Does God Exist? Chris Bolt versus Ben Wallis – Thursday August 19, 2010

Click here to find out how you can listen to my debate with agnostic Ben Wallis on the existence of God this Thursday night August 19, 2010 at 9:00 PM EST if the Lord wills.

Ben is originally from Wheaton, IL and was raised in the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. He writes, “A devout believer in my teens and early adulthood, I lost my faith at age 22, and after a brief stint with strong atheism, I am now only a negative atheist, and an agnostic.” He has spent a great deal of time studying philosophy in his spare time especially as it relates to religion but has no formal education in philosophy. Ben is a mathematics graduate student at NIU in Dekalb, IL.

We plan to post the recording of the debate if you are unable to listen to the “Live Stream”. Please keep us both in prayer as we prepare and engage in this debate.


9 Comments

G. Kyle Essary

Good debate Chris! I think you could have simplified things linguistically a bit (and never…ever…quote Van Til in a debate no matter how good the quote since he’s so hard to follow if you’re not used to the way he writes), but think you clearly “won,” and defended the gospel well.

Wendy

Interesting debate. Your opening statement was hard to follow, particularly for someone not familiar with Van Til. I did pick up the argument later on, though. Unlike the previous commenter, I think Ben Wallis was the clear “winner”.

Fred

Thanks for participating in such an interesting topic.

Full disclosure – I’ve fallen away from belief. That said, I totally get the viewpoint presented by Mr. Wallis – I don’t have a preponderance evidence that has convinced me that the Bible is not another myth, but if I discovered something, I would be forced to change my views.

Since that is my viewpoint, is there any way that I could be convinced by your argument, since I don’t give Paul/Romans any special merit as a source? I think you needed to address Wallis’ odd/even year counter-argument to show why the ‘is-or-not-is-and-that’s-all-there-is’ choice is valid in the case of Romans, but not in terms of his example.

Thanks much and keep debating!

Mike

Wendy,

Why did you think Ben won the debate?

Fred

Found my answers in the ‘That Ol’ Time Athiest Religion’ [https://choosinghats.org/?p=1276] post from about 2 months ago. From that post, it looks like the answer is ‘no – I can’t be convinced by the argument, since I can’t accept the assumption’.

I’ll admit, I still don’t get TAG completely. I’ll keep reading.

Agreus

Good debate. I think, in the end we can conclude that Mr. Bolt’s argument isn’t so much an argument for the existence of a transcendent creator, as it is an explanation of the problem of induction and making an appeal to his faith in God as the solution. I think Mr. Wallis made it clear that not only did this not solve the problem of induction; it did not suffice as an argument for the existence of God. I think Mr. Wallis clearly “won” this debate. Just my two cents.

Nick F

I think induction is a very real problem for the atheist.

A key point of TAG as I understand it (an ongoing process I assure you) is that you enter a debate with a presupposition; and that presupposition must hold up under strict scrutiny.

Atheism as far as I can tell offers no basis for the debate in the first place as it offers no consistent basis for objective truth, order, etc.

As Greg Bahnsen once pointed out the atheist encounters the first problem with debate by simply showing up. As a materialist world view offers no rational basis for logic.

By denying the existence of the immaterial it seems to undermine its own basis for the use of everything form induction, to objective morale language, etc.

Christianity on the other hand does offer an explanation for induction, logic, rationale etc.

I understand that simply because Christianity offers a basis for these things does not inherently mean it is correct, but I just dont understand how an atheist can even debate when their starting point is no objective truth, no immaterial, etc. They appear to have to borrow from a different world view to get started.

Anne Smith

Excellent debate, personally I think Wallis won resoundingly.

Any chance of a transcript?

Ben

Thanks for the kind words, everyone! As for a transcript, I don’t have one, but I did post a recap of the debate with some key quotations:

http://benwallis.blogspot.com/2010/10/recap-of-debate-with-chris-bolt.html

–Ben Wallis


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