argument is sound, what has it shown? That the Christian God exists? Not at all. Even if the Christian God exists and a traditional argument to the effect of God existing is sound it does not follow that the proof show that the Christian God exists. Here I am working from the traditional apologists’ platform. For example, God is First Mover by way of predication, but not identity. There are other problems, but they need not be brought in. The trouble for the traditional argument is that it is unable to show that the Christian God exists.
Mitch agrees with me on this sometimes, but not always, as he again contradicts himself at this point. For example in a comment on this site Mitch wrote, “This argument alone does not arrive at Christian theism, obviously,” referring to a traditional argument. When I pointed this out to him as contradicting subsequent statements that he has made, he responded as follows:
“That quotation is a lack of clarity on my part. I should have said that traditional arguments that are given in a cumulative apologetic. It was also in specific reference to a discussion on the Ontological Argument, I think. It is still my position that if the Ontological Argument holds, it cannot possibly argue for any other God than the one that necessarily exists, by virtue of the modal approach it takes.”
Unfortunately this does not clarify things much, but we can refute what Mitch writes concerning the problem before us anyway. The Ontological Argument need not require belief in the Christian God. This is true upon my presuppositions, but it is also true upon the traditional apologist’s presuppositions. How does Mitch keep trying to argue against this? By assuming that traditional arguments are to be used in a so called cumulative case apologetic. There are fatal problems with such an approach; why might not the cosmological argument refer to one god and the teleological to another? Why assume the arguments are connected at all? What has a person actually argued for prior to bringing in the rest of the apologetic? Most important here is this consideration: any one of the traditional arguments is not the equivalent of the sum of the traditional arguments. Traditional arguments do not make the case for the Christian God. All of this may nevertheless be set aside as well, for Moreland never qualifies his statement the way that Mitch does. It is false to assume that because someone comes to believe in a god via theistic argument that the person believes in the Christian God, yet this is precisely what Moreland states, “The presuppositionalist is wrong to think that if an argument leads on to a belief in the existence of God, this God could not be the God of Christianity…”. Aristotle no doubt came to belief in a very different god as did Flew; both via arguments. Moreland’s statement is false. Mitch’s statement is not Moreland’s, but it is likewise problematic.
“They would simply fail to grasp his nature properly.”
Which is, again, inconsistent with the theology Moreland and Craig seek to prove. Thus Mitch has provided us with another argument.
“If the premises of the argument were sound, they must be expressing qualities of the existent God,”
Interesting that Mitch equates qualities of the existent God with God when they are not the same thing. He has here conceded my point (again); the traditional proofs do not prove the existence of the Christian God.
“…and if that existent God is the Christian God then Flew is believing in him without knowing it”
Again inconsistent with the theology they seek to prove.
“…but believing in him to a lesser degree than say, a Christian would.”
Again inconsistent with the theology they seek to prove.
“So unless Bolt believes in a pantheon of Gods it is necessarily the case that any belief in God is a belief in the Christian one insofar as it is necessarily the case that the Christian God is the only God which exists!”
This is really quite absurd.
“Miscategorizations or misattributions would be due to a sort of ‘seeing through a glass; darkly’, a fault not of the argument but of the interpreter.”
Again inconsistent with the theology they seek to prove.
“But is it not the arguments fault for not attempting to express the full reality of God’s nature?”
If the full reality of God’s nature is not proven then God has not been proven. Mitch is again conceding my point without realizing it.
“In fact, I do not think that any Classical/Evidentialist Philosopher would seek to establish all the attributes of God with one argument,”
They seek to establish the existence of God with one such argument, but it is impossible to do so.
“…they present cumulative cases (that is except for proponents of the Ontological Argument).”
No, they do not all present cumulative cases. No, proponents of the Ontological Argument do not always not present a cumulative case. Is Mitch just making this stuff up as he goes? It is certainly not true.
“It is thereby unfair to extract these arguments from the set in which they are intended for delivery and criticize them on a one by one basis for not establishing a thorough enough conclusion.”
