I praise God for men like William Lane Craig who have made a career out of Christian apologetics. I may very well not be a Christian today without such men.
James White on the other hand? Out of the many influences I had as I weighed Christian truth claims, his was among those in the church encouraging me to leave and stay away. He still doesn’t seem to get it. Maybe his arrogance won’t let him. That’s the best case, and it’s not good.
For James White, apologetics is worth little because he’s a terrible apologist. He talks about ”shredding Joseph Smith”, but really James White shreds anyone who disagrees with him. Not their arguments, mind you, but the people themselves.
His exchange with William Lane Craig was especially illuminating in this respect. Craig acted like he was trying to convince White and the audience of his claims. White instead repeated platitudes, made snide remarks, mocked his opponent, and acted like it was all beneath him. More accurately, it was all above him.
Doug Wilson gets an awful lot right, but I always wince when I see White’s name. In this case I didn’t even have to see the name. I read the message and realized only one guy could possibly be making a formal attack on 1st Peter 3:15 and Paul’s work at Mars Hill.
Apologetic work is desperately needed. Calvinist fideists need to stop getting in the way of effective Christian work and they need to stop claiming credit when their preaching succeeds on those made ready for it by apologetics while slandering those who prepared the ground.