Douglas Wilson comes from the Reformed Presuppositional approach. You can see this basic approach in the Bahnsen/Stein debate. Basically they would say the atheist needs to give a non-circular argument in their materialistic worldview for why one should trust one’s rational and/or ethical views. To Wilson the atheist needs to first give their ontological basis for their objective stance for rational and morality. To Wilson he wants to first see why the atheist holds to their pressupositions before even addressing the ‘real issues’. Its not as if Wilson wants to ignore them its that he doesn’t want to grant the atheist anything that they haven’t shown to be valid. Basicaly the presuppositional viewpoint wants to first understand the ground the atheist can hold to and be consistent with that ground. Once the atheist does this then they will debate the ‘real issues’. Wikipedia has something, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presuppositional_apologetics on the presuppositional argument. You might want to check out Van Til, Gordon Clark, John Frame, and Greg Bahnsen to learn more about this view.
Unclear how a Presuppositionalist argues? Here is the basic schema:
“Let us make the following bold assertion: P
If you don’t believe P, this can only be because you reject proposition Q.
But Q is a proposition that everyone agrees with and furthermore
If Q then P (that is, P follows from Q).
You see, P follows from a proposition that everyone accepts.
No. I won’t argue for the claim that P follows from Q.
What? You say that you reject ‘If Q then P’? You think that P doesn’t follow from Q? Well that can only be because you reject my fundamental assumptions. In particular, to deny that P follows from Q is to deny a fundamental part of P.
You see, it follows from P that If Q, then P. So to reject ‘If Q then P’ is to reject P.
But since this argument concerns whether P is true, to reject P is to beg the question.
I say that P follows from Q. If you think otherwise, you have to argue for that.”
See, here is how it works:
Let us make the Bold assertion P: Jesus rose from the dead.
If you don’t believe that Jesus rose from the dead that can only be because you reject the laws of logic.
And of course nobody denies the laws of logic.
But, did you realize that the laws of logic imply that Jesus rose from the dead?
What? You don’t believe that the laws of logic imply that Jesus rose from the dead? That can only be because you reject my basic assumptions. In particular you reject the claim that Jesus rose from the dead.
You see, the claim that Jesus rose from the dead contains, as a necessary part, the fact that Jesus’ resurrection is required by the laws of logic. It’s no wonder that you can’t see this, since you’re an atheist.
In any event, to reject that ‘Jesus rose from the dead’ follows from the laws of logic is necessarily to deny that Jesus rose from the dead.
But since this argument concerns whether ‘Jesus rose from the dead’ is true, it begs the question to deny that Jesus rose from the dead.
I say that the laws of logic imply that Jesus rose from the dead. If you believe otherwise, you have to argue for that claim.