Notice here again what I mentioned earlier. When it is argued that the traditional arguments do not prove the existence of the Christian God, Mitch usually disagrees (but sometimes does not). Yet he resorts to lumping the arguments together and saying that in this way they show that the Christian God exists. Again, a traditional argument is not the equivalent of the sum of traditional arguments. There is also not anything “unfair” about taking these arguments one by one. Six bottomless buckets shoved together still hold no water. If it is necessary to take the arguments together in order to prove the existence of the Christian God, and this seems to be what Mitch here argues, then it is false that any one traditional argument proves the existence of the Christian God. Yet Mitch has up until this point been arguing that a traditional argument does prove the existence of the Christian God. The inconsistency is such that it is quite difficult to even argue with Mitch. It is, as they say, like trying to “nail Jello to the wall”.
“The quote which Bolt presents from Moreland is indicative of such usage of one theistic argument as a ‘magic bullet’: In summary, it is most reasonable to believe that the universe had a beginning which was caused by a timeless, immutable agent. This is not a proof that such a being is the God of the Bible, but it is a strong statement that the world had its beginning by the act of a person. And this is at the very least a good reason to believe in some form of theism. (J.P. Moreland. Scaling the Secular City: A Defense of Christianity. Baker Books. Grand Rapids, MI. 1987. Pg. 42.)
This is really not difficult to understand. Moreland has contradicted himself. Remember what he wrote, “The presuppositionalist is wrong to think that if an argument leads on to a belief in the existence of God, this God could not be the God of Christianity…”. Now, Moreland takes his version of the cosmological argument to be “a good reason to believe in some form of theism”. It is thus an argument which leads on to a belief in the existence of God. Yet Moreland writes, “This is not a proof that such a being is the God of the Bible”. We thus have proof for theism without proof for Christian theism, according to Moreland. Moreland writes, “it is a strong statement that the world had its beginning by the act of a person”, but a “person” who begins the world is not the same as the Christian God insofar as the classical apologist has shown.
Mitch writes that, “This is representative of the pivotal first step in a cumulative case”. This may be, but this step is itself a traditional argument that does not prove the God of the Bible, as per Moreland. How much clearer can we make this?
“One must walk before they run and it is difficult to see how one should be faulted for this.”
There is no reason to assume that one can walk, and we are focused upon the walking in this discussion, not the running. (By the way, it is not true that one must walk before one can run. 😉 )
“The common ground of reality affect both the believer and the non-believer, and this is a common ground from which dialogue may begin.”
Again, this is inconsistent with the theology the apologist wishes to prove.
“Knowledge of gravity is not required for the effects of gravity. We do not see babies flying because they do not understand physics!”
I never stated that it is or that they do.
“It is not difficult to see the move an atheist who experiences the effects of gravity may move towards establishing the existence of God. Perhaps it is the case that gravity exists and that gravity is a natural law and that the best explanation for the natural law of gravity is an intelligent designer. If the non-believer will accept such “natural” theological propositions, they have establish a creator of the Universe, the first step in what could be a cumulative case for Christian theism.”
Nonsense. Such arguments are unsound and there is no reason to assume that they work any better as a cumulative case, nor that there is any reason to move on to taking more than one argument together anyway. This was discussed above.
“I do not think such a move is warranted,”
Right, and Mitch is thus wasting my time. He just undercut his entire argument. I am shaking my head.
“…but it is not impossible to work from common ground to belief in the Christian God as the presuppositionalist so states.”
Did not Mitch just write that “such a move is [un]warranted”? Like Jello to the wall!
“I have been asked to deal with an argument Bolt presented in his initial post on Craig’s argumentation”
This is, in fact, part of the post that Mitch was supposedly answering to begin with in his original comment. In other words, we are just now getting to the argument of the original post.
“(1)If the Christian worldview is true then Christ is Lord of all.
(2)According to Craig, Christ is not Lord of all.
(3)Therefore according to Craig, the Christian worldview is not true.”
“I think the issues have already been addressed.”
He thinks wrong.
“I shall grant (1),”
“…so the obvious issue is (2). It’s obviously untrue for anyone who has read Craig’s work,”
I think he means something like, as anyone who has read Craig’s work [knows], Craig obviously [considers this] untrue? If so, he has granted the second premise of the argument. Since the argument is valid, the conclusion follows that according to Craig, the Christian worldview is not true. Yet Craig is arguing that it is true, thus Craig defeats himself through his apologetic method.
“…but the justification Bolt presents is shoddy at best.”
“William Craig has said numerous times that he does not believe on the basis of argument.”
In fact, the reason he says he “knows” is not very much unlike what the Mormon says.
“He is in agreement with Plantinga that belief in God requires no argument to be justified, as it is properly basic (a tenet of reformed epistemology). His arguments do not validate his faith, they only seek to demonstrate said rationality.”
Okay, but how is any of this relevant to the argument? It is not.
“After Bolt’s argument, he says: Now obviously Craig holds that the Christian worldview is true and he seeks to prove portions of it. The point here is not that Craig is actually an unbeliever, but rather that even before Craig begins his arguments he undercuts them all and concedes the debate with his methodology. Bolt undercuts (2) on his own at this point. Thus, we cannot grant (3).”
Um, what? Craig’s statement supports the second premise of the argument. He is inconsistent.
“What is really at discussion is whether or not Craig’s apologetic method acknowledges Christ as ‘lord of all’.”
It does not, per the comment he made.
“Bolt says that it does not because he attempts to establish an objective ground from where to begin. But this does not necessitate that Craig has stopped accepting that his existence, and subsequently his thinking is contingent upon God.”
Then Craig is not being objective, is he? He has not checked his view at the door, has he?
“In fact, to establish this from his position Craig would have to make the fantastical argument that he exists necessarily rather than contingently.”
This is false. If Mitch really wants to hold to what he has written here then I expect to see an argument forthcoming which proves that he exists necessarily.
“The presuppositionalist says that without God, nothing can be proven. It’s even more dire than that under Classical/Evidentialist apologetics as without God there is absolutely nothing.”
This was addressed already in the post on Moreland.
“God is the necessary precondition for everything, the disagreement lies with how presuppositionalists attempt to show this.”
Again this is not true. If it were then Craig could not encourage students to check their views at the door.
“When Craig makes his arguments he has not forsaken knowledge of Christ,”
Then how is he being objective?
“…which God does Bolt think Craig is representing?”
I already answered this in my post.
“There is nothing inconsistent with Craig making the arguments the way he does,”
Craig encourages checking one’s views at the door and objectively weighing the evidence for the existence of God. This is an affront to the Lordship of Christ. It is to claim that one can forsake the Lordship of Christ by setting aside one’s views to begin with, and can evaluate evidence as though it may not be under the Lordship of Christ.
“…acknowledging that the unbeliever has an innate knowledge of God (he references this in his writings) and that they may need arguments to uncover or accept what they already know just as one needs a map to find Atlanta.”
And where is this strange idea and method found in Scripture? As already pointed out, it is contradicted by Scripture.
“It is verging on incoherence to say that if one attempts to speak about God from a mutually accessible sphere (that of reality between the believer and unbeliever) that they have then undercut their position.”
The believer and unbeliever do not have a fundamental agreement about any part of reality. The believer views it all as under Christ Jesus, the unbeliever tries not to.
“Even Paul himself offers evidentialist arguments for the Resurrection in his writing, did Paul somehow undercut his position?”
This is incorrect. There is a difference between providing evidence and using evidentialism. Mitch’s view has been poisoned here through reading evidentialist arguments. Paul does not propose any such argument. Even in 1 Corinthians 15 Paul argues upon the basis of Scripture, not evidence. (This is probably the passage Mitch has in mind.)
“No classical apologist that I know of denies matters of ‘presupposition’, if the presuppositionalist position just seeks to establish that without God, nothing could be demonstrated, then all classical apologists agree with presuppositionalism on the conclusion and disagree on the method.”
What I have noticed in breezing through Mitch’s arguments here is that the more he tries to defend the non-presuppositionalist apologist, the more that apologist looks like a presuppositionalist!
“What differs is whether or not presuppositionalism formulates a sound argument for the existence of God”
Since Mitch holds that presuppositionalism does not have a “sound” argument for the existence of God, and presuppositionalism differs from classicalism on this point, it follows that classical apologetics includes a sound argument for the existence of God. However, Mitch is an atheist and does not accept that God exists. Therefore Mitch is by his own argument shown to be irrational, since one rejects a sound argument upon pain of irrationality. Now watch him backtrack and try to clean up his sloppy argument! “Oh, oh I did not mean that!” Sure, but tomorrow he will repeat it again and deny saying it before. Yeesh.
“…and whether or not it is sound as an apologetic method.”